Around the World in 80 Days (1956)

G   |    |  Adventure, Comedy, Family


Around the World in 80 Days (1956) Poster

A Victorian Englishman bets that with the new steamships and railways he can circumnavigate the globe in eighty days.

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6.8/10
21,910

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  • David Niven and Cantinflas at an event for Around the World in 80 Days (1956)
  • Cantinflas in Around the World in 80 Days (1956)
  • "Around the World in Eighty (80) Days" David Niven, Cantinfals 1956 United Artists
  • David Niven and Cantinflas at an event for Around the World in 80 Days (1956)
  • "Around the World in Eighty (80) Days" Frank Sinatra 1956 United Artists
  • David Niven and Ronald Colman in Around the World in 80 Days (1956)

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Cast & Crew

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Directors:

Michael Anderson , John Farrow

Writers:

James Poe (screenplay), John Farrow (screenplay), S.J. Perelman (screenplay), Jules Verne (book)

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User Reviews


24 December 2004 | tonstant viewer
9
| This Picture Makes No Sense On A Small Screen
Around the World in 80 Days is part comedy and part demonstration of a new wide-screen process. I saw it in its original run at the old Rivoli Theater in New York, where the screen ran from 48th St. to 49th St. People gasped at the size of the screen when the curtains opened, before the film even got underway.

If you watch the new 16x9 DVD on anything less than a 50-inch television, the visual composition and the pacing are absolutely incomprehensible, and you're on your own to seize on the many little things that are there to entertain you. But as a whole, the film loses its reason for being when viewed on a conventional TV.

David Niven is unbeatable as Phileas Fogg, Shirley Maclaine is implausible but slyly humorous as the Princess, Robert Newton appears sober most of the time and hammy all of it as Inspector Fix.

Cantinflas is inexplicable as Passepartout, except perhaps as Mike Todd's attempt to corral the entire Latin American market. The Mexican comedian's English is very shaky; it slows him down, and his clarity comes and goes and makes me wonder if Paul Frees didn't replace a lot of his lines. At any rate, only in the seemingly improvised encounter with Red Skelton at a buffet does Cantinflas do anything remotely humorous, and there he's the straight man.

The cameos are fun, and if you're too young to know who all these geezers are, it's worth it to find out, and use the IMDb to track down the work that made them famous. I remember the shriek the original audience let out when the piano player was revealed to be Frank Sinatra.

Viewing the film now, I was most moved to see Edmund Lowe and Victor McLaglan reunited in the engine room of the Henrietta, thirty years after they riveted the industry in "What Price Glory?" Buster Keaton concentrates really hard in his appearance as the train conductor, to excellent effect. A. E. Matthews gives a terrific acting lesson in saying "no" a half a dozen times in a London sequence.

Among the original bettors, locate Ronald Squire with the drooping mustache, hollow nasal baritone, and a slouching relaxation while performing that was a marvel - Rex Harrison publicly admired Ronald Squire's ease on stage all his life. In fact, Squire is so relaxed he makes someone like Dean Martin seem uptight.

So, this film is an unusual case - requiring patience for lots of little joys on the small screen, but making sense only on a large one.

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Genres

Adventure | Comedy | Family | Romance

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