5.8/10
1,028
23 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:

Irwin Allen

Writers:

Jules Verne (novel), Charles Bennett (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Reviews

Watch Now

From $3.99 on Prime Video

ON DISC

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A town's corrupt officials think a fool is actually an investigator in disguise.

Director: Henry Koster
Stars: Danny Kaye, Walter Slezak, Barbara Bates
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Based on the Stephen Potter "One Upmanship" and "Lifemanship" books, Henry Palfrey tries hard to impress but always loses out to the rotter Delauney. Then he discovers the Lifeman college ... See full summary »

Directors: Robert Hamer, Hal E. Chester, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Ian Carmichael, Terry-Thomas, Alastair Sim
The Killers (1946)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Hit men kill an unresisting victim, and investigator Reardon uncovers his past involvement with beautiful, deadly Kitty Collins.

Director: Robert Siodmak
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Ava Gardner, Edmond O'Brien
Comedy | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

The weirdest alien of the galaxy pays a visit to Earth...

Director: Norman Taurog
Stars: Jerry Lewis, Joan Blackman, Earl Holliman
Kapò (1960)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A young Jewish girl leads an escape attempt from a concentration camp.

Director: Gillo Pontecorvo
Stars: Susan Strasberg, Laurent Terzieff, Emmanuelle Riva
Action | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A small town in California is attacked by Martians, beginning a worldwide invasion.

Director: Byron Haskin
Stars: Gene Barry, Ann Robinson, Les Tremayne
Hamlet (1990)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, finds out that his uncle Claudius killed his father to obtain the throne, and plans revenge.

Director: Franco Zeffirelli
Stars: Mel Gibson, Glenn Close, Alan Bates
Adventure | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

When a bored Holmes eagerly takes the case of Gabrielle Valladon after an attempt on her life, the search for her missing husband leads to Loch Ness and the legendary monster.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: Robert Stephens, Christopher Lee, Colin Blakely
Waterloo I (1970)
Action | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Facing the decline of everything he has worked to obtain, conqueror Napoleon Bonaparte and his army confront the British at the Battle of Waterloo.

Director: Sergey Bondarchuk
Stars: Rod Steiger, Christopher Plummer, Orson Welles
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
Drama | Romance | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A mysterious girl inspires a struggling artist.

Director: William Dieterle
Stars: Jennifer Jones, Joseph Cotten, Ethel Barrymore
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A hardened sergeant and the four core members of his infantry unit try to survive World War II as they move from battle to battle throughout Europe.

Director: Samuel Fuller
Stars: Lee Marvin, Mark Hamill, Robert Carradine
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Red Buttons ... Donald O'Shay
Fabian ... Jacques
Barbara Eden ... Susan Gale
Cedric Hardwicke ... Fergusson
Peter Lorre ... Ahmed
Richard Haydn ... Sir Henry Vining
BarBara Luna ... Makia (as Barbara Luna)
Billy Gilbert ... Sultan / Auctioneer
Herbert Marshall ... The Prime Minister
Reginald Owen ... Consul
Henry Daniell ... Sheik Ageiba
Mike Mazurki ... Slave Captain
Alan Caillou ... Inspector
Ben Astar ... Myanga
Raymond Bailey ... 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:

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 »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 August 1962 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cinco semanas en globo See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$2,340,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$1,200,000, 31 December 1962
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)| 4-Track Stereo

Color:

Color (DeLuxe)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Billy Gilbert's final film. See more »

Goofs

When Susan tries to pull O'Shay out of the water, a modern brassiere is visible through her wet shirt. See more »

Quotes

Sir Henry Vining: [frisking Ahmed] What have you got there?
Ahmed: Nice medals, huh?
Sir Henry Vining: British campaign medals. Professor, look at these. China, India... Where did you steal these from?
Ahmed: What? I don't steal! I am an *honest* slave trader. Oh, yes, little things, they come my way once in a while...
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 theowinthropSee 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.


11 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 23 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed