Posts Tagged ‘david niven’

Around the World in 80 Days

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

Around the World in 80 Days (Two-Disc Special Edition)

Tagline – It’s a wonderful world, if you’ll only take the time to go around it!

Starring – David Niven (Phileas Fogg), Cantinflas (Passepartout), Shirley MacLaine (Princess Aouda), Robert Newton (Inspector Fix).

Released – October, 1956

Directed By – Michael Anderson

Produced By – Michael Todd Company

Distributed By – United Artists

Description – Based on the 1873 novel by Jules Verne, this is the story of English gentleman Phileas Fogg and his belief that he can travel around the world in the unheard of time of 80 days.

Fogg is a member of the Reform Club and this claim draws nothing but skepticism from the other members of the prestigious club. Fogg agrees to accept both the challenge and the very large wager (20,000 Pounds) presented to him by the other club members.

The journey will start out with a train ride and Fogg will be accompanied by his valet Passepartout. First stop, Paris.

Back in England, Fogg comes under increasing suspicion regarding the theft of 55,000 Pounds from the Bank of England. Scotland Yard assigns Inspector Fix to arrest Fogg. Meanwhile in Paris, Fogg learns of an avalanche that is blocking his intended way of travel to their next stop in Spain.

The best available option now is a hot air baloon. What follows is a constant series of adventures for our world travelers. Passepartout will find himself fighting a bull in Spain, while he and Fogg wait for the use of a fast boat for the next leg of their trip.

Back in London the quest to circle the globe in record breaking time has fueled a betting obsession. Now in Bombay and riding the rails, Fogg and his valet are stranded on railway tracks that lead to nowhere.

A premature end to the journey? Not at all, as Fogg purchases an elephant to carry them through the jungle. The pair find themselves in a situation that requires the rescue of the young widow Princess Aouda who is sentenced to burn to death.

The adventurous journey continues with stops in Calcutta, Siam, Hong Kong, Japan, San Francisco, and the area known as the Wild West where they are attacked by Indians. They board the wrong boat for their return to London and find themselves on the way to Argentina.

To make matters worse, Fogg is about to run out of money and it seems that all will be lost when they finally come up with a plan to get them back to London in time to win the wager… thanks to an extra day provided by the International Date Line.

And, just when you think things are looking up, Fogg and Passepartout find themselves caught and arrested by Inspector Fix.

NOTABLE: Around the World in 80 Days won 5 Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Writing, Best Screenplay – Adapted, Best Cinematography, Color, Best Film Editing, and Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture. The film was also nominated for Best Director (Michael Anderson), Best Costume Design, Color, and Best Art Direction – Set Decoration, Color.

This motion picture includes cameo appearances by over 40 celebrities and is generally considered the film that created the “cameo role.” In all, the cast, including extras, totaled 68,894 people, and 7,959 animals.

The barge used for the scene in Bangkok actually belonged to the King of Thailand who loaned it to producer Michael Todd.

Around the World in 80 Days set a new record for the number of costumes required with 74,685.

This motion picture ran for over three consecutive years at the Rivoli Theatre in New York, from 1956 to 1959.

Mexican star Cantinflas was the wealthiest film star in the world during the mid-1950’s. His scene fighting a bull was completed without a stunt double. Cantinflas had bullfighting experience and wanted to do the scene himself.

Over a dozen airlines provided service to the cast and crew. Before filming was completed a total of over 4,000,000 miles were traveled.


The Charge of the Light Brigade

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

The Charge of the Light Brigade

Tagline – The reckless lancers sweep on and on – so that a woman’s heart may not be broken!

Starring – Errol Flynn (Major Geoffrey Vickers), Olivia de Havilland (Elsa Campbell), Patric Knowles (Captain Perry Vickers), Henry Stephenson (Sir Charles Macefield), Nigel Bruce (Sir Benjamin Warrenton), Donald Crisp (Colonel Campbell), David Niven (Captain James Randall).

Released – October, 1936

Directed By – Michael Curtiz

Produced By – Warner Brothers

Distributed By – Warner Brothers

Description – This motion picture is loosely based on the famous Charge of the Light Brigade during the Crimean War.

Major Geoffrey Vickers and his brother Captain Perry Vickers are stationed in India with the 27th Lancers of the British Army during the Crimean War. Geoffrey is also engaged to Elsa Campbell the daughter of Colonel Campbell.

Geoffrey and English diplomat Sir Henry Harcourt are away meeting with tribal leader Amir Surat Khan to tell him that the British can no longer provide funds as they had promised. This information angers Khan, but while on a leopard hunt his life is saved by Geoffrey winning his personal loyalty as his anger at the British grows.

Geoffrey returns to Calcutta and learns that, while he was away, Elsa has fallen in love with his brother Perry. This news causes the brothers to quarrel bitterly, but before the problem escalates Geoffrey is sent to battle renegade tribesmen.

After the completion of this mission, Geoffrey moves on to Chukoti where Colonel Campbell and Elsa are not located. Perry has been sent to a nearby base in Lohara. Meanwhile, Surat Khan has been gathering his forces and when Colonel Campbell’s troops are ordered to Lohara on maneuvers Chukoti is left virtually without defense.

Surat Khan attacks and brutally slaughters the inhabitants including Colonel Campbell. Geoffrey and Elsa are spared by Khan as payment for Geoffrey saving Khan’s life. After they flee, Elsa convinces Geoffrey that she truly loves his brother Perry. Geoffrey has no choice but to accept this as fact.

To protect his brother from the next attack, Geoffrey sends him away. Surat Khan has now joined forces with the Russians and Geoffrey is ordered by Sir Charles Macefield, the commander of the British forces in the Crimea, not to attack.

Still enraged by the slaughter at Chukoti, Geoffrey rewrites the orders and leads the Lancers on a death charge against Surat Khan.

NOTABLE: The Charge of the Light Brigade won the Oscar for Best Assistant Director (Jack Sullivan), and was also nominated for Best Music, Score, and Best Sound, Recording.

During the famous charge scene, trip wires were set up on the battlefield to trip up the charging horses. Tragically, depending on which report you choose to believe, 25-200 horses were killed filming this scene. This act of animal cruelty caused the U.S. Congress to enact laws insuring the safety of animals in motion pictures.

A stuntman was also killed during filming, as he fell off his horse onto a broken sword that was wedged in a way that left it’s blade facing upward.

The Charge of the Light Brigade was the second of nine romantic pairings by Warner Brothers for Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland.