Around the World in 80 Days


2h 51m 1956
Around the World in 80 Days

Brief Synopsis

A Victorian gentleman bets that he can beat the world's record for circling the globe.

Film Details

Genre
Adventure
Adaptation
Release Date
Jan 1956
Premiere Information
New York premiere: 17 Oct 1956; Los Angeles premiere: 22 Dec 1956
Production Company
Michael Todd Co., Inc.
Distribution Company
United Artists Corp.
Country
United States
Location
Paris, France; New Mexico, USA; Durango, Colorado, USA; Chinchon, Spain; Calcutta, India; Bangkok, Thailand; Bangkok,Thailand; Bombay,India; Calcutta,India; Chinchón,Spain; Durango, Colorado, United States; London, England, Great Britain; Mexico City,Mexico; Paris,France; New Mexico, United States; Nevada, United States; Pakistan
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Le Tour du monde en quatre-vingt jours by Jules Verne (Paris, 1873).

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 51m
Sound
4-Track Stereo (Mag-optical) (35 mm prints) (1956)
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.20 : 1, 1.37 : 1

Synopsis

In 1872 London, England, a newspaper headline reports the shocking news that the Bank of England has been robbed. When the fastidious Phileas Fogg arrives at the Reform Club, a private men's club, he complains that someone has already read his newspaper. Elsewhere in London, Fogg's former valet Foster goes to the employment office and quits. Foster complains to Roland Hesketh-Baggott, the recruiter, that working for a perfectionist like Fogg is torture. Overhearing their conversation, the unemployed Passepartout, a jack-of-all-trades, offers his services and is hired on the spot to replace Foster. After Passepartout meets with Fogg's approval, Fogg plays whist at the club, and discusses the robbery with other members. When they debate about how easily a criminal could hide anywhere in the world, Fogg theorizes that it would take only eighty days to travel around the world. Stewart, a club member, thinks the supposition preposterous and wagers 5,000 pounds that Fogg could not make the journey himself, with three other members joining in and raising the wager to 20,000 pounds. Fogg immediately accepts the challenge and, after finishing the game, returns home to fill a carpetbag with money and minimal provisions.

Fogg and Passepartout then embark on their trip, making Paris, France their first stop. There, Fogg consults with Gasse, the manager of the Thomas Cook travel store, who informs him that an avalanche has closed the route to Spain and recommends they travel by hot-air balloon. Undeterred, Fogg purchases the balloon, called "La Coquette," and after taking off in the airship, he and Passepartout sail over the French countryside. As they pass a mountain peak, Passepartout takes the opportunity to grab some snow with which to chill Fogg's champagne. At the Reform Club, meanwhile, the members read newspaper accounts about Fogg passing over the Maritime Alps.

After Passepartout is forced to climb the ropes and fix a broken gas valve, they are compelled to land in a town square in Spain. While waiting to meet Achmed Abdullah, who owns the fastest boat in the area, the travelers are entertained by flamenco dancers at a restaurant. When Passepartout joins the dancing with an impromptu performance, Abdullah agrees to loan Fogg his yacht, on the condition that Passepartout participate in the bullfights the next day. Although terrified, Passepartout follows the professional matadors into the ring and bravely confronts a bull, becoming a local hero when he survives the bout. In London, meanwhile, betting on Fogg's journey has grown into a national obsession. Lloyd's of London supervises the wagering, and later announces Fogg's arrival at the Suez Canal. There Passepartout has his first encounter with Inspector Fix of Scotland Yard, who is following them because he believes that Fogg is responsible for the bank robbery. After arranging with the British consulate to have Fogg arrested when he reaches Bombay, Fix poses as an agent for a steamship company and befriends Passepartout, hoping to get information about Fogg. However, the valet is only interested in discussing romance. Fogg continues to use his copious supply of cash to bribe the captain and chief engineer to speed the ship to Bombay ahead of schedule.

Upon landing, Fix discovers that a warrant for Fogg's arrest cannot be issued because the local consul has received no directive from London. After Passepartout angers a crowd by chasing a cow, he and Fogg board a train to reach Allahabad, but the train is forced to stop abruptly the next morning when the tracks end in the middle of a jungle. Fogg purchases an elephant, which carries him, Passepartout and Sir Francis Cromarty, another passenger, through the jungle. That night, they discover a Kali ritual during which Princess Aouda, the widow of a rajah, will be burned to death on a funeral pyre with her late husband. Determined to save the British-educated princess, Passepartout infiltrates the ceremony and impersonates the deceased. When the "body" appears to rise, the participants flee and Aouda escapes with Fogg, Passepartout and Sir Francis. Their adventure creates a scandal in England, where it is reported that Fogg and Passepartout were imprisoned for desecrating a temple, but posted bail and set sail for Hong Kong the next day. On the boat, Aouda plays whist with Fogg, and reveals that her never-consummated marriage was arranged.

The next day, Fix learns from a steward that Fogg plans to take a steamship from Hong Kong to Yokohama, Japan, and plots to arrest Fogg in Hong Kong. Upon arriving there, Fogg attempts to locate Aouda's uncle, but learns that he fled to Holland because of his illegal business practices. Aouda then accepts Fogg's invitation to continue the journey with him. However, Fix waylays Passepartout when he is buying steamship tickets and, after admitting his intention to arrest Fogg, drugs Passepartout's drink with opium. Fix then arranges for the unconscious Passepartout to be left in a small boat, hoping to detain Fogg. Passepartout's kidnappers flee when they hear a police whistle, and he awakens the next day aboard the steamship, having been taken there by police who found the tickets in his pocket. Passepartout is distraught when he learns his wallet is missing, and that Fogg is not onboard, but joins a circus in Yokohama to support himself.

The resourceful Fogg, meanwhile, has found alternate transportation to Yokohama, and finds Passepartout performing an acrobatic act. After being reunited, they leave Japan, and British newspapers later report that Fogg has arrived in the United States. The travelers stumble into a political campaign and parade in San Francisco, California, where Passepartout is drawn into a saloon when he spots some dancers inside. After Fogg comes in to find Passepartout, the beautiful saloon owner attempts to seduce him, but her jealous, knife-wielding bouncer warns Fogg to leave, and he and Aouda finally lure Passepartout outside. While Fix waits on the sidewalk, planning to join them on their transcontinental train ride, Fogg, inspired by the dangerous characters encountered in the saloon, sends Passepartout to purchase guns. When an electioneer named Colonel Proctor harasses Aouda, Fogg hits him on the head with his umbrella, then dodges Proctor's flying fist, which strikes Fox. Finally, with Passepartout equipped like a gunfighter, the travelers continue aboard a train, enjoying Western scenery, and witnessing a Native American peace-pipe ritual.

After safely crossing an unstable bridge over a gorge, Proctor insults Fogg during a game of whist and they challenge each other to a duel. However, their fight is precluded when the train is attacked by Sioux Indians, who kill the engineer and fireman. While Proctor and Fogg fight off Indians from inside the train, Passepartout is captured after he climbs up to the roof and jumps off to divert the tribe from the train. Later at Fort Kearney, Fogg rallies the cavalry to rescue Passepartout before he is burned at the stake. Refusing to wait a full day for the next train, the resilient travelers attach a large cloth advertisement to a wood railroad cart, which then sails them along the tracks like a ship. In England, the Reform Club members learn that Fogg and his friends have arrived in New York City and assume that he is on his way back to England. Carmichael, general manager of Lloyd's, and inspector Hunter of Scotland Yard, inform the club members that Fogg is the confirmed bank robber and will be arrested as soon as he steps foot on British soil. The members are further disappointed when they learn that Fogg has missed the boat to London and has boarded a ship bound for Venezuela, which has no British extradition treaty.

Unknown to them, Fogg has paid the captain to turn the steamship toward Great Britain. When they run out of coal, Fogg purchases the ship for cash, and then dismantles it to burn every available bit as fuel. As soon as they arrive in England, however, Fix arrests Fogg, thereby preventing him from meeting his deadline. Not long after, Fix returns to the jail to release Fogg, admitting that the real thief has been captured. A disconsolate and now impoverished Fogg returns to his London mansion, and secludes himself from Aouda and Passepartout. His spirits are soon restored when Aouda, who has fallen in love with Fogg, proposes marriage. He immediately sends Passepartout to get a reverend, and while he is out, Passepartout sees a newspaper and realizes that Fogg still has ten minutes to meet his deadline. Fogg at first dismisses as inconceivable the possibility that he made a mistake about the time, but then realizes that they had passed the International Dateline, and that Passepartout is correct. Fogg and Passepartout hurry to the club, but encounter more delays because of a hansom cab driver with hiccoughs and a reticent horse, and a charity worker praying for Fogg's sins. However, Fogg strolls into the club exactly on time, thereby winning the wager. The club members are quickly distracted, however, when Aouda enters the room, as no woman has ever been allowed on the premises. When she inquires about the rule banning women, Fogg explains that breaking the rule could spell the end of the British empire. Moments later, the normally flawless waiter drops his tray, a painting falls, and Ralph, a banker with Lloyd's, announces that this is the end.

