Professor Fergusson plans to make aviation history by making his way across Africa by balloon. He plans to claim uncharted territories in West Africa as proof of his inventions worth.
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This review is from: Five Weeks In A Balloon (Amazon Instant Video) Guess it was ok, but not what expected from this author. Would recommend it for perhaps youth viewing. Would not care to watch it again.
I love this movie. Not only is it exciting and adventurous, it also has a rather catchy theme song. This movie also has an allstar cast (well, at least they were big stars in 1962). The characters are perfect: from the always calm and collected Professor with a dry sense of humor to the pompous general whose last request before his execution is some hot water to fill his prize teapot. I recommend this to anyone looking for a fun adventure movie.
Richard Haydn was fantastic. I love Jules Verne, especially 20,00 leagues under the sea. while this movie is old, and a little boring, i found the primitive aspects of the special effects entertaining. If you like this movie, see the Sound Ofd Music, whch was Richard Haydn Also.
This review is from: Five Weeks in a Balloon (DVD) Red Buttons won an academy award/Oscar for Sayonara but he was better known for his comedic performances! This was one of them! The kids & adults would all enjoy this movie. The special effects are not as good as they are now but consider when this movie was made & they are pretty good! It's just a fun movie without a deep dramatic plot but the idea of preventing slavery is the underlying theme & is not made fun of. I would recommend it to anyone who just wants to relax & have a fun time at home with the family, a large bowl of popcorn & some sodas! Much less expensive than going to the movies nowdays!
Barbara Eden is as beautiful as ever in this movie that reminded me a bitofAround the World in 80 Days. Mainly because of the group of people ridinghigh over the country in a hot air balloon.They have many adventures as they land in different spots.Some are exciting some are hair raising.The whole movie is fun.Can't miss with this movie.
The title song assures us that, if you fly in a balloon, nothing isimpossible. "I'm taller than an elephant and twice as powerful, too."From the first minute you know, "5 Weeks in a Balloon" will be fun witha capital F. Sure, it's easy to analyze this movie and come to theconclusion it's childish and full of clichÃ©s. But my point is,grown-ups rarely manage to make movies that really show the world as itis in the imagination of a 10 year old - an admirable quality. Whilethe real Africa is struck by war, starvation and disease, this is thefantasy Africa where rogues were colorful costumes for good looks andthe heroes will have a break in the middle of the wilderness, notworrying about the lions around, to sing a song before they go on -because they know, in a dream no-one can actually be harmed. "5 Weeksin a Balloon" may not be Irwin Allen's best movie, but I still like itas much as I did when I watched it for the first time, because onlymovie theater entertainment at its best can take us away from the realworld for an hour and a half to forget all our worries. Can't begrateful enough for that sometimes!
Before he gathered hordes of Hollywood A, B and C-list stars inoverturned luxury liners and sky-high burning buildings, Irwin Allengave the world a couple of colorful, simplistic, adventure films withcasts full of name stars, past and present. This one concerns Hardwickeand his attempts to take his experimental hot air balloon to the edgeof Africa and claim the territory for Great Britain before slavetraders can do it first. Along for the ride are perky assistant Fabian,calamity-plagued reporter Buttons and uptight military man Haydn. Theyare soon joined by runaway slave Luna and shady slave trader Lorre andone of his recent captives Eden. Together, they brave various dangerssuch as outraged natives, drunken sheiks, sandstorms and waterfalls(nearly every Allen film ever made includes some type of naturalthreat.) The film is simple-minded, non-think entertainment madewatchable by it's pallet of stars and it's varying locales. Hardwicke,wearing a fluffy wig and with his pants up near his nipples, is a longway off from "The Ten Commandments" and other, greater roles. Seeinghim paired with Fabian (!) is about the most unexpected teamingimaginable. Fabian, with his adorable 5-inch-high pompadour, looks cutethroughout, but is saddled with a hilariously awkward title song thathe sings more than once. Apparently his accordion lessons only got himthat far. Another surprising pair is that of Buttons and Eden. He is acharming character actor, but has no business headlining an adventurefilm! That's what an early Oscar win can do for (or to!) a