Around the World in 80 Days - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Around the World in 80 Days Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ November 14, 2011
How this won Best Picture (beating out Giant, Friendly Persuasion, The Ten Commandments, and The King and I, and The Searchers (which wasn't even nominated) is beyond me. This is a big, epic adaptation of the classic Jules Verne story of an archetypical Englishman who makes a bet he can travel across the entire world in only 80 days. As an event, sure, yeah, this was probably quite a fun spectacle to see back in 1956. Today though, this is just an overlong, kinda boring cameo fest with rather blah acting, and little sense of real adventure and excitement.

I guess for people who at the time weren't used to seeing exotic places were wowed by what this film offers, but today it's just an unspectacular and dated travelogue. Don't get me wrong, there are some things I liked. The music is decent, if a little repetitive, the end title credit sequence by Saul Bass is really cool, some of the cameos are fun (SInatra, Carradine, Keaton, Dietrich), and Cantinflas is admittedly an absolute scene stealing joyt to watch, but Niven didn't stand out for me as a wonderful lead, and Shirely MacLaine ,though I like her and understood that she did this film near the beginning of her career, really feels out of place.

The cinematography is quite excellent though, and the locations do look nice (though idealized), but overall, this is just another one of those Best Picture winners that really didn't deserve it.
Super Reviewer
½ September 5, 2010
This movie is incredibly long, and has many boring scenes with old guys sitting around talking, which got on my nerves. On the other hand the cast is good, and the story is a classic. Overall it's interesting, but it could be better.
Super Reviewer
½ June 16, 2009
Best picture?! Really? Hodgepdoge travelogue with ridiculous situations and indifferent acting. How this won over "Giant" or any of the other nominated films and prevented the immeasurably superior "The Searchers" from even a nomination is a mystery.
Super Reviewer
½ February 26, 2007
Quite terrific entertaining of Jules Verne's classic tale that has remains a treat for those who bask in the glow of gorgeous cinematography, lavish production values, and a whimsical script that retains the novel's essential elements. This film also features cameos by more than 40 cinema legends. Cantinflas made a wonderful performance as Phileas Fogg's servant, Passepartout, he's quite so funny like Charlie Chaplin.
Super Reviewer
½ March 8, 2008
Charming epic comedy with gratifying special appearances by some cinema legends. David Niven plays the quintessential english gentleman, but Cantinflas is the one who steals the show, as he always did in his native mexico. great entertainment.
Super Reviewer
½ February 8, 2007
The scenery and effects were probably amazing to the 50s audience who hadn't seen many exotic locals. I've also heard that a main reason for this film's popularity were the massive amounts of cameos by various celebrities. I like to think that through my goal to watch Oscar winning movies that I can recognize quite a few well known stars, but all these cameos are a gimmick and they don't carry the story. Where does that leave the story? It's choppy and barely sustained through the 80 days.
Cameron W. Johnson
Super Reviewer
½ August 20, 2014
Before "Logan's Run", Michael Anderson presented us "Fogg's Run"! This guy might can take only 80 days to make it around the world, but it takes a couple more than that to watch him do so. No, it takes "way" more days than that, because the total time taken up by the Edward R. Murrow-hosted prologue that has the audacity to show footage from [u]another movie[/u] ("A Trip to the Moon", if anyone's vaguely interested), and the animated credits sequence at the end, runs about 80 days, or at least it probably felt like it did at a time when they didn't even have ending credits sequences. Yeah, if you're going to be ambitious enough to employ Saul Bass to make some cartoon for you, even if you just use him at the end of your movie, he's going to need to have his time to shine, so maybe it's a good thing that this film is ultimately over two-and-a-half hours long. There better be something to justify that length, because although this film is plenty adventurous, it isn't exactly the most dramatically sweeping epic to take home Best Picture. I don't know how much depth you can get out of a film that is based on a Jules Verne novel... or features an extensive cartoon sequence by the guy whose other major globe design was for AT&T. Well, at least the film a whole lot of fun, even if it does take its time to work its way down a path that isn't even especially original.