Cast

Cantinflas

Passepartout

Finlay Currie

Member of Reform Club

Robert Morley

Ralph, a governor of the Bank of England

Ronald Squire

Member of Reform Club

Basil Sydney

Member of Reform Club

Noël Coward

Roland Hesketh-Baggott

Sir John Gielgud

Foster, ex-employee of Fogg

Trevor Howard

Fallentin, member of Reform Club

Harcourt Williams

Elderly steward at Reform Club

David Niven

Phileas Fogg

Martine Carol

Parisian girl in railroad station

Fernandel

Parisian coachman

Charles Boyer

M. Gasse, clerk at Thomas Cook in Paris

Evelyn Keyes

Tart, Paris

José Greco And His Troupe

Dancers at Cave of the Seven Winds

Gilbert Roland

Achmed Abdullah

Luis [miguel] Domingúin

Bullfighter, Spain

Cesar Romero

Henchman of Achmed Abdullah

Alan Mowbray

British consul in Suez

Robert Newton

Inspector Fix

Sir Cedric Hardwicke

Sir Francis Cromarty, Bombay-Calcutta train

Melville Cooper

Steward, R.M.S. Mongolia

Reginald Denny

Bombay police inspector

Ronald Colman

Great Indian Peninsular Railway official

Robert Cabal

Paku, elephant boy

Shirley Maclaine

Princess Aouda

Charles Coburn

Hong Kong steamship office clerk

Peter Lorre

S.S. Carnatic steward

George Raft

Bouncer at Barbary Coast saloon

Red Skelton

Drunk at Barbary Coast saloon

Marlene Dietrich

Owner of Barbary Coast saloon

John Carradine

Col. Proctor, San Francisco politico

Frank Sinatra

Pianist at Barbary Coast saloon

Buster Keaton

Train conductor, San Francisco to Ft. Kearney

Col. Tim Mccoy

Commander U.S. Cavalry, Ft. Kearney

Joe E. Brown

Stationmaster at Ft. Kearney

Andy Devine

First Mate, S.S. Henrietta

Edmund Lowe

Chief engineer, S.S. Henrietta

Victor Mclaglen

Helmsman, S.S. Henrietta

Jack Oakie

Captain, S.S. Henrietta

Beatrice Lillie

Leader of revivalist group, London

Glynis Johns

Tart, London

Hermione Gingold

Tart, London

John Mills

London cabbie with hiccoughs

Edward R. Murrow

Prologue narration

A. E. Matthews

Reform Club billiard player

Frank Royde

Ronald Adam

Walter Fitzgerald

Mike Mazurki

Drunk at Hong Kong Dive

Lola De Ronda

Flamenco dancer at Cave of the Seven Winds

Paul Haakon

Flamenco dancer at Cave of the Seven Winds

Gitanillo Heredia

Flamenco dancer at Cave of the Seven Winds

Marie Ardell

Dancer

Douglas Burnham

Dancer

Manuela De Herey

Dancer

Gloria Dewerd

Dancer

Dolores Ellsworth

Dancer

John Ferguson

Dancer

Gretchen Houser

Dancer

Leona Irwin

Dancer

Antonio Jimenez

Dancer

Joan Kelly

Dancer

Virginia Lee

Dancer

John C. Lewis

Dancer

Charles Lunard

Dancer

William Lundy

Dancer

Demita Prado

Dancer

Anita Ramos

Dancer

Paul Rees

Dancer

Joe Rudan

Dancer

Arthur Sedinger

Dancer

Pepita Sevilla

Dancer

Robert Street

Dancer

Muriel Weldon

Dancer

Angelina Bauer

Bombay temple dancer

Kathy Connors

Bombay temple dancer

Tenmana Guerin

Bombay temple dancer

Ruth Tarshis

Bombay temple dancer

Richard Aherne

Philip Ahn

Roy Aversa

Frank Baker

Alex Ball

John Benson

Leon Bouvard

Donald Brown

Ollie Brown

Theona Bryant

J. W. Burr

Al Cavens

Fred Cavens

Shih Hung Choy

Neil Collins

Cecil Combs

Louis Cortina

Ashley Cowan

Roy Darmour

Maria Delgardo

Anna De Linsky

Amapola Del Vando

Leslie Denison

Clint Dorrington

Ed Edmonson

Carli D. Elinor

Duke Fishman

Frances Fong

Raoul Freeman

Tom Fujiwara

Joseph Garcio

Harry Gilette

Joseph Glick

Arthur Gould-porter

Bernard Gozier

Ralph Grosh

Chuck Hamilton

Mahgoub Hanaf "galli Galli"

Doc Harnett

Chester Hayes

Tex Holden

David B. Hughes

Joanne Jones

Paul King

Walter Kingsford

Ben Knight

Katy Koury

Freddie Letuli

Weaver Levy

Richard Loo

Manuel Lopez

Joan Lora

Keye Luke

Robert Mcnulty

Casey Macgregor

D. Ellsworth Manning

Dewey Manning

Harry Mayo

Lorion Miller

Maria Monay

Jack Mulhall

Robert Okazaki

Manuel Paris

Jack Perrin

James Porter

Satini Puailoa

Amando Rodriguez

George Russell

Jim Salisbury

Sohi Shannon

Bhogwan Singh

Alvin Slaight

Fred O. Somers

Owen Kyoon Song

Ward Thompson

Philip Van Zandt

Frank Vessells Jr.

Al Walton

Richard Wessel

Robert Whitney

Kathryn Wilson

Thomas Quon Woo

R. Brodie

Patrick Cargill

Campbell Cotts

Felix Fetton

Cameron Hall

Maria Hanson

Roddy Hughes

Frederick Leister

N. Macowen

Bill Shine

Janet Sterke Trubshaw

Richard Wattis

Crew

Allan Abbott

Art Director and sets, U.S.

Alfonso Acebal

2d Assistant Director, Spain

Alfonso Acebal

Laborer, Spain

R. N. Acquistapace

Special Effects, boat crew

Ken Adams

Art Director, London

Ken Adams

Art Director and sets, London

Peggy Adams

Hair styling, U.S.

Betty Adamson

Ward, London

John Akers

Grip

Mme. Alaphilippe

Ward, Paris

Doris C. Albert

Musician

Samuel Albert

Musician

Jack Albin

Still Camera, U.S.

Jane Aldrich

Hair styling, U.S.

Jacqueline Allen

Singer

Hazel Allensworth

Ward, U.S.

Alonso

Makeup, Spain

Albert C. Anderson

Musician

Ernest Anderson

Pub, U.S.

Ernie Anderson

Loc crew

George F. Andrews

Driver, U.S.

Eugene Angel

Art Director and sets, U.S.

A. Appleson

Research, London

Alex Archambault

Hair styling, Paris

Monique Archambault

Makeup, Paris

James Arkatov

Musician

Reginald C. Armor Jr.

Stunts

Bunny Armstrong

Makeup, U.S.

Leland Armstrong

Electrician

Thomas Arne

Composer

Landon Arnett

Photographer, U.S.

Victor Arno

Musician

Charles Arrico

Ward, U.S.

Eugene Ashman

Ward, U.S.

Sam Ashton

Animal handler

M. Aubart

Accounting, Paris

Ernest F. Austin

Driver, U.S.--Durango, CO

Carl Axzelle

Makeup, U.S.

Alfred Baalas

Photographer, U.S.

Ernest Bachrach

Still Camera, U.S.

Robert Bain

Musician

Edythe Baird

Secretary

David Baker

Animal handler

Mme. Banguarel

Ward, Paris

Cherie Banks

Hair styling, U.S.

M. Bar

Laborer, Paris

Robert Barene

Musician

Mme. Barsky

Makeup, Paris

Saul Bass

Titles Designer

George T. Bau

Makeup, U.S.

Mme. Baudot

Ward, Paris

Paul Baxley

Stunts

Leroy A. Beach

Driver, U.S.

Dr. C. P. Beard

Tech adv, foreign loc

Fred Beard

Editor projectionist

Harold G. Becker

Floral and arboreal dec

R. A. Beirley

Driver, U.S.--Durango, CO

Bruce Bell

Floral and arboreal dec

Don Bell

Driver, U.S.

Gurney N. Bell

Singer

Mayme Bell

Secretary

Ted Bellinger

Editing

Theodore Bellinger

Sound Editing

Arnold Belnick

Musician

Beryl D. Benham

Driver, U.S.--Durango, CO

Gladys Benito

Secretary

Morris Bercov

Musician

Manuel Berenguer

Photographer, Spain

Haakon Bergh

Musician

Sally Berkeley

Hair styling, U.S.

Monty Berman

Ward, London

Cy Bernard

Musician

Yvette Bernier

Hair styling, U.S.

Louis Bernstein

Accounting, U.S.

Luis Berraquero

Laborer, Spain

Dennis Bertera

1st Assistant Director, [Spain, London and Paris]

Lucie Besag

Set teacher

William S. Bethea

Driver, U.S.

Neil Binney

Photographer, London

Donald H. Birnkrant

Photographer, U.S.

Charles F. Blackman

Makeup, U.S.

Merle Boardman

Electrician, Durango, CO

Haskell Boggs

Photographer, U.S.

M. Boisserand

Laborer, Paris

M. Bokanowski

Laborer, Paris

Jack Boland

2d Assistant Director

Ennio Bolognini

Musician

W. Roy Bolton

Special Effects, U.S.

Morris Boltuch

Musician

Bill Bonner

Photographer, London

Robert N. Bonning

Special Effects, U.S.

