Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB. USA, 1956. Michael Todd Company. Screenplay by James Poe, John Farrow, S.J. Perelman, based on the book by Jules Verne. Cinematography by Lionel Lindon. Produced by Michael Todd. Music by Victor Young. Production Design by Ken Adam. Costume Design by Miles White. Film Editing by Howard Epstein, Gene Ruggiero. Academy Awards 1956. Golden Globe Awards 1956.
Thoroughly enjoyable adaptation of Jules Verne’s popular adventure novel is highlighted by gorgeous photography and numerous celebrity cameos. British gentleman Phileas Fogg (a delightfully dapper David Niven) makes a bet with a friend that he can traverse the entire globe in exactly eighty days, then proceeds to do so. Along the way he picks up numerous travelling companions, one of them a beautiful Indian girl (Shirley MacLaine in pancake makeup) whom he saves from her husband’s funeral pyre. This film, produced by Mike Todd not too long before his tragic death, successfully captures the light air of folly featured in Verne’s equally enjoyable novel.