career,though. He acquits himself fairly well, however. Eden is free of theoverstated qualities that she brought to "I Dream of Jeannie" and isrefreshingly subdued and attractive. Haydn gives a very stylized,mannered performance that may baffle those more familiar with hischummy Uncle Max character from "The Sound of Music". His inflectiondoes begin to grate after a while. Lorre manages to toss off a few drywitticisms in one of his last roles. Luna, trotting around in anabbreviated costume and a teased hairdo, is mere decoration. In caseall these people weren't wacky enough, there's a female chimpanzee onboard! Several famed actors pop up in cameo roles. An ill-lookingMarshall has a bit as The Prime Minister and legendarily tart Daniellhas a role as a Sheik. Most of the Arabian characters are portrayed bywhite men in make-up, which was customary at the time. Logisticaloddities and camp factors abound. The balloon can barely get off theground with just four men at the beginning (half the luggage getstossed), yet before long there's seven passengers and a monkey on it!Watch for the screamingly funny scene in which Eden, running across aperfectly flat, open field, manages to trip over the lone branch thathas fallen in the way. All those oranges gone to waste! The humor ispretty lame and the situations are hardly realistic, yet somehow thecornball movie winds up being fairly entertaining.
kinda like around a world travel movie. they go all over in the balloon. if you like old or just a little older movies with chases watch this. the reason why it is called 5 weeks in a balloon is most of the movie there in the balloon.
Saw this when I was ten. Great movie. A Jules Verne story and catchy song to boot!
Apart from the fact that Charles Bennett collaborated with Irwin Allen onthis project, there was absolutely nothing at all to extract from thisfilm.I read the novel alongside '80 Days Around the World' by Jules Verne andwasdeeply offended by his attitude towards the marginalized. By watching thefilm, I thought Charles Bennett (with his experience of working withAlfredHitchcock and Cecil B. DeMille) would be able to bring something to theproject. Instead, the film was just a continuity of the collaborationbetween Bennett and his successive producers and directors.The aging Sir Cedric Hardwicke and the insipid Peter Lorre added nothingwhatsoever to the entertainment value.
I had not seen this film in over thirty years and caught it just this pastweek while on holiday. I still remembered the song! And in over thirtyyears, it was the scenes with Lorre I recalled best (I wonder why?).But Red Buttons as the romantic leading man for Barbara Eden was a bitdifficult to get into. Eden of course, was full of her usual magic, reallycoming across a bit subdued from her other work, such as Dr. Lao and I Dreamof Jeannie. She works best with all her emotions and thoughts firmlyexpressed and never fluctuating. Richard Haydn with the tea kettle was morecaptivating than Fabian and Barbara Luna's romance (why did both women haveto enter as slaves?). In actuality, Fabian, Luna and Hardwicke were veryuninteresting, Buttons attempting to go from a charmer to a bungler gottiresome, only Lorre and Haydn stayed in character. Nevertheless, the cast was well-rounded out, the adventure was strong andsolid and the finale was a winner (something else I had also remembered fromover three decades ago as well. I like when I remember the endings ofmovies). Good fun movie that I would have loved to have seen become one of Allen's tvshows. Shame it didn't.And the monkey was left-handed.
Having seen the horrendous "The Lost World" (1960) a few weeks ago, Iwas afraid to revisit "Five Weeks in a Balloon." I had seen both filmswhen originally released, and had a good memory of them (including thetitle song of this one, which everybody seems to like.) "The LostWorld" turned out to be static, with terrible performances by peoplelike Jill St. John and Fernando Lamas, surrounded by fake jungles,caverns, dinosaurs and volcanoes. So when it was "Five Weeks in aBalloon" turn, I had my doubts. Surprisingly, it is quite enjoyableonce one overlooks its Hollywood version of African cultures, peopleand savannas, the stock footage, the (American) propaganda, the balloonbeing pulled by a thread during a rain storm, or Irwin Allen's handlingof action scenes. Allen directed them awkwardly, and made theproceedings look slower than what is actually happening, as the rescuescene in the mesquite or the final scene by a river. In any case, it'sa colorful and good looking CinemaScope production, with an interestingcast and many outdoors scenes that make it more attractive than Allen'sother movies. By his standards, this may be the film he directed best,leaving his productions "The Poseidon Adventure" or "The ToweringInferno" to more capable hands.
