Around the World in Eighty Days

Director: Michael Anderson
Year Released: 1956
Rating: 3.0

Prim and proper (and obsessive-compulsive) English gentleman Phileas Fogg (David Niven) accepts a bet from his fellows at the Reform Club in London that he can travel all around the entire planet in (or under) the exact number of days in the title and then sets off with man-servant Passepartout (Cantinflas) getting into a wide variety of adventures ... except Inspector Fix (Robert Newton) of Scotland Yard is in pursuit, suspecting Fogg of having robbed the Bank of England. It's tempting to bonk this over the noggin for being gaudy, excessive, over-booked with cameos (Romero! Hardwicke! Lorre! Raft! Skelton! Dietrich! Sinatra! Keaton! etc.) and so forth, but I just can't do it: it does (perhaps inadvertently) suggest a kind of "Global Unity" and how, even though we all come from different cultures and economic situations, we are all living on this flying rock at the same time and that maybe we should try to see ourselves as One.  It's a movie that really and truly wants you to like it and refuses to let your attention stray - whether it's Cantinflas playing matador, or Shirley MacLaine being saved from being burned alive (in a practice that has thankfully been stopped by the Indian government), to turning into a Western in the last act (because America is a "primitive nation").  As everyone knows, this won Best Picture at the Oscars ... the same year a little movie called Giant came out.