M. Bontemps

Photographer, Paris

José Boqueron

Accounting, Spain

M. Bordenave

Makeup, Paris

Lew Borzage

1st Assistant Director, Lawton, OK

M. Bouban

Makeup, Paris

John T. Boudreau

Musician

Eddie Box

Technical Advisor

Joseph C. Boyle

2d Assistant Director

Norman Breedlove

Special Effects, boat crew

Richard Brehm

Animal handler

Morris Brenner

Musician

Gerry Broderick

Accounting, U.S.

Edward Douglas Brown

Driver, U.S.--Durango, CO

Jerry Brown

Stunts

John D. Brown

Driver, U.S.--Durango, CO

Norma Brown

Ward, U.S.

Sophia Brown

Accounting, U.S.

Wanda Brown

Stand-in

Don Bruno

Operation Coordinator

Don Bruno

Set const

R. Bryce

Photographer, London

Frank Budz

Ward, U.S.

Willard Buell

Makeup, U.S.

Larry Bump

First aid, France

Huntington Burdick

Musician

Lillian Burkhart

Hair styling, U.S.

Bob Burrows

Stunts

E. J. Butterworth Jr.

Makeup, U.S.

Larry Butterworth

Makeup, U.S.

Dick Byron

Singer

Jack Byron

Makeup, U.S.

Audrey Call

Musician

Juan Luis Calleja

Pub, Spain

Emillo Calori

Photographer, U.S.

May Cambern

Musician

James Campbell

Animal handler

Alvin R. Cannon

Grip

M. Capel

Ward, Paris

Frank Cardinale

Ward, U.S.

Nicholas Carey

Floral and arboreal dec

José Carmona

Driver, Spain

Veda Caroll

Ward, U.S.

Charles Robert Carter

Driver, U.S.--Durango, CO

Ellis Carter

Director of Photographer, 2d unit

William Cary

Still Camera, U.S.

E. Thomas Case Jr.

Makeup, U.S.

Jack Casey

Makeup, U.S.

Jean Casey

Makeup, U.S.

Minyard Caudill

Animal handler

Justine Cavaliere

Seamstress

Edward Chaffin

Photographer, U.S.

Harley Chambers

Animal handler

John Chambers

Makeup, U.S.

Ray Chandler

Animal handler

Bud Chappell

Set const

Cheung

2d Assistant Director, Hong Kong

Wallace Chewning

Camera, documentary unit

M. Chivalie

Ward, Paris

Mme. Chivalie

Ward, Paris

Li Chou

Tech staff, Hong Kong

John Christensen

Special Effects, U.S.

Don Christie

Still Camera, U.S.

Robert D. Christie

Still Camera

John Chulay

2d Assistant Director

Asa Clark

Cutter, documentary unit

Edward W. Clark

Animal handler

Kenneth Clark

Photographer, London

Charles Clement

Music Editor

Charles Clements

Editing

Steven Clensos

Makeup, U.S.

Alfred Cline

Photographer, U.S.

Roscoe S. Cline

Special Effects, boat crew

M. Clunie

Photographer, Paris

Chuck Cochard

Pub, U.S.

Lois Green Cohen

Art Director and sets, U.S.

Eleanor Cole

Hair styling, U.S.

Delmer Combs

Animal handler

Manuel Compinsky

Musician

Sam Cook

Animal handler

John Cooley

Driver, U.S.

Frank Coon

Driver, U.S.

Russell Coon

Driver, U.S.

José Baquera Cornejo

Ward, Spain

Louise Costa

Secretary

T. R. Cotter

Sound, London

M. Cottin

Costume Designer, Paris

Harold G. Coulson

Electrician, Durango, CO

Robert Cowan

Makeup, U.S.

Walter Craig

Photographer, U.S.

William H. Craig

Driver, U.S.--Durango, CO

Marshall Cram

Musician

Howard Cramer

Animal handler

William Crider

Floral and arboreal dec

Dick Crockett

Stunts

Lucius O. Croxton

Art Director and sets, U.S.

Pat L. Cugnini

Driver, U.S.--Durango, CO

Don Cunningham

Stunts

Bob Curtis

Title animator

Sid Cutner

Orchestration

Mario Dacal

Stunts

Leonard Dahlsten

Musician

James Daly

Photographer, U.S.

Mazzios Damon

Accounting, U.S.

Madine Danks

Hair styling, U.S.

G. R. Danner

Sound, U.S.

Ike Danning

Driver, U.S.

Ken Danvers

Still Camera, London

Owen Davies

Laborer, U.S.

Robert Dawn

Makeup, U.S.

Photo Collections

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Around the World in 80 Days - Movie Posters

Videos

Movie Clip

Trailer

Hosted Intro

Film Details

Genre
Adventure
Adaptation
Release Date
Jan 1956
Premiere Information
New York premiere: 17 Oct 1956; Los Angeles premiere: 22 Dec 1956
Production Company
Michael Todd Co., Inc.
Distribution Company
United Artists Corp.
Country
United States
Location
Paris, France; New Mexico, USA; Durango, Colorado, USA; Chinchon, Spain; Calcutta, India; Bangkok, Thailand; Bangkok,Thailand; Bombay,India; Calcutta,India; Chinchón,Spain; Durango, Colorado, United States; London, England, Great Britain; Mexico City,Mexico; Paris,France; New Mexico, United States; Nevada, United States; Pakistan
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Le Tour du monde en quatre-vingt jours by Jules Verne (Paris, 1873).

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 51m
Sound
4-Track Stereo (Mag-optical) (35 mm prints) (1956)
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.20 : 1, 1.37 : 1

Award Wins

Best Cinematography

1956

Best Editing

1956
Paul Weatherwax

Best Music, Original or Comedy Series

1957

Best Picture

1956

Best Screenplay

1957

Award Nominations

Best Art Direction

1956
Ken Adam

Best Costume Design

1956
Miles White

Best Director

1956

Articles

Around the World in 80 Days


Around the World in 80 Days (1956) is one of those Best Picture Oscar® winners like Cecil B. DeMille's The Greatest Show on Earth (1952), which is more memorable for its casting and sheer spectacle than for its artistic merits. Based on the Jules Verne novel, the film faithfully follows the story of Phileas Fogg (David Niven), a Victorian gentleman who accepts a wager that he and his valet Passepartout (Cantinflas, Mexico's premier comedian) can journey around the world in record time. The major selling point of Michael Todd's production, besides the all-star international cast and exotic locales, was the added gimmick of Todd-AO, a new 65mm widescreen process that had already been used successfully in Oklahoma! (1955). But even more colorful and excessive than the film was Todd's own promotion of it, which he presented to distributors with this warning: "Do not refer to Around the World in 80 Days as a movie. It's not a movie. Movies are something you can see in your neighborhood theatre and eat popcorn while you're watching them....Show Around the World in 80 Days almost exactly as you would present a Broadway show in your theatre."

Critics of the time were apt to agree with Todd's statement that Around the World in 80 Days was not a movie. It was an event and, for some, an unendurable one that lasted two hours and forty-seven minutes. Yet Todd had a true genius for behind-the-scenes wheeling and dealing, which transformed his film into a box-office phenomena that ran in one New York theatre - the Rivoli - for 16 months! One of his talents was attracting marquee-name talent through his sheer extravagant nature. When he learned that the Jules Verne novel had been a childhood favorite of David Niven, he casually offered him the role of Phileas Fogg, to which Niven excitedly said, "I'd do it for nothing." Todd's famous remark was "You've got a deal." He enticed other actors with gifts: Ronald Colman received a new yellow Cadillac for half a day's work. Noel Coward was allowed to write his own dialogue for his cameo scene and received a Bonnard painting as a Christmas present. John Gielgud was seduced into appearing in a small role out of sheer curiosity. Todd recalled that "Gielgud asked me, 'Why do you want me to play a sacked butler? I am a Shakespearean actor.' I said, 'Because I know you could do it so well and I know it's right for you.' He said, 'Let me read it.' I gave him the pages and he read it. Then he said, 'My dear Mr. Todd, you really want me to play this? Why?...Who is playing the other part?' I said, 'Noel Coward.' He said, 'I've got to see that.' I said, 'One way for you to see it - be on the set tomorrow.' And he was on the set."

Even more astonishing was Todd's total involvement in every detail of the production. He went to Chinchon, Spain, and hired the entire population of 6,500 residents to appear in a bullfight sequence. He visited his friend, the King of Thailand, who loaned him his 165-foot-long royal barge, complete with 70 glitteringly clad oarsmen, for a scene that lasted maybe 12 seconds. In China, Todd acquired a Chinese dragon used in holiday processions, which was 250 years old, thirty-feet-long, and required 24 men to operate it. In Pakistan, the producer persuaded the Nawab of Pritim Pasha to loan him his private elephant herd. He even convinced the owner of a Durango museum piece - a train that ran from San Francisco to Colorado in 1871 - to lend it after a million dollar bond was secured.

At the end of filming, it was obvious that Around the World in 80 Days had set some new records in film production: the most people (68,894) ever photographed in separate worldwide locations; the greatest distance ever travelled to make a film (four million air passenger miles); the most camera set-ups ever used (200 more than Gone With the Wind, 1939); the most sets ever used (140 actual locations plus interiors on soundstages in London, Hong Kong, and Tokyo as well as six Hollywood studios); the most costumes ever used (74,685); and the most assistant directors (33).

