5.8/10
881
21 user 5 critic

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.

Director:

Writers:

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

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Adventure | Fantasy | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Professor Challenger leads an expedition of scientists and adventurers to a remote plateau deep in the Amazonian jungle to verify his claim that dinosaurs still live there.

Director: Irwin Allen
Stars: Michael Rennie, Jill St. John, David Hedison
Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

When the Earth is threatened by a burning Van Allen Radiation Belt, US Navy Admiral Harriman Nelson plans to shoot a nuclear missile at the Belt using his experimental atomic submarine, the Seaview.

Director: Irwin Allen
Stars: Walter Pidgeon, Joan Fontaine, Barbara Eden
Sci-Fi | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

In 1868, an American scientist and his team become hostages of fanatical pacifist Robur who uses his airship Albatross to destroy military targets on Earth.

Director: William Witney
Stars: Vincent Price, Charles Bronson, Henry Hull
Comedy | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

The Louisiana wedding of debutante Phoebe Ann Naylor to Don Andrea de Baldasar, El Duce de la Casala is stopped by the Cavalry over a matter of honor. Don Andrea flees across the river to ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Gordon
Stars: Dean Martin, Alain Delon, Rosemary Forsyth
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

When American newspaperman and adventurer Henry M. Stanley comes back from the western Indian wars, his editor James Gordon Bennett sends him to Africa to find Dr. David Livingstone, the ... See full summary »

Directors: Henry King, Otto Brower
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Nancy Kelly, Richard Greene
Adventure | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

In 1944, US Navy specialists run a weather station in the Gobi desert where they are harassed by Japanese warplanes but aided by local Mongol nomads.

Director: Robert Wise
Stars: Richard Widmark, Don Taylor, Max Showalter
Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A vagabond Viking adventurer and a Moor both compete to find "The Mother of All Voices," a legendary golden bell near the Pillars of Hercules.

Director: Jack Cardiff
Stars: Richard Widmark, Sidney Poitier, Russ Tamblyn
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Romance | Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Adventurer Allan Quartermain leads an expedition into uncharted African territory in an attempt to locate an explorer who went missing during his search for the fabled diamond mines of King Solomon.

Directors: Compton Bennett, Andrew Marton
Stars: Deborah Kerr, Stewart Granger, Richard Carlson
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

While on holiday in Rhodes, Athenian war hero Darios becomes involved in two different plots to overthrow the tyrannical king, one from Rhodian patriots and the other from sinister Phoenician agents.

Director: Sergio Leone
Stars: Rory Calhoun, Lea Massari, Georges Marchal
Cimarron (1960)
Drama | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

The Oklahoma Land Run of April 1889 sets the stage for an epic saga of a frontier family and its friends.

Directors: Anthony Mann, Charles Walters
Stars: Glenn Ford, Maria Schell, Anne Baxter
Edit

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
Edit

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:

TAKE OFF...! For the Gold Coast shores of the Volta! Across 4000 miles of uncharted wilds! On the most incredible air safari of modern time! See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

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  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Goofs

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

Quotes

Susan Gale: Trafficking in human lives is everybody's concern. Either you are for it or against it.
Ahmed: [timidly] I am for it.
See more »

Connections

Version of Cinci saptamîni în balon (1966) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Pretty Forgettable for all That
11 December 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I remember when this film came out in 1962. It was one of the first motion pictures that used television to advertise it's scenes and cast and excitement (including it's theme song). And the film did moderately well if at all.

Jules Verne had written several failed plays (boulevard farces) and a few short stories before this novel was written. Taking advantage of current interest in African exploration (the brouhaha regarding Burton and Speke and the source of the Nile - see THE MOUNTAINS OF THE MOON - as well as the discoveries of the first gorilla by French explorer Paul du Chaillu), Verne joined this to the growing interest in ballooning, and man's conquest of the air. The book was Verne's first published novel, and it turned out to be a success. Ironically, despite it's title mentioning "balloons", most people now think that Verne's ballooning novel is AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS. While that is a better written novel (and a more frequently read one) there is no scene in it of Phileas Fogg and Passepartout flying in a balloon. In fact, the first time the heroes of AROUND THE WORLD met ballooning was in the 1957 film. Mike Todd invented the sequence (with an assist by his script writers) to remind the movie audience of Verne as father of modern science fiction.

For a first novel FIVE WEEKS IN A BALLOON is okay. Professor Samuel Ferguson and two companions decide to do some explorations of Africa by flying a balloon from Zanzibar (where Burton and Speke took off from) and flying westward. They succeed in crossing the continent, and their observations about Africa (it's peoples, flowers, fauna, etc.) mingle with various adventures by the balloonists. In comparison with later novels by Verne it is fairly tame - it is hard to believe he wrote A JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH (1864) only one year later. He was improving by then, but he had to start somewhere.

The movie, despite many nice performances like Hardwicke as Ferguson, Red Buttons as a newspaper owner's spoiled son, Fabian, Peter Lorre (as a reformed villain), and Richard Haydn is not much better than a cute kid's film that gave employment to many character actors. It is nice to see Herbert Marshall in his last role as England's Prime Minister (Lord Palmerston?). He was not looking well, but he did give a nice brief performance - in fact it was necessary to help the pitiably weak plot of the novel. Fergusson is asked to assist the British Government in preventing a group of slavers from planting their flag on some important African territory - by planting the British flag there first. Fergusson agrees to this, and from time to time we actually see the slavers (led by Mike Mazurki) headed by land to the critical land spot. In the end they are defeated.

Because of the infantile direction of the script (Lorre has lines like "Kismet, we are doomed!") the film is never above serviceable for entertaining kids. It remains in my memory only because it was the first film I saw advertised on television that I remember. But I have never run back to the television to watch it on any rerun - if it has had any rerun. For all the famed character actors in it one feels that they wasted their talents on a slightly acceptable turkey.


8 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?