The film has refreshing touches, but they just shine a light on the conventional aspects which render the final product predictable, and to make matters all the more aggravating, a lot of the tropes are taken from cheesy formulas. The film is not as corny as I feared it would be, thanks to all of the wit, which can still do only so much to dance around the cornball bits, even within characterization that, even in the context of this fluffy pseudo-fantasy flick, can be a little hard to buy into, limiting engagement value which is further shaken by questionable structuring. As I said, this film is simply too long, with momentum being all but completely lost once the film finds itself running into moments of sheer filler, if not overtly extensive observations of the lavish settings which force a sense of immersion, and dilute a sense of progression, though perhaps not as much as the overdrawn dedication toward each segment of this episodic adventure. I reckon the episodicity is more excusable than the many moments of playing Cantinflas' conceptually secondary lead Passepartout character over David Niven's Phileas Fogg lead, but it's still detrimental to focal consistency in this epic which thrives on its episodic shenanigans, seeing as how it doesn't have much conflict to focus on. This film is plenty well-done, despite the aforementioned issues, so the final product could have rewarded if it wasn't so superficial, even in concept, following an ultimately inconsequential story that doesn't have much value beyond the entertainment sort. It's ultimately natural shortcomings which hold the film back, but they certainly make, say, the lengthiness all the more problematic, driving the underwhelming final product as about as challenging as it is lively. Still, the point is that the film is a lot of fun, even with its superficiality, offering scope, charm and even aesthetic value.

Victor Young's Oscar-winning score is far from original, but it's closer to outstanding, with a beautiful whimsy and sweep, not unlike cinematography by Lionel Lindon which is lush and grand in scope, capturing the diverse environments of this adventurous opus beautifully. To be fair, the locations of this film are beautiful by on their own to begin with, as this film explores distinguished culture after distinguished culture, immersing you with its tastes, especially when it enhances the sets with pieces from James W. Sullivan art direction that further capture a sense of dynamicity. Really, the narrative itself is dynamic, not having enough depth or consistency to its layers for an often aimless runtime of around two hours and three quarters to feel justified, but still establishing a lot of potential for range as a cosmopolitan adventure epic. At the very least, there's a potential for entertainment value that is done about as much justice as anything, with director Michael Anderson keeping style and scene structuring tight enough to keep a sense of pacing a whole lot sleeker than the plotting's momentum. Anderson also has a knack for getting across-the-board decent performances, as this cast is full of colorful performances, the most colorful of which being by the leads, with David Niven being charismatic as a visionary and somewhat obsessive adventurer, while Cantinflas, despite having some issues with molding his Mexican accent into a French one, - ...especially during the scenes in which he speaks Spanish - is almost iconically charming as a good-hearted and colorful second-hand adventurer who particularly falls victim to shenanigans. It helps that these leads have plenty of delightful material to work with, because even though James Poe's, John Farrow's and S. J. Perelman's script gets a little excessive and formulaic to be working with such superficial subject matter, it delivers on sharp humor that often rings with moments of hilarity that stand true today, and mark heights in a cleverness that is more recurrently applied to the crafting of dynamic, colorful and altogether memorable set pieces. I've said it time and again, and I once again say that this film is a lot of fun, trying your patience, sure, and not having that much meat to begin with, but still keeping you entertained enough throughout its sprawling course to at least border on rewarding.

When the trip is done, among the many tropes in this film is cheesy occasions, while excessiveness leads to unevenness to the episodic telling of a story that isn't even all that meaty to begin with, having enough superficiality to drive the final product shy of rewarding, but not enough to prevent grand scoring and cinematography, immersive locations and art direction, colorful direction and performances, and a thoroughly clever script from securing Michael Anderson's "Around the World in 80 Days" as a thoroughly fun, if somewhat superficial epic.