In retrospect, it's easy to see that Mike Todd - born Avrom Hirsch Goldbogen in Minneapolis in 1909 - was an even more colorful and flamboyant film producer than Dino de Laurentiis of Mandingo (1975) and King Kong (1976) fame. A born showman, Todd once aspired to be the next Florenz Ziegfeld and built his theatrical career on the successes of Broadway shows and burlesque revues like Star and Garter, which featured the legendary stripper, Gypsy Rose Lee. In 1945 he entered the film business, later partnered with Lowell Thomas, and eventually became one of the original founders of the Cinerama Corporation. Todd reached his peak with his production of Around the World in 80 Days, and perhaps he could have even topped that had he not been killed in a plane crash in the Zuni Mountains of New Mexico. He was traveling aboard his private jet - named the Lucky Liz after his wife, Elizabeth Taylor - to New York to accept a "Showman of the Year" award when it went down. Around the World in 80 Days is destined to remain Todd's most significant achievement - a showcase for his widescreen process known as Todd-AO, which transforms Jules Verne's story into an eye-popping, international travelogue.

Producer: Michael Todd
Director: Michael Anderson
Screenplay: John Farrow, James Poe, S.J. Perelman
Art Direction: James Sullivan
Cinematography: Lionel Lindon
Costume Design: Miles White
Film Editing: Gene Ruggiero, Paul Weatherwax
Original Music: Victor Young
Prologue Narration: Edward R. Murrow
Principal Cast: David Niven (Phileas Fogg), Cantinflas (Passepartout), Robert Newton (Mr. Fix), Shirley MacLaine (Princess Aouda), Charles Boyer (Monsieur Gasse).
Cameos by Robert Morley, Noel Coward, John Gielgud, Martine Carol, Fernandel, Evelyn Keyes, Jose Greco, Gilbert Roland, Cesar Romero, Cedric Hardwicke, Ronald Colman, Peter Lorre, Beatrice Lillie, Victor McLaglen, Joe E. Brown, Buster Keaton, Frank Sinatra, Marlene Dietrich, Red Skelton, George Raft, John Carradine, Glynis Johns, John Mills, Andy Devine, Hermione Gingold, Jack Oakie. George Raft, Charles Coburn.
C-182m. Closed captioning. Letterboxed.

by Jeff Stafford

Around The World In 80 Days

Around the World in 80 Days

Around the World in 80 Days (1956) is one of those Best Picture Oscar® winners like Cecil B. DeMille's The Greatest Show on Earth (1952), which is more memorable for its casting and sheer spectacle than for its artistic merits. Based on the Jules Verne novel, the film faithfully follows the story of Phileas Fogg (David Niven), a Victorian gentleman who accepts a wager that he and his valet Passepartout (Cantinflas, Mexico's premier comedian) can journey around the world in record time. The major selling point of Michael Todd's production, besides the all-star international cast and exotic locales, was the added gimmick of Todd-AO, a new 65mm widescreen process that had already been used successfully in Oklahoma! (1955). But even more colorful and excessive than the film was Todd's own promotion of it, which he presented to distributors with this warning: "Do not refer to Around the World in 80 Days as a movie. It's not a movie. Movies are something you can see in your neighborhood theatre and eat popcorn while you're watching them....Show Around the World in 80 Days almost exactly as you would present a Broadway show in your theatre." Critics of the time were apt to agree with Todd's statement that Around the World in 80 Days was not a movie. It was an event and, for some, an unendurable one that lasted two hours and forty-seven minutes. Yet Todd had a true genius for behind-the-scenes wheeling and dealing, which transformed his film into a box-office phenomena that ran in one New York theatre - the Rivoli - for 16 months! One of his talents was attracting marquee-name talent through his sheer extravagant nature. When he learned that the Jules Verne novel had been a childhood favorite of David Niven, he casually offered him the role of Phileas Fogg, to which Niven excitedly said, "I'd do it for nothing." Todd's famous remark was "You've got a deal." He enticed other actors with gifts: Ronald Colman received a new yellow Cadillac for half a day's work. Noel Coward was allowed to write his own dialogue for his cameo scene and received a Bonnard painting as a Christmas present. John Gielgud was seduced into appearing in a small role out of sheer curiosity. Todd recalled that "Gielgud asked me, 'Why do you want me to play a sacked butler? I am a Shakespearean actor.' I said, 'Because I know you could do it so well and I know it's right for you.' He said, 'Let me read it.' I gave him the pages and he read it. Then he said, 'My dear Mr. Todd, you really want me to play this? Why?...Who is playing the other part?' I said, 'Noel Coward.' He said, 'I've got to see that.' I said, 'One way for you to see it - be on the set tomorrow.' And he was on the set." Even more astonishing was Todd's total involvement in every detail of the production. He went to Chinchon, Spain, and hired the entire population of 6,500 residents to appear in a bullfight sequence. He visited his friend, the King of Thailand, who loaned him his 165-foot-long royal barge, complete with 70 glitteringly clad oarsmen, for a scene that lasted maybe 12 seconds. In China, Todd acquired a Chinese dragon used in holiday processions, which was 250 years old, thirty-feet-long, and required 24 men to operate it. In Pakistan, the producer persuaded the Nawab of Pritim Pasha to loan him his private elephant herd. He even convinced the owner of a Durango museum piece - a train that ran from San Francisco to Colorado in 1871 - to lend it after a million dollar bond was secured. At the end of filming, it was obvious that Around the World in 80 Days had set some new records in film production: the most people (68,894) ever photographed in separate worldwide locations; the greatest distance ever travelled to make a film (four million air passenger miles); the most camera set-ups ever used (200 more than Gone With the Wind, 1939); the most sets ever used (140 actual locations plus interiors on soundstages in London, Hong Kong, and Tokyo as well as six Hollywood studios); the most costumes ever used (74,685); and the most assistant directors (33). In retrospect, it's easy to see that Mike Todd - born Avrom Hirsch Goldbogen in Minneapolis in 1909 - was an even more colorful and flamboyant film producer than Dino de Laurentiis of Mandingo (1975) and King Kong (1976) fame. A born showman, Todd once aspired to be the next Florenz Ziegfeld and built his theatrical career on the successes of Broadway shows and burlesque revues like Star and Garter, which featured the legendary stripper, Gypsy Rose Lee. In 1945 he entered the film business, later partnered with Lowell Thomas, and eventually became one of the original founders of the Cinerama Corporation. Todd reached his peak with his production of Around the World in 80 Days, and perhaps he could have even topped that had he not been killed in a plane crash in the Zuni Mountains of New Mexico. He was traveling aboard his private jet - named the Lucky Liz after his wife, Elizabeth Taylor - to New York to accept a "Showman of the Year" award when it went down. Around the World in 80 Days is destined to remain Todd's most significant achievement - a showcase for his widescreen process known as Todd-AO, which transforms Jules Verne's story into an eye-popping, international travelogue. Producer: Michael Todd Director: Michael Anderson Screenplay: John Farrow, James Poe, S.J. Perelman Art Direction: James Sullivan Cinematography: Lionel Lindon Costume Design: Miles White Film Editing: Gene Ruggiero, Paul Weatherwax Original Music: Victor Young Prologue Narration: Edward R. Murrow Principal Cast: David Niven (Phileas Fogg), Cantinflas (Passepartout), Robert Newton (Mr. Fix), Shirley MacLaine (Princess Aouda), Charles Boyer (Monsieur Gasse). Cameos by Robert Morley, Noel Coward, John Gielgud, Martine Carol, Fernandel, Evelyn Keyes, Jose Greco, Gilbert Roland, Cesar Romero, Cedric Hardwicke, Ronald Colman, Peter Lorre, Beatrice Lillie, Victor McLaglen, Joe E. Brown, Buster Keaton, Frank Sinatra, Marlene Dietrich, Red Skelton, George Raft, John Carradine, Glynis Johns, John Mills, Andy Devine, Hermione Gingold, Jack Oakie. George Raft, Charles Coburn. C-182m. Closed captioning. Letterboxed. by Jeff Stafford

Around the World in 80 Days on DVD


The DVD special edition of Around the World in 80 Days is in the same excessive, more-is-better style of Mike Todd's film. Packed to the gills with extra features, it's actually a more entertaining package than the actual film itself - and certainly more fun than the recent remake with Steve Coogan. Take, for instance, Disc 1 which features Part 1 of Todd's epic complete with the original Entr'acte music. It also includes the complete version of Georges Melies' seminal silent masterpiece, A Trip to the Moon (1902), commentary by BBC Radio's Brian Sibley, both the original 1956 and the 1983 reissue trailers and more.

Disc 2 (containing Part 2 of the film) is the one with the real surprises. "Around the World of Mike Todd" is a fascinating 1968 featurette on the late entrepreneur which features interview footage with his wife Liz Taylor, Gypsy Rose Lee, Ethel Merman, and others and is narrated by Orson Welles, dressed in what looks like some Napoleonic era military overcoat. Welles' narration teeters dangerously close to parody here (and seems like an early run-through for his mock-historical narration in the farce Start the Revolution Without Me, 1970) and is more likely to make you dismiss Todd as a vulgar and overbearing egotist - which he could be. That's clearly not the intention of the piece though which was created by the producer's son, Mike Todd, Jr., as a glowing testiment to his father's greatness. However, when you hear Liz Taylor's account of his whirlwind courtship of her and his relentless deal-making, you'll more likely to be put off by his non-stop chutzpah. Still, you have to admire the man's talent for self-promotion which is on shameless display in another extra - "Excerpts from Playhouse 90: Around the World in 90 Minutes." This footage from Todd's one year anniversary celebration of the release of his epic shows such media legends as Walter Cronkite hosting the event from Madison Square Garden along with game show host Gary Moore and special guests (by invitation only) such as Ginger Rogers, gossip columnist Hedda Hopper, and senator Hubert Humphrey. Typical of Todd's sense of humor is the marquee for the event which reads "A Little Private Party Tonight" - the event had over 18,000 guests.

