July 3, 1957 in UK cinemas: David Niven goes Around The World In 80 Days

“It’s A Wonderful World, If You’ll Only Take The Time To Go Around It!”

Around_The_World_In_80_Days-1957Around the World in 80 Days is a 1956 American epic adventure-comedy film starring David Niven and Cantinflas, produced by the Michael Todd Company and released by United Artists.

The epic picture was directed by Michael Anderson and produced by Mike Todd, with Kevin McClory and William Cameron Menzies as associate producers. The screenplay was written by James Poe, John Farrow, and S. J. Perelman based on the classic novel of the same name by Jules Verne. The music score was composed by Victor Young, and the Todd-AO 70 mm cinematography (shot in Technicolor) was by Lionel Lindon. The film’s seven-minute-long animated title sequence, shown at the end of the film, was created by award-winning designer Saul Bass.

The film won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

In 1872, an English gentleman Phileas Fogg (Niven) claims he can circumnavigate the world in eighty days. He makes a £20,000 wager (around to £1.6 million today) with four sceptical fellow members of the Reform Club (each contributing £5,000 to the bet) that he can arrive back eighty days from exactly 8:45 pm that evening.

Cinema-UK-07-03-1957

Together with his resourceful valet, Passepartout (Cantinflas), Fogg goes hopscotching around the globe generously spending money to encourage others to help him get to his destinations faster so he can accommodate tight steamship schedules. They set out on the journey from Paris by hot air balloon upon learning the mountain train tunnel is blocked. The two accidentally end up in Spain, where Passepartout engages in a comic bullfight. Next, he goes to Brindisi. Meanwhile, suspicion grows that Fogg has stolen £55,000 (around £4.4 million today) from the Bank of England so Police Inspector Fix (Robert Newton) is sent out by Scotland Yard to trail him (starting in Suez) and keeps waiting for a warrant to arrive so he can arrest Fogg in the British ports they visit. In India, Fogg and Passepartout rescue young widow Princess Aouda (Shirley MacLaine) from being forced into a funeral pyre with her late husband. The three visit Hong Kong, Yokohama, San Francisco, and the Wild West. After sailing across the Atlantic, and only hours short of winning his wager, Fogg is arrested upon arrival at Liverpool, by the diligent yet misguided Inspector Fix.

At the jail, the humiliated Fix informs Fogg that the real culprit was caught in Brighton. Though he is now exculpated, he has insufficient time to reach London before his deadline and thus has lost everything – but the love of the winsome Aouda. Salvation is at hand when, upon returning to London, Passepartout buys a newspaper and sees it is still Saturday. Fogg then realizes that by traveling east towards the rising sun and by crossing the International Date Line, he has gained a day. There is still time to reach the Reform Club and win the bet. Fogg arrives at the club just before the 8:45 pm chime. Aouda and Passepartout then arrive, surprising everyone, as no woman has ever entered the Reform Club before.

The film boasts a huge cast, with co-stars including Robert Morley, Noel Coward, John Gielgud, Cesar Romero, Peter Lorre, George Raft, Frank Sinatra, Buster Keaton, John Mills, Glynis Johns, Richard Wattis and Keye Luke. [Wikipedia]

Watch the trailer on the Movieclips Trailer Vault YouTube Channel.

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