This review is from: Five Weeks In A Balloon (Amazon Instant Video) Balloons of fun and adventure, for early on in the movie industry. An enjoyable family movie. With crashing and wild animals, sultans and slave traders, you will get a wild ride from first minute of the movie to the very last.
This review is from: Five Weeks in a Balloon (DVD) The premise of the movie is to explore deepest darkest Africa and come back alive. In reality the Balloon would probably scare the crap out of the natives. I bought because of Red Buttons and Barbara eden. Ms. Eden later would be a Jinn. Red Buttons is Red Buttons.
Did no-one realize that you can't actually have a song titled 'Five Weeks ina Balloon'? Listen in amazement as Fabian croaks his way around thatone!
This review is from: Five Weeks in a Balloon (DVD) I can always remember enjoying this movie when I was a young kid at the movie theater, and this was the most entertaining movie I had ever seen!! I felt like it was a fantasy type movie like the Sinbad movies. The music is excellent and the title song always stays with you--after the movie is gone! I have been waiting for many years to relive this movie, and decided here recently to look for it. I think it's family fun type of movie. No cussing, fun violence, and funny antics!
One of the better star-studded adventure movies helmed by producer/director Irwin Allen, FIVE WEEKS IN A BALLOON (based on the Jules Verne novel) is ideal entertainment for the whole family.When a party of explorers (led by Cedric Hardwicke, Red Buttons, Richard Haydn and Fabian) set out for uncharted African territory in an elaborate hot-air balloon device, their journey instead takes them on a rollicking rollercoaster of danger, thrills and romance all the way from London to Timbuktu! Barbara Eden co-stars as the lovely schoolteacher the group saves from an Arabian slavetrader; with fine support from Peter Lorre and Barbara Luna.FIVE WEEKS IN A BALLOON, filmed in deluxe colour and CinemasScope, was a big ratings winner for 1962. The performances all-round are very pleasing, especially Richard Haydn as the dithering old Colonel, and Barbara Eden provides the requisite love interest (she'd previously worked with Irwin Allen in 1961's "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea"). The very catchy theme song, composed by Jodi Desmond, is sung over the main titles by The Brothers Four, later reprised in the movie by Fabian.Ideal lazy Saturday afternoon fare.
I well remember seeing Five Weeks In A Balloon in theaters as a lad andafter Fabian made his appearance peeking through the cabin door of theballoon, the squeals from his teenage fans pretty much drowned out thesoundtrack the rest of the film. When I got to see it later ontelevision I found it to be an unassuming film, a nice adaption ofJules Verne's story, but one strictly for the kid trade.It seems a pity to waste the literate voices of Cedric Hardwicke andRichard Haydn and Herbert Marshall on screaming teenyboppers. Not tomention the comic talents of Red Buttons. Still that's what happenedbecause the audience this film drew was for that pompadoured kid fromPhiladelphia.The United Kingdom has always prided itself on the fact that it was thefirst of western nations to outlaw the slave trade. So couched in thoseterms, its imperial ambitions in Africa seem almost noble in Five WeeksIn A Balloon. Cedric Hardwicke is a balloonist who's invented an earlyform of gas propulsion with which his assistant Fabian helps him. He'splanning to do some exploring of East Africa in and around Zanzibar.But Her Majesty in the form of Prime Minister Herbert Marshall calls onHardwicke to undertake a 4000 mile journey across Africa to get to theUpper Volta to beat a gang of slave traders of an unknown nation andplant the flag for good old Britain.Making the trip with them are Richard Haydn representing the Crown andRed Buttons as a neutral American observer and reporter. Buttons is awalking train wreck as he gets them in one scrape after another. Reddoes redeem himself in the end however. Along the way this merry bunch picks up two women rescued from theclutches of slavery, Barbaras Luna and Eden and a slave-trader playedby Peter Lorre. Lorre has the best lines in the whole film, he actuallymanages to see 'kismet, we are doomed' a few times without cracking up.Richard Haydn is usually a very funny guy, but in this film he's downright annoying. Playing his usual fussbudget character, you kind ofwonder is this the type of man who helped put together an Empire uponwhich the sun never set.Five Weeks In A Balloon is a nice film, but sad to say this cinemaversion of Jules Verne is strictly for the juveniles or for those whohave a thing for Fabian.