Other extras on the disc include some highlights from the March 27th, 1957 Oscar® show with Liz Taylor and Todd cooing over each other before the cameras; outtakes from the film featuring Buster Keaton, John Carradine, David Niven, Cantinflas and Shirley MacLaine; a newsreel of Liz Taylor in Spain, and a photo gallery.

The DVD presentation gets high marks on the whole, especially considering the fact that Around the World in 80 Days was originally shown in Todd-AO, a process that required theatres to project the film on large curved screens. While the image here is formatted for a anamorphic widescreen movie, it's obvious that the transfer has some problems; there is some obvious warping on the edges of the image. But the color detail, sharpness of image and sound quality of the almost-fifty year old movie is quite good.

For more information about Around the World in 80 Days, visit Warner Video. To order Around the World in 80 Days, go to TCM Shopping.

by Jeff Stafford

Around the World in 80 Days on DVD

The DVD special edition of Around the World in 80 Days is in the same excessive, more-is-better style of Mike Todd's film. Packed to the gills with extra features, it's actually a more entertaining package than the actual film itself - and certainly more fun than the recent remake with Steve Coogan. Take, for instance, Disc 1 which features Part 1 of Todd's epic complete with the original Entr'acte music. It also includes the complete version of Georges Melies' seminal silent masterpiece, A Trip to the Moon (1902), commentary by BBC Radio's Brian Sibley, both the original 1956 and the 1983 reissue trailers and more. Disc 2 (containing Part 2 of the film) is the one with the real surprises. "Around the World of Mike Todd" is a fascinating 1968 featurette on the late entrepreneur which features interview footage with his wife Liz Taylor, Gypsy Rose Lee, Ethel Merman, and others and is narrated by Orson Welles, dressed in what looks like some Napoleonic era military overcoat. Welles' narration teeters dangerously close to parody here (and seems like an early run-through for his mock-historical narration in the farce Start the Revolution Without Me, 1970) and is more likely to make you dismiss Todd as a vulgar and overbearing egotist - which he could be. That's clearly not the intention of the piece though which was created by the producer's son, Mike Todd, Jr., as a glowing testiment to his father's greatness. However, when you hear Liz Taylor's account of his whirlwind courtship of her and his relentless deal-making, you'll more likely to be put off by his non-stop chutzpah. Still, you have to admire the man's talent for self-promotion which is on shameless display in another extra - "Excerpts from Playhouse 90: Around the World in 90 Minutes." This footage from Todd's one year anniversary celebration of the release of his epic shows such media legends as Walter Cronkite hosting the event from Madison Square Garden along with game show host Gary Moore and special guests (by invitation only) such as Ginger Rogers, gossip columnist Hedda Hopper, and senator Hubert Humphrey. Typical of Todd's sense of humor is the marquee for the event which reads "A Little Private Party Tonight" - the event had over 18,000 guests. Other extras on the disc include some highlights from the March 27th, 1957 Oscar® show with Liz Taylor and Todd cooing over each other before the cameras; outtakes from the film featuring Buster Keaton, John Carradine, David Niven, Cantinflas and Shirley MacLaine; a newsreel of Liz Taylor in Spain, and a photo gallery. The DVD presentation gets high marks on the whole, especially considering the fact that Around the World in 80 Days was originally shown in Todd-AO, a process that required theatres to project the film on large curved screens. While the image here is formatted for a anamorphic widescreen movie, it's obvious that the transfer has some problems; there is some obvious warping on the edges of the image. But the color detail, sharpness of image and sound quality of the almost-fifty year old movie is quite good. For more information about Around the World in 80 Days, visit Warner Video. To order Around the World in 80 Days, go to TCM Shopping. by Jeff Stafford

Sir John Mills (1908-2005)


He was arguably the most refined, and versatile of all English film stars in the history of British cinema. Sir John Mills, the Oscar®-winning actor whose film career spanned over 70 years, died on April 23 of natural causes in London. He was 97.

Born Lewis Ernest Watts Mills in Norfolk, England on February 22, 1908. His father was a headmaster of a village school in Suffolk, where Mills was raised. After secondary school, he worked as a clerk in a corn merchant's office while acting in amateur dramatic societies. Ever ambitious, he relocated to London in 1928 to find more work as an actor.

He took tap-dancing lessons and made his stage debut as a chorus boy in The Five O'Clock Girl at the London Hippodrome in 1929. Later that year, he joined an acting troupe that toured India and the Far East with a repertory of modern plays, musical comedies and Shakespeare. It was during this tour when he scored his big break - he was spotted by Noel Coward while in Singapore and promptly taken under the playwright's wing when he returned to London in 1931.

On his return, he starred on the West End (London's Broadway), in Coward's Cavalcade and earned the lead in a production of Charley's Aunt. His song and dance talents came in handy for his film debut, an early British musical-comedy The Midshipmaid (1932). His biggest hits over the next few years would all fall into the genre of light comic-musicals: Britannia of Billingsgate (1933), Royal Cavalcade (1935), and Four Dark Hours(1937). He scored a his first big part as Robert Donat's student in the MGM backed production Mills went on to play Robert Donat's Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939). He developed some more heft to his acting credentials that same year when he made his debut at the celebrated Old Vic Theatre as Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream.

He served briefly in the Navy, 1940-41, during World War II before receiving a medical discharge. When Mills returned to the screen, he began a great turn as the atypical sturdy, dignified Englishman ("English without tears" went the popular phrase of the day). He starred as a stalwart lead in a amazing string of hit films: In Which We Serve (1942), We Dive at Dawn (1943), This Happy Breed (1944), The Way to the Stars (1945), and Waterloo Road (1945). Although Mills was ever dependable, they did not show his breakout talents until he starred as Pip in David Lean's gorgeous adaptation of Charles Dickens' Great Expectations (1946). As the young orphan who morphs into a man of wealth and stature, Mills showed the depth as an actor by offering a finely modulated performance.

By the late '40s, Mills was a bona fide star of British films, and over the next decade the strong roles kept coming: as the ill-fated Robert Falcon Scott in Scott of the Antarctic (1948); Bassett, the handy man who tries to help a troubled child (the brilliant John Howard Davies) of greedy, neglectful parents in the superb domestic drama The Rocking Horse Winner (1950); an overprotective father who gets trapped in a murder yarn in Mr. Denning Drives North (1952); a fine Willie Mossop in David Lean's Hobson's Choice (1954); an impressive "against-type" performance as a Russian peasant in War and Peace (1956); a sympathetic police inspector coaxing the trust of a juvenile (his daughter Hayley) who knows the facts of a murder case in the underappreciated Tiger Bay (1959); a rowdy Australian sheep shearer in Summer of the Seventeenth Doll (also 1959); and arguably his finest performance - a Best Actor award at the Venice Film Festival for a hard-as-nails army colonel who fears the loss of control over his regiment in Tunes of Glory (1960).

The mid-60s saw an isolated effort as a film director: Gypsy Girl (which starred his other daughter Juliet - who would later find fame on US television in Nanny and the Professor (1970-72); and showed the development of Mills into a charming character actor: the working-class patriarch in the modest comedy The Family Way (starring Hayley as his daughter); and a terrific comic bit as a murderous Lord who tries to kill off his kin for the family inheritance in Bryan Forbes The Wrong Box (all 1966).

By the '70s, his film work slowed considerably, but he was always worth watching: an Oscar winning performance as a mute villager in David Lean¿s study of the Irish troubles Ryan's Daughter (1970); as the influential General Herbert Kitchener Young Winston (1972); and as a driven oil driller in Oklahoma Crude (1973). With the exception of a small role in Sir Richard Attenborough's Ghandi (1982 - where he was credited as Sir John Mills after his knighthood in 1976), and a regrettable cameo in the deplorable Madonna comedy Who's That Girl (1987).

