London, October 1872 and Phileas Fogg (David Niven) bets
his fellow club members that he can circle the globe in 80
days. Accompanied by his valet, Passepartout (Cantinflas in
his only English language film), and the wandering Princess
Aouda (Shirley MacLaine), Fogg crosses Europe, India, Japan,
the Pacific and the United States in a race against time and
all the odds...
the World in 80 Days was originally released in 1956 and
features an all-star cast including Noel Coward, John Gielgud,
Trevor Howard, Peter Lorre, Marlene Dietrich, Frank Sinatra,
Buster Keaton, John Mills and a cast of thousands.
Michael Todd (who married Elizabeth Taylor and was killed
in a plane crash in 1958) coined the term "Cameo Role" in
a bid to entice big celebrities to appear in this movie -
the notion of a "small role" was not seen as appealing
back in the '50s.
movie was nominated for eight Academy Awards and ended up
winning five, including the most prestigious, best picture
as well as best cinematography, best editing, best music and
best adapted screenplay.
film dates back to the days when the producer was king. Michael
Todd's vision, modified somewhat from Jules Verne's classic
story, was made exactly the way he wanted. He was ridiculed
at the time for including a hot air balloon sequence (not
in the original book) as well as changing the nationality
of Fogg's manservant - Passepartout was French in the book,
while Cantinflas is Mexican.
are overly long and tiresome moments in the movie (including
the very drawn out bullfight and the ridiculously over the
top cowboys and Indians scene. But, on the whole this is a
well made film.
also loved the fact that this release has kept the original
intermission break and also includes the intermission music
as well as the music that would have played in theatres after
the end credits had finished. And that brings me to another
point worth mentioning - the excellent end credit sequence
which recaps the entire movie in bizarre 2D animation.
the movie may not have aged as well as it might, this double
disc collection is one of the best sets I've personally seen
in a long time - especially when you consider the age of the
are enough documentaries and featurettes to keep even the
most information hungry film buff satisfied. In fact, the
audio commentary alone is worth the price of this disc, and
is packed full of behind the scene information.
include: audio commentary by BBC Radio's Brian Sibley; "Around
The World Of Mike Todd" producer profile featurette including
interviews with Elizabeth Taylor, Gypsy Rose Lee and Ethel
Merman; "Playhouse 90: Around The World In 90 minutes" Excerpts
of the 1957 Madison Square Gala, celebrating the film's one
year anniversary; 1957 Academy Awards ceremony highlights;
Introduction; Newsreel; Outtakes; Photo gallery; and original
1956 and reissue 1983 theatrical trailer.
is a fantastic presentation of a movie that, while not quite
a classic in the same vein as Charlie and the Chocolate
Factory or The Wizard of Oz, is still worthy of
adding to your collection.
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