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.
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