Very little was seen of Mills until recent years, where the most memorable of his appearances included: Old Norway in Hamlet (1996); as the stern chairman opposite Rowan Atkinson in the hit comedy Bean (1997); and - in a daring final role for his proud career - a nonagenarian partygoing cocaine user in Stephen Fry's bawdy social satire Bright Young Things (2003)! Mills is survived by his wife of 64 years, the novelist and playwright Mary Hayley Bell; his daughters, Juliet and Hayley; son, John; and several grandchildren.

by Michael T. Toole

Sir John Mills (1908-2005)

He was arguably the most refined, and versatile of all English film stars in the history of British cinema. Sir John Mills, the Oscar®-winning actor whose film career spanned over 70 years, died on April 23 of natural causes in London. He was 97. Born Lewis Ernest Watts Mills in Norfolk, England on February 22, 1908. His father was a headmaster of a village school in Suffolk, where Mills was raised. After secondary school, he worked as a clerk in a corn merchant's office while acting in amateur dramatic societies. Ever ambitious, he relocated to London in 1928 to find more work as an actor. He took tap-dancing lessons and made his stage debut as a chorus boy in The Five O'Clock Girl at the London Hippodrome in 1929. Later that year, he joined an acting troupe that toured India and the Far East with a repertory of modern plays, musical comedies and Shakespeare. It was during this tour when he scored his big break - he was spotted by Noel Coward while in Singapore and promptly taken under the playwright's wing when he returned to London in 1931. On his return, he starred on the West End (London's Broadway), in Coward's Cavalcade and earned the lead in a production of Charley's Aunt. His song and dance talents came in handy for his film debut, an early British musical-comedy The Midshipmaid (1932). His biggest hits over the next few years would all fall into the genre of light comic-musicals: Britannia of Billingsgate (1933), Royal Cavalcade (1935), and Four Dark Hours(1937). He scored a his first big part as Robert Donat's student in the MGM backed production Mills went on to play Robert Donat's Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939). He developed some more heft to his acting credentials that same year when he made his debut at the celebrated Old Vic Theatre as Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream. He served briefly in the Navy, 1940-41, during World War II before receiving a medical discharge. When Mills returned to the screen, he began a great turn as the atypical sturdy, dignified Englishman ("English without tears" went the popular phrase of the day). He starred as a stalwart lead in a amazing string of hit films: In Which We Serve (1942), We Dive at Dawn (1943), This Happy Breed (1944), The Way to the Stars (1945), and Waterloo Road (1945). Although Mills was ever dependable, they did not show his breakout talents until he starred as Pip in David Lean's gorgeous adaptation of Charles Dickens' Great Expectations (1946). As the young orphan who morphs into a man of wealth and stature, Mills showed the depth as an actor by offering a finely modulated performance. By the late '40s, Mills was a bona fide star of British films, and over the next decade the strong roles kept coming: as the ill-fated Robert Falcon Scott in Scott of the Antarctic (1948); Bassett, the handy man who tries to help a troubled child (the brilliant John Howard Davies) of greedy, neglectful parents in the superb domestic drama The Rocking Horse Winner (1950); an overprotective father who gets trapped in a murder yarn in Mr. Denning Drives North (1952); a fine Willie Mossop in David Lean's Hobson's Choice (1954); an impressive "against-type" performance as a Russian peasant in War and Peace (1956); a sympathetic police inspector coaxing the trust of a juvenile (his daughter Hayley) who knows the facts of a murder case in the underappreciated Tiger Bay (1959); a rowdy Australian sheep shearer in Summer of the Seventeenth Doll (also 1959); and arguably his finest performance - a Best Actor award at the Venice Film Festival for a hard-as-nails army colonel who fears the loss of control over his regiment in Tunes of Glory (1960). The mid-60s saw an isolated effort as a film director: Gypsy Girl (which starred his other daughter Juliet - who would later find fame on US television in Nanny and the Professor (1970-72); and showed the development of Mills into a charming character actor: the working-class patriarch in the modest comedy The Family Way (starring Hayley as his daughter); and a terrific comic bit as a murderous Lord who tries to kill off his kin for the family inheritance in Bryan Forbes The Wrong Box (all 1966). By the '70s, his film work slowed considerably, but he was always worth watching: an Oscar winning performance as a mute villager in David Lean¿s study of the Irish troubles Ryan's Daughter (1970); as the influential General Herbert Kitchener Young Winston (1972); and as a driven oil driller in Oklahoma Crude (1973). With the exception of a small role in Sir Richard Attenborough's Ghandi (1982 - where he was credited as Sir John Mills after his knighthood in 1976), and a regrettable cameo in the deplorable Madonna comedy Who's That Girl (1987). Very little was seen of Mills until recent years, where the most memorable of his appearances included: Old Norway in Hamlet (1996); as the stern chairman opposite Rowan Atkinson in the hit comedy Bean (1997); and - in a daring final role for his proud career - a nonagenarian partygoing cocaine user in Stephen Fry's bawdy social satire Bright Young Things (2003)! Mills is survived by his wife of 64 years, the novelist and playwright Mary Hayley Bell; his daughters, Juliet and Hayley; son, John; and several grandchildren. by Michael T. Toole

Quotes

You must of read that in the Evening Standard. You never would have read that in the Times.
- Railway Official
If you catch you in here again, I'll cut you into a thousand pieces, you dunky.
- Saloon Bouncer
What kind of foreigner are you? Are you a hoochie-coochie dancer?
- Col. Proctor Stamp
What's your hurry?
- Saloon Hostess
I'm looking for my man.
- Phileas Fogg
So am I.
- Saloon Hostess
You play an abominable game of whist, sir.
- Phileas Fogg

Trivia

Origin of the term "cameo", meaning in this case a small part by a famous person.

The following famous people appear in small parts in the film, and are credited: Red Buttons, A.E. Matthews, Alan Mowbray, Andy Devine, Basil Sydney, Beatrice Lillie, Buster Keaton, Cesar Romero, Charles Boyer, Charles Coburn, Tim McCoy, Edmund Lowe, Edward R. Murrow, Evelyn Keyes, Fernandel, Finlay Currie, Frank Sinatra, George Raft, Gilbert Roland, Glynis Johns, Harcourt Williams, Hermione Gingold, Jack Oakie, Joe E. Brown, John Carradine, John Mills, Jose Greco, Luis Miguel Dominguin, Martine Carol, Marlene Dietrich, Melville Cooper, Mike Mazurki, Noel Coward, Peter Lorre, Red Skelton, Reginald Denny, Richard Wattis, Robert Morley, Ronald Colman, Ronald Squire, Cedric Hardwicke, John Gielgud, Trevor Howard and Victor McLaglen.

The barge used in Bangkok belonged to the King of Thailand, who lent it to producer Michael Todd.

This is the second Todd-AO production (the first was Oklahoma! (1955)) shot twice, first at 24 fps (to produce the general-release version in 35 mm) and finally at 30 fps (to produce the roadshow version in 70 mm). The 35 mm version is presented in conventional 2:1 squeeze anamorphic process (incorrectly credited to Todd-AO); the 70 mm version is presented in Todd-AO.

The film utilized the talents of, at that time the most animals ever in any film.