2.75/5 - Decent
Super Reviewer
½ August 1, 2007
A wonderful way to spend 182 minutes. This true Hollywood magic in a classic era.
Super Reviewer
½ September 19, 2013
'Around the World in Eighty Days' is a curious disaster. Its lavish production design, expensive sets and celebrity cameos are used to disguise its shallowness, unevenness and dated British humor, but they don't. Maybe in 1956 they did, but not today. It works in small bits, but not as whole. As a side note, one of the most peculiar things about it is how Cantinflas won the Best Actor - Comedy/Musical award at the Golden Globes while the film itself won the Best Motion Picture - Drama award. No one ever brings that up and it just doesn't make a lick of sense.
Super Reviewer
December 5, 2010
Around the World in 80 Days is a 1956 adventure film based on the Jules Verne novel. The film won multiple Academy Awards, including Best Picture.
Around 1872, an English gentleman Phileas Fogg (David Niven) claims he can circumnavigate the world in eighty days. He makes a 20,000 wager (equal to 1,324,289 today) with several skeptical fellow members of the Reform Club, that he can arrive back within 80 days before exactly 8:45 pm. Very funny, with a lot of special appearances, like Frank Sinatra, Marlene Dietrich and Buster Keaton.
Over the Rising Sun
Super Reviewer
July 30, 2010
Read the book, saw the play, and now watched the movie. And do I get a gold star? No! On another note this movie was undoubtedly poorly made, with flat acting, and with a dreadful screenplay.

Save the main characters and the basic premise, this is nothing like the book. It's like the writers threw it in a blender and poured it, very slowly mind you (3 hours?!), into a movie. The dialogue was all declarative, none of it was used for character development.

The characters are in 2D: in the book Philleas Fogg is a stuck up British gentleman who resents everything in life, and in the movie he shows none of these traits, even contradicting them at times. Passepartout is supposed to be an oafish comic relief, but I didn't even smile once when I saw him.

I'm giving this a Fresh rating because it's more fun than it is good. That is not to say that this is good; it's just awful! But, I do have to give credit to some of the thrills and the extravagant movie sets.

Though the sets and costumes are stylish, every other aspect of the direction is flawed. The cinematography is sunbaked, which causes everything to be glowing white, and the entire cast had no significant presence in any of the scenes.

And now to the flaws. I watched this on a laptop, so I was able to pause and rewind each time there was a movie mistake. And man, were there a bunch. To begin with:

1. During the Japanese gymnast scene, one of the dancers trips and falls over as the curtain closes.

2. After Passepartout first meets the British detective, the image slowly fades away in silence, but you can see that the detective is still talking.

3. After Phileas Fogg, the Princess, and an Englishmen discuss how they will sail home, the camera cuts away to a shot of the ocean, then abruptly cuts back to a shot of them and they are all looking at the ground awkwardly.

4. When Phileas Fogg and Passepartout first fly into Spain in the hot air balloon, they knock over part of a building and ram into a fountain, which almost topples over.

5. During the Indian attack when Passepartout is climbing on top of the train, he is hit by an arrow which simply bounces off of him.

6. While Passepartout is bullfighting, there are two men standing right behind him for obvious safety purposes.

7. When Passepartout meets an American at a bar in front of a serve-yourself-dinner, they begin a little comedy routine where they start handing each other food and stuffing it into each other mouths. After a while this becomes apparently improvised and the comedy becomes strained.

One thing that bored me the most about the film was that for every culture there was an excessively long montage showing one of their celebrations. It might have been entertaining in the 1950s, but this definitely did not age well and is simply obnoxious nowadays.

Shirley MacLaine was really hot when she was young, and she could act too, but there's no evidence of that in her soulless performance as an Indian (WTF?!) princess. Cantiflas... I don't want to be too harsh, but he has a weird mustache and he wasn't the comic relief he should have been. And now to David Niven. Oh David Niven. You win an Oscar a year later, and you can't manage to carry on one decent performance as the most basic movie character you can play? Well, Niven's lack of talent in this role makes his chemistry with the other characters non-existent, and seeing as he's the main character, all chemistry between all the actors is lost in the entire movie.

The bright side of the acting is the numerous cameos of 1950s celebrities in suitable roles. Buster Keaton as a train conductor, Frank Sinatra as a pianist (and possibly the best cameo of all time?), Trevor Howard as a British gentleman, and my favorite: John Carradine in a bombastic performance as a stereotypical 1800s American.

Should this have won Best Picture: Fuck no. Ten Commandments, Giant, and The King and I are reasonable contenders, and Around the World In 80 Days should have just won all the technical stuff.

