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Around the World in 80 Days
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Around the World in 80 Days: Special Edition (Dbl DVD)
Phileas Fogg bet his fellow club members that he could circle the globe in eighty days. That may not be impressive today, but in 1872, it was nearly impossible. Accompanied by his valet, Passepartout, and the wandering Princess Aouda, Fogg crosses Europe, India, Japan, the Pacific and the United States.]]>
Around the World in 80 Days on DVD sports an attractive transfer and an inside look at 1950s Hollywood. BBC Radio's Brian Sibley offers a trivia-laden commentary track, while Turner Film Classics host Robert Osborne provides some nice historical perspective in his introductions to most of the extra features. Most interesting is "Around the World with Mike Todd," a 50-minute 1968 documentary about the film's producer, covering his Broadway hits, his films, and his life with Elizabeth Taylor. There's also 47 minutes of Playhouse 90's coverage of the lavish party Todd threw at Madison Square Garden to celebrate Around the World's one-year anniversary. Shorter segments show Todd at the L.A. premiere and the 1957 Oscars. Also included is the first Jules Verne film adaptation, Georges Melies's 1902 classic "A Trip to the Moon." Finally, there's a list of the 35 people who made cameos, but it seems like a missed opportunity not to have offered easily accessible film clips from there. --David Horiuchi
- All-new digital transfer and remastered 5.1 soundtrack
- Introduction by Robert Osborne
- Documentary "Around the World with Mike Todd"
- Excerpts from "Playhouse 90's Around the World in 90 Minutes" commemorating the film's one-year anniversary
- Newsreel footage from the 1957 Oscars, and the premieres in Los Angeles and Spain
- Photo gallery
- Short "A Trip to the Moon" (1902)
- Theatrical Trailers
- DVD-ROM: Michael Todd's "Around the World in 80 Days" Almanac
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This daddy of all epic motion pictures enjoyed a consecutive three year run at Manhattan's Tivoli theater (1956-59).
In AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS, English adventurer Phileas Fogg wagers fellow Reform Club members that with all the available modern methods of late 19th Century transportation, he'll be able to circumnavigate the globe in barely 11½ weeks. Fogg (Niven) and manservant Passepartout (Cantinflas) set off on a memorable journey filled with colorful sites and unusual people.
Popular Mexican actor Cantinflas is really the star of this Oscar-winning super-widescreen, stereophonic Mike Todd travelogue that's based on Jules Verne's novel.
Nifty closing credits by Saul Bass condense a three hour story to a handful of minutes and illustrate what actors cameoed in which scene. Not included during the finale is an "extras" list of nearly 1,000 names, longest in motion picture history (see full cast at IMDb).
The largest-ever Hollywood production set other staggering records: most costumes (74,685), over 4 million air miles logged, 68,894 extras in 13 countries, 8,552 animals used, 140 sets at a half-dozen Hollywood studios, plus in Japan, Hong Kong and England. Most astounding of all: total budget for a 75 day shoot (including Marlene Dietrich's $300K gown) was only $6 million!
Parenthetical number preceding title is a 1 to 10 IMDb viewer poll rating.
(6.8) Around the World in 80 Days (1956) - David Niven/Cantinflas/Finlay Currie/Noel Coward/Robert Morley/John Gielgud/Trevor Howard/Fernandel/Charles Boyer/Evelyn Keyes/Jose Greco/Gilbert Roland/Cesar Romero/Alan Mowbray/Robert Newton/Cedric Hardwicke/Melville Cooper/Reginald Denny/Ronald Colman/Shirley MacLaine/Charles Coburn/Peter Lorre/George Raft/Red Skelton/Marlene Dietrich/John Carradine/Frank Sinatra/Buster Keaton/Tim McCoy/Joe E. Brown/Andy Devine/Edmund Lowe/Victor McLaglen/Jack Oakie/Beatrice Lillie/John Mills/Glynis Johns/Hermione Gingold/Edward R. Murrow (uncredited: Minta Durfee/Philip Ahn/Franklyn Farnum/Keye Luke/Mike Mazurki/Joe E. Ross/Marion Ross/Philip Van Zandt)
If you like vintage film post WWII, this is a worthwhile view.
The abundance of cameos must have been a real hit with movie fans at the time although the effect will be blunted today due to the unfamiliarity of today's audiences with the stars of that time although it was nice to see Frank Sinatra and my favourite Buster Keaton in action. Keaton, together with Charlie Chaplin were the kings of the silent era and while Chaplin was able to adapt somewhat to the advent of sound in films, sadly Keaton wasn't as lucky but like Chaplin, Keaton was a comedic genius.
The dvd is also a great treat as the sound quality that comes in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround is simply fantastic! Excellent sound and the best for an older film that I've ever heard to date. This shows how well a properly undertaken job at sound quality restoration can rejuvenate the older classic films if only the studios take the time and effort to do a good job. They should use this dvd as a guide in the future as to the great potential of giving new life to older films through the use of enhanced sound quality.
The picture quality using the Todd-AO process was also very, very good and the clarity is breathtaking however there are still too many white spots in much of the film for my liking. Hopefully with the advent of Blu-ray they should take the opportunity to really do a proper frame by frame clean up to totally remove as much as possible all these picture quality imperfections.
The special features are also very good with an excellent documentary on the life of producer Mike Todd whose life resembled that of the film's protagonist Phileous Fogg as one who is resourceful and willing to risk all to achieve his dreams. Another entertaining extra is the television broadcast of the "little" party that Todd threw at the Madison Square Garden to celebrating the anniversary of the success of the film.
This dvd represents excellent value but I would like to see a better restoration job on the picture quality although again the sound quality is simply brilliant. Having watched both the "Giant" dvd and this one, I am personally unsurprised that this film pipped it to the best film Oscar and in my opinion as an overall entertainment proposition, this film is indeed more deserving of the Oscar for that year.
Great film, good dvd; although you may want to wait and see if they improve even further on the picture quality for the future Blu-ray version.