Five Weeks in a Balloon


1h 41m 1962

Brief Synopsis

Professor Fergusson plans to make aviation history by making his way across Africa by balloon. He plans to claim uncharted territories in West Africa as proof of his inventions worth.

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Release Date
Jan 1962
Premiere Information
Denver, Colorado, opening: 10 Aug 1962
Production Company
Cambridge Productions
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century--Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Cinq semaines en ballon; Voyage de découvertes en Afrique par trois Anglais by Jules Verne (Paris, 1863).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 41m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (DeLuxe)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1

Synopsis

In 1862, Fergusson, an engineer, is commissioned by the British government to fly his latest invention, a giant balloon carrying a gondola, 4,000 miles from Zanzibar into uncharted West Africa to claim the land around the Volta River for England. Time is of the essence, since a band of international slave traders is already pushing overland to claim the territory. Fergusson is accompanied by his young assistant, Jacques. In Zanzibar they are joined by Donald O'Shay, an American playboy reporter who will write an eyewitness account of the journey, and by a runaway female slave, Makia. Sir Henry Vining, president of the Royal Geographic Institute and debunker of the invention, is sent as the Queen's envoy to accompany them. Several days later, they rescue an American mission teacher, Susan Gale, from the clutches of a bulbous, drunken sultan, and take her aboard. Also on hand is a leering, cowardly Arab slave trader, Ahmed. When the balloon is forced down by a sandstorm, all except O'Shay are captured as infidels and ordered thrown from the tallest minaret in Timbuktu; but O'Shay arrives with the balloon and plucks them to safety. When they finally reach the Volta, the balloon collapses into the river just as the slave traders are approaching. O'Shay safely plants the flag for England, and Ahmed routs the traders by stopping their leader with a well-aimed dagger. With their mission accomplished, the adventurers shake hands on a job well done.

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Release Date
Jan 1962
Premiere Information
Denver, Colorado, opening: 10 Aug 1962
Production Company
Cambridge Productions
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century--Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Cinq semaines en ballon; Voyage de découvertes en Afrique par trois Anglais by Jules Verne (Paris, 1863).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 41m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (DeLuxe)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Location scenes filmed in California.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Winter January 1, 1962

Released in United States on Video September 14, 1989

Cinemascope

Released in United States Winter January 1, 1962

Released in United States on Video September 14, 1989