I wouldn't generally recommend seeing this movie in your own free time, but if you're with a group of children or your younger relatives, than it should be mostly painless. 62/100
Lord Naseby
Super Reviewer
½ April 26, 2010
This film is one of the least deserving Best Picture recipients I have ever seen. it was just horrible. it was too long, the acting was horrible, and I didn't really care if they won the bet. i just wanted the movie to end! it was just not that good. the characters annoyed me, David Niven spent most of the movie talking about his wist game or whatever the heck it was called. a huge problem that this movie had was that it was 3 hours long! it would be a much better film if it was about an hour and a half shorter. also, another problem that I had was that the score was composed of three total notes and the played those notes continuously whenever the camera wasn't on a character. it was slightly entertaining in some points but on the whole, it was a poor attempt at a movie. one of the least deserving Best Picture winners. Final Verdict (as if you couldn't figure it out on your own): this movie was a huge mistake. not deserving of Best Picture at all. replacement Winner: The King and I. it was so much better. plus Yul Brenner absolutely rocked.
Super Reviewer
April 16, 2010
When looked upon today, this film is not remembered as a Best Picture winner, but as a picture with a gazillion of cameos, packed upon a running time that could have been very shorter(at almost 3 hours). The title speaks about the plot itself, with a very moody atmosphere, sometimes being full of tracking shots of beautiful landscapes all over the world, as if a travel show but without any hosts, and sometimes, in an adventurous mood, which, in my opinion, should have stayed in that latter quality for it to prevent its sometimes dragging nature. Yet, the two leads(David Niven and Cantinflas) gave very entertaining performances, with a Shirley Maclaine awfully miscast as an Indian princess. Another thing that puts me off from the film is its savage, animalistic depiction of Cherokee Indians, a proof that Marlon Brando's stand against Hollywood's treatment of Native Americans was rightful. Peter Lorre gave the best cameo in the film, being an "M"-like menace in the first shot, then came out to be a ship steward(!), followed closely by Buster Keaton's appropriately placed one in a train.
Super Reviewer
August 1, 2008
enjoyable if a bit outdated..dine acting..and movie keeps you fun
Super Reviewer
June 1, 2007
Niven is a God. Dont you just love the architipal Englishman.
January 22, 2012
Around the world in 80 days is by no means perfect and not certainly cannot compare to compare to other movies that have won best picture over the years, but it is a solid movie nonetheless. David Niven appears to be born to be Phileas Fogg and his partner and humble servant Passepartout played by Cantiflas is a delight to watch. The movie holds well to Jules Verne book and this movie will not be too disappointing if you enjoy the book.
½ June 17, 2010
The Academy got it right: decent acting (not worthy of an Oscar), but with stunning cinematography, a beautiful soundtrack, creating an enjoyable film with a stupendous twist! The many exotic locations and exploration of different cultures are very stereotypical but create a great contrast throughout the entire movie. Today, I became easily bored with this film, not only because it is 140 minutes long, but because of this little invention called "The Internet." In the 1950's, it must have been thrilling to see all of these locations but with Google Image Search, we have become so accustomed to these images that they have lost a bit of their luster. The different locations are supported by the musical score, impressively incorporating all of this cultural music into a soundtrack that does not feel choppy. Though it isn't the greatest epic adventure ever filmed, "Around the World" is worth watching.
October 31, 2010
what struck me first about this film was the stunning cinematography--better than just about anything I think I've seen from the period. the story for me drags on a bit too long. scenes like the bullfight or parts of traveling sequences could have easily been condensed. the writing was pretty entertaining, especially considering the hilariously exaggerated English characters came from the mind of a Frenchman. the best characters were the minor ones--the cameos, the incidentals, the supporting players. the two main roles from Niven and Cantinflas were mostly very dry and boring, save for a moment here or there. an epic adventure to be sure with definite highlights of humour and entertainment, but unfortunately it just isn't a lot of fun.
May 24, 2010
There is nothing better than a great adventure classic! Get in bed roll down the windows and get ready to be enchanted by this classic!
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