Around the World in Eighty Days (1956)
Directed by Michael Anderson, 1956
Click here to see the rest of this review
Staring David Niven, Cantinflas, Shirley MacLaine and Robert Newton
This is the original 1956 movie version of Jules Verne's classic book of the same name, which remains a classic favorite on TV, video and DVD. Filmed at 100 locations around the world with cameo appearances by 40 Hollywood stars and a compelling musical score by Victor Young.
David Niven stars ad Phileas Fogg, a somewhat mysterious figure who, in the course of a discussion with fellow members of his club about the news of the opening of the Suez Canal and rail route across India, argues that it is now possible to travel around the world in eighty days. The others argue that this is impossible but, with his cool intellect Fogg has calculated the time it would take to make the trip using the new routes and modern technology. To prove his point, Fogg bets twenty thousand pounds that he can complete a trip around the world in eighty days. Accompanied by his valet, Passepartout (Cantinflas), and shadowed by a detective (Newton) who suspects that Fogg was involved in the recent robbery of the Bank of England, Fogg leaves immediately.
A meticulous man, Fogg has calculated everything down to the minute but, the world being unpredictable, Fogg is continually forced to change plans and strategies which has the effect of turning the project into a grand adventure rather than the carefully scripted plan he began with.
The review of this Movie prepared by Chuck Nugent
One day in 1872, dry and proper Victorian gentleman Phileas Fogg (Niven) extols the new railroad and steamship technology, which he thinks would enable one to travel around the globe in 80 days or fewer. His colleagues of the Reform Club bet he cannot do it, and Fogg wagers his entire fortune on the matter. He takes his brand-new valet Passepartout (Canfinflas), who expected a very different first day of work, on the road with him -- racing to Paris, missing the train to Marseilles, taking a balloon which drifts to Spain instead, where Passepartout has to fight a bull, and so on. But there's a twist: the Bank of England has been robbed! Could this be Fogg's way of making off with the loot? The detective assigned to the case, Mr. Fix (Newton) has a strong suspicion and tracks the adventurers across the planet. In India, they rescue Princess Aouda (a rather miscast MacLaine, with cosmetically darkened skin), who was about to be burned on her deceased husband's funeral pyre. Filmed on location in the Persian Gulf, Saudia Arabia, Japan, Pakistan, Iraq, Bangkok, and Afghanistan as well as aboard the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad in Durango, Colorado, this delightful 175-minute epic employed the most animals ever up to that time (8,552), as well as provided the origin of the word "cameo" to mean a brief appearance of a star in a minor role: How many other films could possibly have Buster Keaton, Frank Sinatra, Cesar Romero, Marlene Dietrich, John Gielgud, Red Buttons, Joe E. Brown, Glynis Johns, Peter Lorre, Ronald Colman, Beatrice Lillie, and dozens of others? It won five Oscars, including Best Picture.
The review of this Movie prepared by David Loftus