with David Niven

Around the World in 80 Days (1956) is an extravaganza taken from the Jules Verne novel. David Niven plays Phineas Fogg, who undertakes a bet of 20,000 pounds that he can completely circle the globe in...80 days. His adventures cover 13 different countries and countless vignettes as he races against time.

A total of 42 big-name stars appear in small cameo roles, including Charles Boyer, Marlene Dietrich, Peter Lorre, Buster Keaton, Frank Sinatra, and, of course, Ronald Colman. (Colman reportedly was offered either a token check for his afternoon's work, or a Cadillac; he took the Cadillac.)

Fogg and his companions are speeding along a railway when the train they are on comes to a screeching halt. Fogg approaches an official in a spotless white uniform to inquire about the halt - when the official turns to speak - it is Ronald Colman.

Colman is only on screen for 60 seconds, but he imbues that minute with his characteristic polish, politeness, and humor - qualities that were becoming rare in films even in 1956. "The style of what I used to do is gone," Colman said at the time. "Romance on the screen seems to have gone into an eclipse; so has noblesse oblige and the tradition of the gentleman."

80 Days was an entertaining spectacle nevertheless, and it went on to win five Oscars that year, including Best Picture.

to films menu   ~  continue with The Story of Mankind


Home ~ Intro ~ Bio ~ Galleries ~ Guestbook ~ On Video ~ Links