Michael Anderson directs David Niven, Cantinflas and Shirley MacLaine in this family adventure adaptation of Jules Verne’s classic novel where gentleman of means Phileas Fogg wagers his fortune that he can navigate the Victorian globe to a strict time limit.
A big glorious afternoon devourer. Full of cameos from stars who mean nothing to modern eyes and exotic locales visited or recreated by playful Technicolor technicians. Yes, there are dated elements; Shirley MacLaine plays an Indian Princess, there’s an extended bull fighting sequence. Yet it is rousing to see a big budget extravaganza that focuses on adult characters while still marvelling the kids. There is rarely a shot that doesn’t contain a cute animal, a dazzling piece of slapstick or an ode to a forgotten culture. Movie magic and top Niven action, it also has one of the most abrupt endings to a three hour movie ever.
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