When this movie is made in 1956, one could circumnavigate the globe in a little less than two days. When Jules Verne wrote the story "Around the World in Eighty Days" in 1872, he predicted that one day man could accomplish the task in eighty hours, but which most considered folly to do in eighty days in current times, that is except for people like Englishman Phileas Fogg, a regimented man who believed all it would take is exacting work, the skills he possesses. He just has to make sure a train's schedule meets the required sailing schedule which meets the required coach schedule and so on. As such, he takes up what ends up being the highly publicized twenty thousand pounds sterling wager from his fellow members at the London Reform Club to do so, losing the bet which would ruin him financially. Along for the ride is Fogg's new, loyal and devoted valet, the recently arrived Latin immigrant, Passepartout, who possesses unusual skills which could be major assets, but whose all consuming...Written by
(Mag-optical) (35 mm prints) (1956)|Mono
(optical) (35 mm prints) (re-release prints)|70 mm 6-Track
(70 mm prints) (Westrex Recording System)|4-Track Stereo
(Perspecta Sound encoding) (35 mm magnetic prints) (1956)
Shirley MacLaine wrote that filming a scene with thousands of extras ground to a halt because the prop man forgot to put the bottle of champagne in the balloon with David Niven and Cantinflas. This is unlikely, as the champagne is not revealed to be in the balloon until Fogg and Passepartout are aloft, by this point having left the crowd far behind. See more »
When the sail-powered rail car passes the train, the baggage car that was on the train earlier is missing. See more »
There are no opening credits. The film begins with 'Edward R. Murrow (I)' narrating a prologue showing the history of flight. Then, the actual story begins with no opening credits whatsoever. See more »
The Todd-AO (30 fps) version and the Todd-AO (24 fps) version are as close to being identical as possible, considering that each scene was shot twice, using both methods. Note that the sound mixes of the 70 mm version and the 35 mm version are as close to being identical as possible, unlike Oklahoma! where the sound mix is completely different for each version. See more »
Some Sequences Are Enjoyable & Satisfying, But An Uneven Movie Overall
With a project this ambitious, it probably should not be much of a surprise if some of it works very well while other portions are less effective. It's the kind of grand-scale movie that is so often highly acclaimed in its own day, regardless of what weaknesses it might have. It does have some very satisfying and entertaining sequences, yet overall the quality is uneven.
There's no question that much of Jules Verne's story readily lends itself to the screen, and a somewhat less indulgent production might have made for a pretty good movie. A number of the sequences just go on a little too long, neither advancing the story nor providing much in the way of entertainment or thematic content. The story in itself is an interesting one, and the film works best when it stays on track.
It's fun, of course, just to watch and try to catch all the cameo appearances. A few of them seem to have been forced into the script just to boost the total, but others work well. It's also enjoyable to see the footage from Méliès's "Trip to the Moon", although after that the prologue ends up dragging on a little too long.
There's more than enough here to make it worth seeing, and it is usually enjoyable - it's just that it's too long and sometimes a little too much, and a less lavish approach would probably have made it better.
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