Orson Welles narrates this TV documentary about the life of Mike Todd. Martin Balsam does Todd's voice for speaking parts with still photos and silent film clips. Elizabeth Taylor head the list of people interviewed. She was Todd's wife when he died in a March 22, 1958 private plane crash in New Mexico while on the way to New York.
This films includes film clips, news clips and personal interviews. Others interviewed include son Michael Todd Jr., and some of Todd's friends. Art Buchwald, Jack E. Leonard, Ethel Merman, Lowell Thomas, Gypsy Rose Lee and others tell of their experiences working with Todd. To a person, they admired him for his tenacity and showmanship. Also, for his kindness and generosity.
Wells said of Todd, "He was surely the most colorful of all he great showmen. Mike was an American original. He had brig dreams and he had the imagination and the courage to make the dreams come true. The monumental picture, "Around the World in 80 Days," was made, and triumphantly made despite the doubts of the professionals, the costs, the odds and the advice of his friends."
The film gives a little of Todd's background growing up in Chicago. Much of it is about his great promotions and the climax, in "Around the World." But before that, he had been a great producer on Broadway. Welles said that in 1944, Todd had four hits on Broadway at the same time.
This is an interesting look at a great showman, especially his later years and the film legacy he left.
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