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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 <email@example.com>
When Jules Verne wrote his novel first published his novel in 1863, he drew on two topics that were trending at the time - an interest in the dark secrets of Africa and the then current vogue for hot air ballooning. He would revisit these two topics to some degree nine years later in "Around the World in 80 Days". See more »
Although the teapot was clearly not in Sir Henry's possession when the Arabs captured them at the oasis, by the time they ended up in the prison it mysteriously appeared wrapped up in his jacket. See more »
Having seen the horrendous "The Lost World" (1960) a few weeks ago, I was afraid to revisit "Five Weeks in a Balloon." I had seen both films when originally released, and had a good memory of them (including the title song of this one, which everybody seems to like.) "The Lost World" turned out to be static, with terrible performances by people like Jill St. John and Fernando Lamas, surrounded by fake jungles, caverns, dinosaurs and volcanoes. So when it was "Five Weeks in a Balloon" turn, I had my doubts. Surprisingly, it is quite enjoyable once one overlooks its Hollywood version of African cultures, people and savannas, the stock footage, the (American) propaganda, the balloon being pulled by a thread during a rain storm, or Irwin Allen's handling of action scenes. Allen directed them awkwardly, and made the proceedings look slower than what is actually happening, as the rescue scene in the mesquite or the final scene by a river. In any case, it's a colorful and good looking CinemaScope production, with an interesting cast and many outdoors scenes that make it more attractive than Allen's other movies. By his standards, this may be the film he directed best, leaving his productions "The Poseidon Adventure" or "The Towering Inferno" to more capable hands.
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