Five Weeks in a Balloon

Overview

With Five Weeks in a Balloon, 20th Century-Fox hoped to cash on the success of the studio's earlier Jules Verne adaptation Journey to the Centre of the Earth 1959. The plot is set in motion when 19th-century explorer Fergusson Sir Cedric Hardwicke volunteers to head a balloon expedition to claim an otherwise unreachable chunk of African territory for the British Empire. Along for the ride are reporter Donald O'Shay Red Buttons, absent-minded professor Sir Henry Vining Richard Haydn, Vining's assistant Jacques ...
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Overview

With Five Weeks in a Balloon, 20th Century-Fox hoped to cash on the success of the studio's earlier Jules Verne adaptation Journey to the Centre of the Earth 1959. The plot is set in motion when 19th-century explorer Fergusson Sir Cedric Hardwicke volunteers to head a balloon expedition to claim an otherwise unreachable chunk of African territory for the British Empire. Along for the ride are reporter Donald O'Shay Red Buttons, absent-minded professor Sir Henry Vining Richard Haydn, Vining's assistant Jacques Fabian and schoolmarm Susan Gale Barbara Eden. Along the way, the little party acquires another passenger when they rescue native girl Makia Barbara Luna from a slave trader. Their many near-death experiences include a run-in with evil potentate Sheik Ageiba Henry Daniell. Other reliable characters on hand include Peter Lorre, Herbert Marshall, Reginald Owen, Mike Mazurki, and, in a dual role, sneezemaster Billy Gilbert. Since no one could be expected to take this sort of fare seriously, Five Weeks in a Balloon is played tongue-in-cheek, peppered with such overripe dialogue as "You, sir, are a cad!" and "Kismet! We are doomed!"
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Special Features

Closed Caption
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Silly but colorful, Five Weeks in a Balloon will probably be quite entertaining for very young viewers but will likely tax the patience of those above the age of 10 or 11. The Jules Verne novel that is its source is hardly a classic, but the screenplay derived from it is a decidedly slapdash affair. Given its source, it can hardly help but be episodic, but the writers have done a very poor job of providing the illusion that these episodes really add up to a greater whole. More damaging, they've provided intentionally overripe dialogue that wears out its welcome rather quickly. A better director than Irwin Allen might have been able to do something with the screenplay's tone, but all Allen does is play it for cheap laughs. The adventure sequences come off well, at least, and visually the film has a lot going for it. The cast tries hard, but Red Buttons is miscast, Fabian is embarrassing, and Cedric Hardwicke seems a bit tired. Barbara Eden is good, Peter Lorre entertaining and Barbara Luna attractive, at least. The title song is ridiculous, but it's catchy at least. As stated earlier, for kids this will provide a pleasant diversion, but adults will probably want to steer clear.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/14/2006
  • UPC: 024543228264
  • Original Release: 1962
  • Rating:

  • Source: Fox Searchlight
  • Region Code: 1
  • Time: 1:41:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 32,410

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Red Buttons Donald O'Shay
Fabian Jacques
Barbara Eden Susan Gale
Cedric Hardwicke Fergusson
Peter Lorre Ahmed
Herbert Marshall Prime Minister
Barbara Luna Makia
Billy Gilbert Sultan-Auctioneer
Reginald Owen Consul
Henry Daniell Sheik Ageiba
Mike Mazurki Slave Captain
Alan Caillou Inspector
Ben A. Astar Myanga
Raymond Bailey Randolph
Chester the Chimp The Duchess
Richard Haydn Sir Henry Vining
Technical Credits
Irwin Allen Director, Producer, Screenwriter
Charles Bennett Screenwriter
George Boemler Editor
Warren B. Delaplain Sound/Sound Designer
Albert Gail Screenwriter
Winton Hoch Cinematographer
Ben Nye Sr. Makeup
Stuart A. Reiss Set Decoration/Design
Norman Rockett Set Decoration/Design
Paul Sawtell Score Composer
Ad Schaumer Asst. Director
Walter Scott Set Decoration/Design
Jack Martin Smith Art Director
E. Clayton Ward Sound/Sound Designer
Alfred Ybarra Art Director
Paul Zastupnevich Costumes/Costume Designer
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Scene Index

Disc #1, Side A -- Five Weeks in a Balloon: Full Screen Version
1. Main Titles [2:38]
2. Dramatic Impact [2:57]
3. Financial Backing [4:59]
4. Urgent Incentive [3:15]
5. Inoffensive Young Lad [1:18]
6. Scourge of the Desert [1:39]
7. Change in Plans [3:24]
8. Five Weeks in a Balloon [5:35]
9. First Landing [1:03]
10. Stowaway [2:59]
11. A Woman's Worth [:19]
12. Fear and Awe [3:41]
13. Reviving the Sultan [3:47]
14. Sword Dance [4:37]
15. Two Moons [1:34]
16. Jungle Dreams [1:30]
17. Pushing On [2:32]
18. Attacked! [3:48]
19. Three Strikes [2:23]
20. Sandstorm [1:08]
21. Oasis [3:42]
22. Captured [6:49]
23. Death at Sundown [3:44]
24. Rescue [1:43]
25. Escape [2:32]
26. Slow Leak [3:46]
27. River's Edge [2:40]
28. Sweet Success [2:30]
Disc #1, Side B -- Five Weeks in a Balloon: Full Screen Version
1. Main Titles [2:38]
2. Dramatic Impact [2:57]
3. Financial Backing [4:59]
4. Urgent Incentive [3:15]
5. Inoffensive Young Lad [1:18]
6. Scourge of the Desert [1:39]
7. Change in Plans [3:24]
8. Five Weeks in a Balloon [5:35]
9. First Landing [1:03]
10. Stowaway [2:59]
11. A Woman's Worth [:19]
12. Fear and Awe [3:41]
13. Reviving the Sultan [3:47]
14. Sword Dance [4:37]
15. Two Moons [1:34]
16. Jungle Dreams [1:30]
17. Pushing On [2:32]
18. Attacked! [3:48]
19. Three Strikes [2:23]
20. Sandstorm [1:08]
21. Oasis [3:42]
22. Captured [6:49]
23. Death at Sundown [3:44]
24. Rescue [1:43]
25. Escape [2:32]
26. Slow Leak [3:46]
27. River's Edge [2:40]
28. Sweet Success [2:30]
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Menu

Disc #1, Side A -- Five Weeks in a Balloon: Full Screen Version
   Play
   Set-Up
      Audio: English Mono
      Audio: English Stereo
      Audio: Spanish Mono
      Audio: French Mono
      Subtitles: English
      Subtitles: Spanish
      Subtitles: Off
   Scene Selection
   Special Features
      Theatrical Trailer
      Teaser Trailer
      Photo Gallery
      Artwork Gallery
      Movietone News: A Stardom Ride for Chester the Chimp
      Movietone News Footage (No Audio)
Disc #1, Side B -- Five Weeks in a Balloon: Full Screen Version
   Play
   Set-Up
      Audio: English Mono
      Audio: English Stereo
      Audio: Spanish Mono
      Audio: French Mono
      Subtitles: English
      Subtitles: Spanish
      Subtitles: Off
   Scene Selection
   Special Features
      Theatrical Trailer
      Teaser Trailer
      Photo Gallery
      Artwork Gallery
      Movietone News: A Stardom Ride for Chester the Chimp
      Movietone News Footage (No Audio)
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