AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS (1956) C widescreen 175m dir: Michael Anderson

w/David Niven, Cantinflas, Shirley MacLaine, Robert Newton, Charles Boyer, Joe E. Brown, Martine Carol, John Carradine, Charles Coburn, Ronald Colman

This is a delightful version of the Jules Verne tale. Phileas Fogg (Niven) bets the men of his London club that he can do it in 80 days, and away we go on a fantastic adventure.

From Variety's review of the film: "Todd-AO system here, for the first time, is properly used and fills the screen with wondrous effects. Images are extraordinarily sharp and depth of focus is striking in many scenes. David Niven, as Fogg, is the perfect stereotype of the unruffled English gentleman and quite intentionally, a caricature of 19th century British propriety. Matching him is Mexican star Cantinflas (Mario Moreno) as Passepartout. Robert Newton in the role of Mr. Fix --- the detective who trails Fogg, whom he suspects of having robbed the Bank of London --- is broad comic all the way through, and MacLaine is appealing as the princess.

"There's rarely been a picture that can boast of so many star names in bit parts. Just to name a few of the more important roles: John Carradine as the pompous Col. Proctor; Finlay Currie, Ronald Squires, Basil Sydney, A.E. Matthews and Trevor Howard as members of the Reform Club who bet against Fogg; Robert Morley as the stodgy governor of the Bank of England; Cedric Hardwicke as a colonial militarist; Red Skelton as a drunk; Marlene Dietrich and George Raft. There are many others, including Frank Sinatra in a flash shot as a piano player. Jose Greco, early in the footage, wows with a heel fandango.

"Pic's sound is extraordinarily vivid and effective and a major asset. Saul Bass final titles are a tribute to the kind of taste and imagination, the ingenuity and the splendor that mark this entire {Michael] Todd production. It's all on the screen, every penny of the $5-6 million that went into the making."

From The Movie Guide: "The star-spotting is fun, but so is the adventure, as Fogg journeys by train, ship, hot-air balloon, and elephant across Europe, India, Japan, the Pacific, the US, and the Atlantic in a race to win his bet. The film was shot in more than 100 natural settings and on 140 special sets. Everything about this big, beautiful movie smacks of authenticity, excitement, and massive showmanship. Winner of five Oscars: Best Picture, Best Screenplay [S.J. Perelman, John Farrow, James Poe], Best Cinematography [Lionel Lindon], Best Score [Victor Young] and Best Film Editing [Gene Ruggiero]."

The film was also nominated for Best Director, Color Costume Design, and Color Art Direction.

Since AROUND THE WORLD IN EIGHTY DAYS was filmed in the widescreen Todd-AO system, much heralded at the time of the film's release, seeing it without letterboxing is like missing half the movie.