Customer Reviews for

Around the World in 80 Days

Average Rating 4.5
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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Star-studded Trip Worthy of a 2-Disc Special Edition

    'Around The World in 80 Days' is producer, Mike Todd's lasting tribute to divine decadence circa 1950's super kitsch. Keeping in mind that the decade produced one lavish, eye popping spectacle after the next in an attempt to win audience away from television, 'Around the World in 80 Days' is a star-studded, over produced and overblown retelling of the classic story by visionary author, Jules Verne. Having stated the obvious, this film is also quite a lot of fun. The story - in brief - concerns a bet made by Phileus Fogg (David Niven) to members of his men's club, that he can circle the world in 80 days and be back in England in time to collect their handsome wager. On this occasion, Fogg is ably aided by his man servant, Passepartout (Cantinflas) to whom Fogg entrusts most of the seemingly benign duties on their journey. Everyone from famed Flamanco dancer, Jose Greco, to sultry Marlene Dietrich make cameo appearances, which is part of the fun of this gigantic travel log with an attitude. Shirley McClaine plays a key role as an Arabian princess, whom Fogg befriends and brings back with him to England. Over all, good humor, great fun - if a bit stuffy at times - and carried off with overwhelmingly 'splendiferous' showmanship. The transfer is quite marvelous. 'Around the World In 80 Days' was filmed in Mike Todd's patented Todd-AO widescreen format. Superior to Cinemascope in just about every way, novices to the process may find the fish eye warping of vertical and horizontal lines a bit problematic to watch but this is as Todd envisioned the film to be seen. Warner Brothers gives us a near pristine print. After some unstable color during the film's overly lengthy introduction (delivered by no less of an M.C. narrator than Edward R. Murrow), and a rather faded montage of a rocket ship blasting into space, the rest of the film exhibits a stunningly pristine, vibrant and solid color scheme that is in keeping with the high resolution of the Todd-AO film process. Colors are rich, well defined and nicely balanced. Shadow, black and contrast levels are magnificently rendered. Several outdoor scenes exhibit a slightly soft characteristic, but this too is in keeping with the original photography. Edge enhancement is rarely present. Pixelization and shimmering of fine details is never an issue. The audio is remixed to 5.1 and offers a marvelous spread - particularly in the music. Dialogue is directionalized in several scenes to good advantage. Truly, this is one heck of a good visual presentation from Warner and it is to be commended on every level. The film is divided into two parts across two discs, but, as the original road show engagement had an intermission, this break is forgivable. Both discs contain a very thorough and engaging audio commentary. As well, on disc one we get to see George Melies' A Trip To the Moon (also based on a Jules Verne novel) in its full and uncropped version. The film elements have dated badly but over all, the image quality on this short film is to be expected. On disc two we get several extra features including an hour long documentary on Mike Todd that was produced in 1968 and narrated by Orson Welles. The color balancing on this documentary is POOR, with orange flesh tones and a considerable amount of grain, dirt and scratches throughout. We also get some edited clips from Playhouse 90 and the Academy Award ceremonies that are in poor condition but interesting to view from a historical perspective nevertheless. 'Around The World in 80 Days' is the sort of grandiose production that became a main staple of the 1950s. It's loaded with kitsch, glamour, exotic locations and appearances by nearly every major star of the day. Although one could argue there were far more deserving candidates for the BEST PICTURE OSCAR, this film continues to live up to all the hype one has come to hear over the years, regarding its lengthy and lavish production. Warner's 2 disc special edition should be on everybody'

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 25, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    great old time family fun...Niven is charming

    great old time family fun...Niven is charming

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Groundbreaking, great movie

    As a teenager I saw "Around the World in 80 Days" soon after its premier. What a treat; a large, gorgeous theater, Todd-AO was brand new and exciting, etc, etc. Also, so many familiar performers, even in "cameo" roles. Over fifty years later, the film is still a treat. The two disc set includes a wonderful analysis by Robert Osborne, and many other features.

    Younger audiences may not appreciate the significance of the participation of many of the cast. Edward R. Morrow, famous for his WWII broadcasts, and later a pioneer TV newscaster, introduces the film. Cantinflas in his first American film, Frank Sinatra in a non-speaking role, Robert Newton in his last role, early Shirley McLaine, great British character actors, Fernandel, Charles Boyer,Jose Greco-- the list is endless, and impressive. David Niven IS Philias Fogg, and has rarely been better. This was Victor Young's last film score, and a great one. The theme should be familiar to most viewers. In all--a rare, glorious entertainment!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    good

    good video

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Widescreen 'Around the World' at last!

    Mike Todd's 'Around the World in 80 Days' was inexticably bound to the marvellous Todd AO widescreen process in which it was filmed. It was never meant for Pan and Scan viewing or the miniaturization of the TV screen. Home theater buffs should jump for joy that this sumptuous visual feast can at last be seen in its original format. Many shots were cut to a length that gave the eye time to wander over the scenic glories and cast-of-thousands sequences that adorn the light-hearted romp that is its story. In a pan-and-scan version, most of this dazzling splendor is utterly lost. Through all the years of Beta, VHS and Laserdisc movie releases, it was an unfathomable omission on the part of the industry that this 'Best Picture' Oscar winner never came out in a widescreen edition. Those with good home theater gear will rejoice that the film is finally available again in the only format suitable for its proper appreciation.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2009

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