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Five Weeks in a Balloon (1962)

In 1862, the British commission inventor Fergusson to claim uncharted land in West Africa for Britain by flying his giant hot air balloon there.

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(novel), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Donald O'Shay
...
Jacques
...
Susan Gale
...
Fergusson
...
Ahmed
...
Sir Henry Vining
...
Makia (as Barbara Luna)
...
Sultan / Auctioneer
...
The Prime Minister
...
Consul
...
Sheik Ageiba
...
Slave Captain
...
Inspector
Ben Astar ...
Myanga
...
Randolph
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Storyline

Professor Fergusson plans to make aviation history by making his way across Africa by balloon. He plans to claim uncharted territories in West Africa as proof of his inventions worth. Written by Dennis Kytasaari <djk@xnet.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It's High Adventure and a Skyful of Fun! See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for mild violence and thematic elements | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 August 1962 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cinco semanas en globo  »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,340,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)|

Color:

(DeLuxe)|

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

Jacques has a 1950's style pompadour. See more »

Quotes

Sheik Ageiba: [to Fergusson] In Timbuktu it is much safer to be a villain than an infidel.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Tell It to Groucho: Episode dated 26 April 1962 (1962) See more »

Soundtracks

Five Weeks In A Balloon
Written by Urban Thielmann (uncredited) and Jodi Desmond
Sung by The Brothers Four
See more »

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User Reviews

 
various factors even it out
10 February 2007 | by (Portland, Oregon, USA) – See all my reviews

No doubt we'll probably cringe a little at the portrayals of non-white people in "Five Weeks in a Balloon": the Arabs are slave traders and the Africans dance around in loin cloths and carry spears. Of course, Jules Verne wrote the novel, so we can't totally blame the movie for the portrayals. So if we can get past these depictions, it's a perfectly entertaining experience. The movie portrays English scientist Cedric Hardwicke inventing a balloon-powered dirigible and having to fly to West Africa to stop slave traders (as if the British weren't doing creepy things in their own colonies?). He brings along military man Richard Haydn, young Canadian guy Fabian, and accident-prone American reporter Red Buttons. Through numerous stops, they pick up freed slave Barbara Luna, slave trader Peter Lorre, American teacher Barbara Eden, and chimpanzee Chester.

The characters come across as a real mixture. Most of the cast members do a good job, but Fabian seems out of place, Red Buttons's role just seems silly, and Barbara Luna has little more than her looks (I've never read the novel, so I can't comment on possible changes). In almost any other movie, this combo would drag the whole thing down significantly, but not here; if anything, it makes the picture more entertaining. Even if there's a lot of continuity errors and such things, it's impossible not to have fun while watching "FWIAB". Also starring Herbert Marshall, Billy Gilbert, Henry Daniell and Mike Mazurki (Gilbert and Daniell previously co-starred in "The Great Dictator").

One more thing. Among the DVD's special features is footage from the movie's debut in Denver. One of the best things about this footage is that we get to see Barbara Eden in a shell dress! Such a sight, in my opinion, means that there is a God! Aside from her Jeannie outfit, a shell dress is the only thing that I can imagine Barbara Eden wearing. If these sorts of thoughts make me a pervert, then I'm proud to be one.


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