Notes

[Note: Extensive crew and cast credits in the above record, and the note below, are principally derived from the film's Almanac, titled Michael Todd's Around the World in 80 Days Almanac: The Story of the World's Most Honored Show, which was sold at road show engagements. Although hundreds of extras were listed in the Almanac, space limitations do not allow inclusion of all their credits here.]
       Around the World in Eighty Days opens, without credits, on a prologue featuring Edward R. Murrow. Murrow is seated behind a desk in a contemporary office setting and discusses the "fantastic fiction" of Jules Verne, including the novel From the Earth to the Moon, which was the basis for the 1902 Georges Méliès silent film Voyage dans la lune (A Trip to the Moon). Méliès' film is then projected as Murrow brieflya narrates. [Note: The Méliès film, which was also based on a book by H. G. Wells, is not shown in its complete version. For further information, consult the entry for the film in the AFI Catalog. Film Beginnings 1893-1910.] As the picture concludes, Murrow observes that "Jules Verne's rocket returns to the earth, a minor planet, where fiction lags behind fact."
       The film then shifts to contemporary footage of a guided missile test-launch in New Mexico. According to the Hollywood Reporter review, the film "opens up" to 28 x 56 feet for this footage, which is followed by color images of the earth seen from space, as shot by a camera mounted on the missile. The Hollywood Reporter review added that this footage was "[n]ever-before-seen." As the rocket reaches outer space, Murrow continues his narration: "You are now looking at the receding shape of this planet earth. This is how the earth looks from a camera in the rocket. Jules Verne wrote a book about going around the world in eighty days. He even predicted it could be done in eighty hours. Today, it can be done in less than half that time....There was a time not so long ago when learned men thought [the earth] was flat. Around the World in Eighty Days is the Jules Verne classic, and the world was already shrinking when it was written, and that was in 1872." The main story then opens on a scene in London, England, in 1872.
       The film closes with a scene at the Reform Club, when Robert Morley's character announces that "it is the end," in a double entendre meaning the end of the British empire because a woman is inside the club, and the end of the film. Credits immediately follow, and are introduced by a header reading "Who was seen in what scene...and who did what." The credits roll begins with cast credits, which later are interspersed with crew credits after Shirley MacLaine's name is listed; no character names are listed onscreen. The job descriptions for the crew are all in lowercase letters. The animated color credits, which were created by Saul Bass, feature caricatures and artwork of the performers and crew, and suggest the scenes in which the actors appeared. An old-fashioned bicycle represents "Passepartout," a pocketwatch with legs represents "Phileas Fogg" and "Princess Aouda" is represented by an impressionistic face with green eyes and flowing scarves. These three icons are seen throughout the credits, sometimes followed by a mustachioed face that represents "Inspector Fix."
       In addition, the music also changes to match the scenes. The cast credit for Jose Greco reads "Jose Greco and Troupe"; individual members of Greco's troupe listed in the above cast credits were derived from the Almanac. The credits for technical consultant Edward Williams and Kevin O'Donovan McClory fall under the heading "Foreign Locations." McClory's credit reads "second unit director and assistant to the producer." In the final credits sequence, various production credits appear with numerous figures depicted behind prison bars. Michael Todd's producing credit then appears, accompanied by a figure of a warden unlocking the bars and freeing the prisoners. An angel holding a book hovers overhead alongside the credit for Jules Verne; the book then drops on the head of the warden, who falls off the bottom of the screen. At the end, the Fogg clock icon enlarges and opens like a pocketwatch. The title credit is on the left side of the watch; on the right is the watch's internal mechanism, which pops apart to reveal a beating heart. The film's title is the last credit. Although most contemporary sources, including the Almanac, list the title as Around the World in 80 Days, in the end credits, Eighty is spelled out.
       Around the World in Eighty Days marked Todd's first solo effort as a film producer. It was shot extensively on location in many of the locales depicted, and used hundreds of crew and extras. According to modern sources, Todd was looking for the right property to feature his newly invented Todd-AO photographic process, which made its debut in the 1955 Rodgers and Hammerstein film Oklahoma! . Around the World in Eighty Days was born at the suggestion of British producer Alexander Korda, who had purchased film rights to the 1946 Cole Porter-scored musical play based on the Verne book, produced on stage by Orson Welles. Unknown to Korda, Todd had invested in Welles's theatrical production but, according to the Almanac, withdrew from the play due to dissatisfaction with the script. Todd later bought the film rights from Korda for $130,000, according to a September 24, 1954 Hollywood Reporter news item. The news item also reported that Todd intended to begin filming on January 16, 1955 at Shepperton Studios in London.
       Although the exact start date has not been determined, contemporary sources indicate that filming did not begin until August 1955, in Chinchón, Spain. News items also report that U.S. filming began in September 1955. A January 14, 1955 Hollywood Reporter news item reported that William Goetz was considering co-producing the film with Todd for a Columbia Pictures release, but neither Goetz nor Columbia were involved in the final production. A modern source adds that Columbia had initially agreed to fund 75% of the production, but withdrew their support before filming began. Modern sources also add that in 1956, Todd screened an incomplete version of the film for Columbia executives who were considering distributing the film, but pulled out because he believed that Columbia production head Harry Cohn would demand the right to make creative decisions.
       According to Hollywood Reporter production charts, John Farrow was initially slated to direct the film. According to modern sources, Todd was dissatisfied with Farrow's work and fired him after only two days of filming bullfight scenes in Chinchón. Todd mentioned the incident in Hollywood Reporter on March 15, 1957 in his "The Seams of the Dresses" advertising campaign (see below), referring to it as "a quick change of personnel" that "necessitated my moving in," and noting that he directed the Spanish sequences himself. He then hired Michael Anderson to shoot the British sequences of the picture, intending to have a separate American director for the U.S. scenes. Todd instead retained Anderson for the entire film. It is possible that the Chinchón footage was used only as background, as a later Hollywood Reporter news item dated August 8, 1956 reported that Cantinflas was filmed killing three bulls before a live audience at the Plaza Mexico bullring in Mexico City. Emmett Emerson, who was listed in early Hollywood Reporter production charts as Farrow's assistant director, was not credited onscreen or in the Almanac. When Anderson replaced Farrow, Emerson's name was replaced by that of Ivan Volkman in Hollywood Reporter production charts. Emerson's contribution to the final film has not been confirmed.
       A October 24, 1955 Hollywood Reporter news item listed several dancers appearing in the Bombay temple sequence. Several of these dancers were credited in the Almanac only as extras, except for Babs Christie, whose name does not appear in the Almanac. Her appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. Various Hollywood Reporter news items also include Joe Mayer, Betty Marikawa, Joan Marikawa and Satini in the cast. None of these names appear in the Almanac, and their appearance in the film has not been confirmed. However, a news item dated November 16, 1955 reported that Satini was a fire-eater; he May appear in a background scene. Modern sources add that Todd initially cast Gregory Peck in a cameo, but recast the role with Col. Tim McCoy, and that Todd had sought John Wayne for a part in the film, but was turned down. Modern sources also note that Todd hired Maurice Chevalier for the French sequence, but replaced him with Fernandel because of a dispute over billing. Actresses considered for the role of Princess Aouda, according to modern sources, included Jacqueline Park, Suzanne Alexander and Marla English.
       A October 27, 1955 Hollywood Reporter news item noted that when Todd purchased the rights to Cole Porter's music score for Orson Welles's 1946 musical adaptation of Around the World in Eighty Days, he hired conductor Hugo Winterhalter as music director for his film. However, neither contributed to the motion picture production. According to an March 11, 1957 Hollywood Reporter advertisement written by Todd, Paul Weatherwax was the primary film editor during production, and completed the first rough cut. As there were no facilities with which to view the 65mm dailies during location filming, Weatherwax, who was working in Hollywood, was often the first to see the footage. However, Weatherwax left the production, after which Todd borrowed editor Gene Ruggiero from M-G-M.
       The film was shot over a total of 160 days, although Hollywood Reporter production chart listings report only 89 days. Production statistics reported in the Almanac are as follows (except where noted): Costumes were rented from Western Costume Company in Los Angeles, and Berman Ltd. in London, as well as all the major studios. Todd procured assistance from governments in several countries, including King Phumiphon of Thailand, who loaned a royal barge and provided members of the Royal Thailand Navy to appear as oarsmen; the Emir of Falaika in then-Persia, who arranged for the use of local boats and citizens to row them; and the Nawab of Pritim Pasha in Pakistan, who loaned a herd of elephants and their herdsmen. In addition, residents of Chinchón, and local Native American tribes, including Cheyenne, Apache and Ute, appear in the film.
       According to an article in International Photographer, the hot-air balloon named "La Coquette" was rented from the Balloon Club of America. Scenes with the balloon were filmed in France, Spain and Nevada. The balloon sequence was an invention of Todd and the screenwriters, and did not appear in Verne's novel. Although the sequence of the return to England by the steamship Henrietta was originally shot at a studio using miniatures, at a cost of $75,000, 1956 Hollywood Reporter news items dated 15 February and 16 February reported that Todd was re-shooting the sequence using a full-scale ship and live actors. The re-shoot was budgeted at $350,000, and was filmed offshore of Newport Beach, CA. According to Hollywood Reporter, Todd invited members of the press to witness the event. Modern sources add that the ship was purchased from the Scripps Institute, and was remodeled for the production.
       Among the major locations cited in the Almanac, reviews and contemporary news items include Paris (France), Chinchón (Spain), Bangkok (Thailand) and Calcutta (India). Other sources add New Mexico and Durango, CO as additional locations. As reported in contemporary sources, including the Almanac, shooting on location was often problematic. In particular, the production company encountered several problems in Paris. In one instance, 2d unit director McClory had numerous cars towed away in order to allow for filming. Modern sources add that the filmmakers also pried open car windows and pushed cars out of the way. This act enraged local officials, who attempted to arrest Todd, but he had already departed with the footage. The next day, Parisian officials refused to honor location permits to all film productions, including the United Artists film Trapeze (see below). Modern sources report that Todd directed filming of animal scenes in New Mexico, which were to appear in the Western portion of the film. The total footage shot for Around the World in Eighty Days was reported as approximately 350,000 feet in a Hollywood Reporter advertisement. The Almanac noted that footage was also shot for a documentary about the making of the film, however, the documentary was never made. Other abandoned footage included two songs by Eddie Fisher, according to a modern source.
       In August 1956, Todd became embroiled in a public debate about potential Communist influences on the production of Around the World in Eighty Days. According to a August 22, 1956 Hollywood Reporter news item, Todd had hosted a luncheon for Vladimir Surin, then a Russian minister of culture, at which Todd announced that he was in pre-production on a film to be shot in Russia. The next day, Hollywood Reporter columnist Mike Connolly reported that for Around the World in Eighty Days, Todd hired musicians who had been recently fired by Universal-International for refusing to testify before the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC). Connolly mentioned by name two musicians, Eudice Shapiro and Victor Gottlieb, both of whom are credited offscreen in the Around the World in Eighty Days Almanac. Connolly posed the question as to whether there was "any connection" to Todd's involvement with Russia and the alleged-Communist musicians. Coincidentally, a news item in the same issue of Hollywood Reporter reported that musician Manuel Compinsky, another employee fired by Universal, had filed a lawsuit against the film company because of his dismissal. Compinsky is also credited in the Almanac for Around the World in Eighty Days.
