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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 »
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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
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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:

DISCOVER...! The slave market of Zanzibar! The forbidden city of Timbuktu! The treacherous Simoon of the Sahara! See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 August 1962 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Five Weeks in a Balloon See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,340,000 (estimated)
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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The book Five Weeks in a Balloon by Jules Verne was in the public domain, and two producers raced to complete film versions of the novel. Flight of the Lost Balloon (1961) premiered on December 28, 1961, eight months before Five Weeks in a Balloon was released on August 22, 1962. See more »

Goofs

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 »

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 »

Connections

Remade as Viaje fantástico en globo (1975) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
various factors even it out
10 February 2007 | by lee_eisenbergSee all my reviews

No doubt we'll probably cringe a little at the portrayals of non-white people in "Five Weeks in a Balloon": the Arabs are slave traders and the Africans dance around in loin cloths and carry spears. Of course, Jules Verne wrote the novel, so we can't totally blame the movie for the portrayals. So if we can get past these depictions, it's a perfectly entertaining experience. The movie portrays English scientist Cedric Hardwicke inventing a balloon-powered dirigible and having to fly to West Africa to stop slave traders (as if the British weren't doing creepy things in their own colonies?). He brings along military man Richard Haydn, young Canadian guy Fabian, and accident-prone American reporter Red Buttons. Through numerous stops, they pick up freed slave Barbara Luna, slave trader Peter Lorre, American teacher Barbara Eden, and chimpanzee Chester.

The characters come across as a real mixture. Most of the cast members do a good job, but Fabian seems out of place, Red Buttons's role just seems silly, and Barbara Luna has little more than her looks (I've never read the novel, so I can't comment on possible changes). In almost any other movie, this combo would drag the whole thing down significantly, but not here; if anything, it makes the picture more entertaining. Even if there's a lot of continuity errors and such things, it's impossible not to have fun while watching "FWIAB". Also starring Herbert Marshall, Billy Gilbert, Henry Daniell and Mike Mazurki (Gilbert and Daniell previously co-starred in "The Great Dictator").

One more thing. Among the DVD's special features is footage from the movie's debut in Denver. One of the best things about this footage is that we get to see Barbara Eden in a shell dress! Such a sight, in my opinion, means that there is a God! Aside from her Jeannie outfit, a shell dress is the only thing that I can imagine Barbara Eden wearing. If these sorts of thoughts make me a pervert, then I'm proud to be one.


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