John Farrow

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Around The World In Eighty Days (1956) Review


Excellent
I love movies based on bets: Around the World in 80 Days is a three-hour adventure, packed with celebrity cameos (hundreds of 'em, literally), and bearing a remarkably descriptive title. This celebrated picture gives us David Niven as the inimitable Phileas Fogg, an English gentleman who accepts a wager that bets he can't travel around the world in 80 days. Setting off by balloon, ship, and train, Fogg's travels (with manservant Passepartout (Cantinflas)) takes him on a journey that was truly epic for its era. Still, it doesn't look like he's going to make it at first: one hour into the movie, he's still in Spain, at one of the longest and least interesting bullfights put on film. The cast of thousands and absurb scenarios overcomes the overlong oddities in the movie: Producer Michael Todd won the Best Picture Oscar for this, his first feature film, before dying in a plane crash two years later. Too bad so many of the stars appearing in the film are unrecognizable by today's audiences.
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