       Todd responded to Connolly's charge with a full-page advertisement in the August 25, 1956 issue of Hollywood Reporter in which he refuted Connolly's conjecture. Several days later, producer Stephen C. Apostolof, of SCA Film Productions, entered the fray by posting his own full-page statement in which he urged Todd to abandon the proposed production in the Soviet Union, positing that "freedom does not exist in Russia." Todd never produced a film in the Soviet Union.
       According to numerous Hollywood Reporter news items, in September 1956, prior to the film's release, screenwriter James Poe filed a grievance with the Writers Guild of America (WGA) because his name was left out of the screen credits for Around the World in Eighty Days. At that time, only S. J. Perelman was credited onscreen for the script. Although the WGA determined that Perelman should share screenplay credit with Poe and discharged director John Farrow, Todd initially refused to add their names. Contemporary reviews such as Hollywood Reporter and Variety list only Perelman's name, although Variety acknowledged Poe and Farrow in the review's text. Todd reportedly protested the WGA's findings in a telegram, in which he insisted that not only did Poe not make significant contributions to the screenplay, but that he himself was declining screenplay credit despite having contributed to the script. Todd also asserted that he was not subject to the WGA's rulings as he had no contractual arrangement with the Guild.
       The dispute continued through October 1956, when Todd's name was placed on the WGA's official list of "unfair producers." Todd then filed suit in a Santa Monica, CA, court against his bookkeeper, Bernard Reiss, and Poe, alleging that Reiss overpaid Poe, whose claims were fraudulent. Poe responded by threatening to obtain restraining orders against the exhibition of Around the World in Eighty Days, and also filed suit against Todd and his company in a New York court. Although the specific outcomes of the lawsuits have not been determined, the viewed print only credits Poe, Farrow and Perelman with the screenplay. A modern source adds that Todd and Perelman wrote impromptu scenes for cameos featuring John Mills, Beatrice Lillie, Hermione Gingold and Glynis Johns while they were shooting in London.
       Around the World in Eighty Days opened in New York on October 17, 1956, at a theater that had been remodeled to accommodate the larger screens and sound systems for Todd-AO. Higher ticket prices accompanied the 70mm screenings and the road show exhibitions. The film was also released in 35mm prints and CinemaScope. Reviews noted an approximate running time of 175 minutes, with additional ten-minute intermissions. According to a October 22, 1956 Hollywood Reporter news item, Todd returned to Los Angeles after the New York premiere and cut three to four minutes from the footage prior to its Los Angeles release. In a modern interview, Mike Todd, Jr. reported that the total edit comprised six minutes, and included portions of the Western scenes. For the London opening, according to the modern interview with Todd, Jr., his father reduced the 65mm negative to 34mm to bypass British taxes that would have been assessed on the 70mm print.
       December 1956 Hollywood Reporter news items added that Todd also re-dubbed Around the World in Eighty Days prior to the Los Angeles premiere. Todd hired the M-G-M sound department to complete the work. As reported in Hollywood Reporter news items, the Motion Picture Sound Editors Guild (MPSE) nominated the film for best sound editing of 1956. Not long after, however, the Motion Picture Film Editors Guild questioned both the film editing, sound editing and sound recording screen credits because they did not list the M-G-M crew, which included William Steinkamp, Robert Shirley and Robert Stirling. As reported in Hollywood Reporter on December 19, 1956, Todd stated that he switched to the M-G-M crew because of his ongoing dispute with the Todd-AO Corp., which was affiliated with Kling Studio, for which the original sound crew members worked. The names of the M-G-M crew did not appear in the credits of the viewed print.
       In March 1957, prior to the Academy Awards ceremony, Todd launched a month-long advertising campaign in trade magazines such as Hollywood Reporter, which featured editorial-style sidebars with anecdotes, credits and other information about the production, written by Todd. Todd titled one of the series of advertisements "The Seams of the Dresses," so-named after an anecdote illustrating the copious detail involved in producing the film. In the first of this series, he wrote that he hoped to "give proper credit to a lot of people, well known and not so well known," who made the film possible, and noted that 68,894 people were involved in the production. The other series was titled "Around the Cracker Barrel," and often ran in the same issue. Much of the information in the advertisements is found in the Almanac.
       The Almanac sold at roadshow exhibitions appeared in three editions. Published as a hardbound book, the Almanac contained twelve sections, including a foreword by Todd, production and cast biographies, and six pages listing the full cast and crew. According to November and December 1956 Hollywood Reporter news items, the Almanac was sold in bookstores as well as theaters, and 100,000 copies were published for the second printing. In the book, the featured performers were described as having "cameo" roles. Todd adopted the word "cameo" to mean a brief, featured performance by a prominent actor in a film. Todd is quoted as saying that "[t]here have been many other pictures loaded with big names but the story has always been built around the stars. My idea was to have each star fit the part in the story." The Hollywood Reporter review noted that "'Cameo' Bits Stand Out," and reported that "All of these featured performers play so-called `Cameo' bits, but each has a moment in which to register the flavor of an unusual and interesting personality on the screen. Running into them, old friends to many in the audience, is one of the many delights of this production." The term `cameo' and the practice of featuring prominent actors in small, often uncharacteristic roles later became common to the film industry.
       Around the World in Eighty Days won the 1956 Academy Award for Best Motion Picture, Best Writing (Screenplay-Adapted), Best Cinematography (Color), Best Film Editing and Best Music (Music Score of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture), and was nominated for Best Directing, Best Art Direction (Color) and Best Costume Design (Color). Other awards include the following: Outstanding Directorial Achievement (Screen Directors Guild), Best Written Comedy (Screen Writers Branch of Writers Guild of America), Best All-Around Film (Foreign Language Press Film Critics Circle). In addition, the New York Film Critics, which added a screenwriting award in 1956, honored Around the World in Eighty Days with their first Best Screenplay award. The film was the top ranking film in the National Board of Reviews list of Best Pictures of 1956. Todd was also given a Jules Verne Medallion by The Jules Verne Society International.
       Around the World in Eighty Days marked writer/actor Noël Coward's first American screen appearance since the 1935 Paramount film The Scoundrel (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40). In addition, Around the World in Eighty Days marked the American screen debut of Mexican movie star Cantinflas, as well as the feature film debut of bullfighter Luis Miguel Domingúin. According to the Almanac, Domingúin had been retired prior to appearing in the film.
       On October 17, 1957, one year after the release of Around the World in Eighty Days, Todd held an "anniversary" party at Madison Square Garden. As noted in an article in New York Times, the event was paid for by CBS Television, which aired the live party in a ninety-minute national television broadcast. Eighteen thousand invited guests attended the event, which was billed on the Madison Square Garden marquee as "A Little Private Party Tonight." In addition, a giant cake was cut by Todd's wife, actress Elizabeth Taylor.
       Modern sources add the following information about the production: Another prologue was filmed featuring the characters Fogg, Passepartout and some of the cameo actors on a contemporary airplane flight, during which Fogg opened a book, possibly Around the World in Eighty Days. However, the prologue was apparently abandoned in favor of the more informational prologue featuring Murrow. In a modern interview, Anderson stated that stunt performers and doubles could not be used because of the detail seen in 70mm prints. As a result, Cantinflas performed his own stunts. Re-shoots continued into August 1956, and the total production budget was approximately $6 million.
       Modern sources vary as to the methods used to photograph Around the World in Eighty Days. Some report that cinematographer Lionel Lindon used two Todd-AO cameras, one at 30 frames per second for the 70mm print, and another at 24 frames per second for the 35mm print. Other sources indicate that the two cameras used by Lindon were Todd-AO and CinemaScope cameras. Modern sources also note that due to the scope of the production and the fact that there was no major studio backing him, Todd resorted to creative financing to get the picture made. Both contemporary and modern sources refer to various anecdotes illustrating the often-strained budget under which the production frequently operated. In addition to using his own funds from the sale of the Todd-AO company, Todd obtained financial backing from friends, including Lorraine Manville and Al Strelsin, the latter reportedly receiving a percentage of the profits. Todd earned back some of the money in the first months of the film's exhibition. According to a modern source, the film made $23 million in the first year.
       Several people involved in the film died during production or shortly afterward. According to a October 27, 1955 Hollywood Reporter news item, Mike Todd Productions controller Gerry P. Broderick committed suicide midway into production, on October 26, 1955. In addition, actor Robert Newton died on March 25, 1956, not long after concluding his work as "Inspector Fix." Later that year, music director and composer Victor Young died on 10 Nov. Young was posthumously awarded the Academy Award for his score for Around the World in Eighty Days. In addition, associate producer William Cameron Menzies, a renowned production designer and director, died on 5 March 1957.
       Todd was killed in a plane crash in New Mexico on March 22, 1958. Although Todd had been preparing a film of the Miguel Cervantes novel Don Quixote, Around the World in Eighty Days was his last motion picture. The crash also took the life of screenwriter Art Cohn, who had written a short piece titled "Around Mike Todd in Eighty Moods" for the Almanac. The men were headed to New York where Todd was scheduled to be the featured guest of a Friars Club testimonial dinner. Todd was survived by Taylor, their daughter, Elizabeth Todd and Todd's son from a previous marriage, Michael Todd, Jr.
       According to a December 15, 1959 Hollywood Reporter article, Michael Todd, Jr. was planning a musical comedy stage version of the film, with additional lyrics written by Harold Adamson, who wrote the lyrics for the film; however, this production was never made. Verne's novel has been the basis for several television programs, including the following: A 1972 animated Australian series starring Alistair Duncan as the voice of Phileas Fogg and Ross Higgins as Passepartout; a 1989 documentary travel series starring actor Michael Palin, who attempted to follow Fogg's routes; and a 1989 miniseries directed by Buzz Kulik, and starring Pierce Brosnan as Fogg and Eric Idle as Passepartout. Another feature film adaptation of Verne's novel was released 2004, directed by Frank Coraci and starring Jackie Chan as Passepartout, Steve Coogan as Fogg and featuring numerous prominent actors making cameo appearances.

Miscellaneous Notes

1956 Golden Globe Winner for Best Picture and Best Actor--comedy (Cantinflas).

Voted Best Picture and Best Writing (Perelman) by the 1956 New York Times Film Critics.

Voted One of the Years Ten Best Films by the 1956 New York Times Film Critics.

Released in United States 1978

Released in United States Fall October 1956

Released in United States on Video October 1988

Todd-AO

Released in United States 1978 (Shown at FILMEX: Los Angeles International Film Exposition (Special Programs - "Salute to Oscar" - Filmex Marathon) April 13 - May 7, 1978.)

Released in United States Fall October 1956

Released in United States on Video October 1988