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Around the World in Eighty Days
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Index 106 reviews in total 

Overblown, but fun

Author: rollo_tomaso ( from New York, NY
24 June 2001

This leisurely paced epic is jocular and is a cameo-appearance-watcher's heaven. It's all a bit too top-heavy to support a rather simple story. But Cantinflas is a lot of fun as Passepartout, and Robert Newton is marvelous as Niven's nemesis, Fix. Shirley MacLaine lends her beauty and wit to the proceedings as Princess Aouda. The film seems to stop for spectacular cinematography and the cameos at times. But, it is still beautiful and enjoyable.

But, speaking of Newton and MacLaine, I must take IMDB to task for this one although I recognize they are merely copying from the film's cast list. Still, when one transforms from one medium to another, some judgment must be exercised. In order for the uninitiated to find out that Newton and MacLaine (two of the film's four major characters) are even in the film, one must click on the blue more button for additional cast members, One normally does not bother to do this because all one normally sees are credits for the likes of Jennifer Baliniczewski, Haley Tiresius, Forrest J. Ackerman, Zvi Frischman, and Skip Jackson.

Please IMDB, bring Newton and MacLaine up front with Niven and Cantinflas. The movie's top stars should be featured at the top. Then the rest can be listed alphabetically.

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The Days of Showmanship

Author: rdh7182373 from Westchester, New York
26 August 2000

Mike Todd's "Around the World in 80 Days" may be the quintessential epic of the fifties. Designed as a spectacular show as well as a narrative, Todd successfully simulated Cinerama's illusion of peripheral vision with his bug-eyed 65mm lens used for the travelogue shots. Unfortunately, in it's current pan and scanned version, the effect is completely lost on television. It would probably be lost if it was letterboxed too. What can be appreciated is Lionel Lindon's breathtaking cinematography. How different it is from the aesthetics of current camerawork. The use of color, depth of field, superior sharpness and use of widescreen was meant to simulate an enhanced version of reality which it did in it's theatrical engangements (both Todd-AO 70mm curved screen presentations and 35mm anamorphic dye transfer Technicolor flat screen bookings) Current cinematography features de-saturated and bland colors, grainy under-exposed negatives and prints, shallow depth of field and an aesthetically ugly look in many cases.

If one watches the film as a Cinerama type travelogue with humor and spectacle it works better than as a straight narrative. However, the performances are all fine and the cameos amusing. The videotape version is missing a four minute chase scene with Cantinflas pursued by Indians along with the freeze frame intermission tag and fade into reel #7. While it has the complete prologue, the changing aspect ratios is lost due to the pan/scan format. This film deserves a theatrical restoraion and subsequent letterboxed video/dvd release. A good suppliment would be the Bilco show that Todd guest starred on prior to his death in his private plane called "The Lucky Liz". (She was sick and missed the flight).

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Different End Credits

Author: tnsprin-2 from LI, NY
8 October 2004

I've been puzzled for years when I have seen the re-releases and earlier video versions. I remember seeing a different and longer set of End Credits when the picture was released and on its 70mm (Todd-AO)road show. It featured shots of the various actors in there roles. A remember in particular that they did not show Frank Sinatra's face during the film, only revealing it in the end credits.

I only saw the fully animated version when the 35mm version went around. So which version of the end credits were original attached to the movie? Was it the version I saw the original or was Bass's animated version?

Still an important DVD release.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Great Entertainment 1950's style

Author: gonzalez3751 from United States
14 February 2007

Around the World in 80 Days is fantastic adventure that takes its audience along on a terrific journey from the cosmopolitan streets of Paris to the jungles of India and on the transcontinental railroad across the American West. The film is very faithful to the novel written by Verne, and David Niven is perfectly cast as the intrepid Mr. Fogg. The cinematography is well done and the various locations that were chosen are the most exquisite spots that have ever been shown to audiences. There is a good amount of humor, and the story works well at keeping its audience interested. I had shown this film to a group of my friends who had never seen a movie that was made beefer 1978 and they were certainly astounded the enormity of the film. I highly recommend this film to anyone who enjoys great entertainment 1950's style.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Entertaining but could have been much better.

