Around the World in 80 Days (1956)

It's a wonderful world, if you'll only take the time to go around it!

Based on the famous book by Jules Verne the movie follows Phileas Fogg on his journey around the world. Which has to be completed within 80 days, a very short period for those days.

Spot the cameo in 5 Oscar winning epic.
Based on the wonderful writing from Jules Verne, Around the World in Eighty Days is just shy of three hours, this was my first ever visit to the film and my reaction is mainly positive, though tempered with a small sense of unfulfillment.
Phileas Fogg takes a wager from his fellow London club members that he can't circle the globe in 80 days, this it should be noted is 1872 where transport was not of the fast and dynamic variety. Fogg and his trusty servant Passepartout, set off on a journey that brings many adventures, and many humorous scrapes. They meet a wonderful array of characters and travel on many forms of transport, it is in short a magical journey.
The production here from Mike Todd is gargantuan, the sets are incredible, the multiple locations befit the multi cast of actors that grace the film (have fun playing spot the star in this one). The costumes and the score are spot on, while Lionel Lindon's cinematography rightly won the gold award because it's lush and cloaks the delightful story with a number of treats for the eyes. David Niven is perfect as Fogg, whilst Cantinflas as Passepartout is perfect foil for Fogg's staid stiff upper lippery.
Yet in spite of it's obvious beauty the film is a touch overlong, some scenes are padded far too much when surely a shorter take would have made its mark equally enough? I was surprised by the ending being so short and sweet, yes, sure it's fitting, but after sitting through just under 3 hours of film you are not being unreasonable to expect a grand fanfare type of ending. Still, it doesn't take away from this being a good cinematic achievement. As to if it stands up to repeat viewing? I'll have to see on that one... 7.5/10

Michael Todd Company by Michael Anderson, John Farrow, James Poe, S.J. Perelman, Jules Verne.
Stars: David Niven, Cantinflas, Shirley MacLaine, Robert Newton.

Genres: Adventure, Comedy, Family, Romance

Keywords: paris, france usa jules verne spain bet detective bullfight scotland yard asia europe saloon elephant hot air balloon epic wager train india monkey valet around the world journey steamship 19th century steam ship

10/17/1956

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