Author: Samrat Raychaudhuri from Oman
7 May 2005

The movie is about a Londoner Phileas Fogg, who bets his club members that he could go 'Around the world in 80 days'.He sets on his quest with his Man-servant Passepartout and along the way they encounter a lot of unusual situations which are overcome in equally unusual manners.All along they are pursued by a Scotland Yard detective who thinks the twosome is responsible for a Bank Robbery in England. This is a movie that i eagerly wanted to watch as i found the book by Jules Verne 'unputdownable'. I loved it very much but the 'what happens next'suspense was lacking like when you were reading the book. I know books cant be exactly converted into movies but i found the Screenplay writer omitting important incidents. Apart from that every aspect of the movie was really good and was aptly rewarded by the Academy with 5 Oscars. The casting was great as you can totally picture David Niven as Phileas Fogg. Shirley Maclaine was believable as Princess Aouda and Cantinflas as Passepartout was exceptional. A lot of cameos by Hollywood Who's who like Marlene Dietrich, Frank Sinatra etc made it interesting. If we are willing to forget the minor glitches regarding authenticity of certain facts made by Jules Verne while writing the Novel we can find the movie a wholesome entertainer which we can watch with our family.I would watch it again.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Around the World in 80 Days....An Oscar Winner-Methinks Not ***

Author: edwagreen from United States
18 July 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Around the world, I've searched for you.

I traveled on when hope was gone for a rendez-vous.

Well, something like that in this 1956 so called movie. Wasn't this really a travelogue? This film should never have been in the best picture category. Yes, it had a phenomenal cast, but the plot was rather thin. It was as if this were being told in documentary form.

The Oscar here should have easily gone to "The Ten Commandments." Hands down. Even the other nominees including "The King and I," and "Friendly Persuasion," were far better. It just became a case of the academy in love with Mike Todd and the ever beautiful Liz Taylor, deciding to reward our dream couple.

David Niven and Cantiflas were standouts but the film was way too drawn out.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

its a long journey

Author: petersj-2 from Australia
7 September 2009

Actually I was rather disappointed seeing it again after so many years. David Niven is perfect and its fun watching and guessing who is who. The end credits are just wonderful. The film looks beautiful and the score is perfect. I love the fact the wide screen DVD has an overture and entracte. The exit music is lovely. The balloon sequence is the highlight of the film with its breath taking arial photography. The plot is confusing and sadly it plods along even though its not without merit. The most annoying aspect of the film is Cantiflas who may well have been famous in his own country simply has little screen presence and clumps along quite incoherently. Cantiflas slows the movie down, you cannot understand what he is saying and the bottom line is that he is just not funny. When you think of the great clown Red Skelton who was also in the cast you cannot help wondering how much better the movie would be with a real talent opposite Niven. It still remains quite lovely to look at.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Now on TCM in letterbox!!

Author: movibuf1962 from Washington, DC
27 August 2004

Beginning on 25 August, Turner Classic Movies finally ran ATW80 in the letterbox format. I'm guessing that it was taken directly from the new DVD print as the old Warner Communications logo which accompanied the ugly full-screen version was missing from this version. (In fact, the closing credits acknowledge a United Artists release, but I guess they don't actually own the film.) There was also an 'exit music' epilogue. Still don't know if this was the Todd-AO print of the film or a less inflated 'Cinemascope' version. (Producer Michael Todd made history when he shot his first widescreen film, 'Oklahoma!' in *two* extremely expensive formats; one can only guess that the budget for this international travelogue film must've been even higher.) Beautiful to look at, however. We can all exhale now.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

new thoughts on an old film

Author: pop_pop2 from United States
27 February 2005

i was fortunate enough to see this movie on opening night in new york city ,,,almost 50 years ago...i watched it again today on TV,,,enjoyed it then and was not nearly aware of its entire scope until watching it on TV..the credits at the end and the format in which they were done, speaks volumes as to what movies were about back then,,and that was a mere 50 years ago.i grew up watching movies on Saturday after noon as a kid in the 30's ,and perhaps never realized then,,what films were all about..entertainment,is and always will be the key word...David Niven as Phogg,Cantinflas as Pass Partou,and the entire cast were truly memorable,there are many cameos,even Sinatra is there.. do yourself and your grandchildren a favor ,,watch it with them,,they don't make movies like that anymore..Mike Todd deserves all the credit I realize that these are my comments on what is a review long overdue and subject to your comments .. love to hear from some of you who saw this film back then or those of you who saw it after reading my remarks

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Best Picture 1956, and meant to stay there

Author: Ryan Love
6 August 2002

I didn't enjoy this movie at all. There wasn't much of a plot and character development was essentially nil. But I can't really write it off as a bad movie, just a movie from a much different time. Some of the shots are still very beautiful, and combined with a dainty little score, they provided the entertainment that was there. But unlike other movies from the era (Bridge on the River Kwai came the next year), this is definitely not a timeless classic. Personally, I found there to be almost nothing there. According to my 2002 standards, this movie is awful. Watch it only if you want mid-fifties excitement and humor.

I would usually end my comments with a rating, but here I will refrain. Years later, it's just not meant to be judged.

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