While I applaud the studio for releasing this wonderful Irwin Allen film from the fate of dark obscurity too many films from the golden age suffer, they should strive for the best rendition possible. In this case Five Weeks In A Balloon was filmed in CinemaScope - widescreen. This pan-n-scan dvd does not do this great flick justice. [Update: The most current version of this dvd, as of August 2012, is now presented in it's proper widescreen format. *See Comments section.]One of the least known Jules Verne-inspired films and likely one of the few that can be specifically classified as a comedy.Tells the story of trailblazing inventor Professor Angus Fergusson, played by Sir Cedric Hardwicke, who develops a revolutionary aerostatic balloon. But unlike traditional balloons, which simply funnels heated air from its source, his method utilizes mechanically assisted avionics which allows extremely rapid ascents and descents while adding pitch and yaw. Unfortunately 'The Jupiter' is mocked by the press and he himself is labeled a madman for his "imbecilic contraption", more likely to kill himself and anyone foolish enough to ride with him.His anger is only mollified when a wealthy American newspaper publisher steps in to fill the depleted financial coffers in his attempt to map the unexplored continent.The newspaperman wants two things for that fiscal support. First, exclusive rights to print the adventures of flying into the unknown. And second, the professor must take along his nephew on the journey. Portraying goofy Donald O'Shay, Red Buttons is the Paris Hilton of his day, and his wealthy uncle can no longer tolerate the public humiliation. He'll pay anything to get his troublesome kin away from the press, out of the public limelight, and cutoff from proper society. Even fund an expedition into uncharted lands.Unbeknownst to all, the professor is quietly invited to a private meeting with the Prime Minister. A meeting that is actually at the secret behest of The Crown itself, Queen Victoria, and her plan to prevent a terrible tragedy.Slave traders are inbound toward the same unexplored African lands - and should they be the first to plant their flag, will have international rights to begin taking innocents into their sick perverted trade. Her Majesty has rightly deemed it evil and has tasked Professor Fergusson to be her unofficial envoy to stop it. Britain must get there first.However, the government cannot openly condone such an adventure without risking considerable political damage. So Fergusson is asked to take on the mission without official sanction. Should things go awry, he will be left alone to suffer whatever fate befalls him. Will he accept such a dangerous mission?As if there were any question.So begins a humorous light-hearted adventure as the group, which will eventually include an escaped slave and her would-be slave captor, a rescued American missionary, 60's pop songster Fabian, and a clever chimpanzee.Personal Notes:- Sir Cedric could be an amazing dramatist - i.e. The Ten Commandments. But that deep sonorous baritone did not cover sometimes questionable performances, this film being an excellent case in point. Personally never found his work outside of drama particularly convincing.- Have always enjoyed the incredible Red Buttons in whatever he project he undertook. The man was just so entertaining, but particularly during this period of his career.- Barbara Eden is, for me, one of the most beautiful women to have ever graced the screen. Period.
No real arguments here that Five Weeks in a Balloon is infantile,poorly directed and scripted, wasteful of its acting talents, and ageneral wash in terms of meaningful content. That is all very accurate,yet the film is fun and entertaining. The Jules Verne novel does cometo life in stunning color, a cast of notables throughout with the likesof Billy Gilbert, Henry Daniell(both of these men woefully out of placeplaying Arabs - but still fun to see), beautiful Barbara Eden(not doingmuch more than looking lovely),Herbert Marshall in one of his lastscreen roles,the stunning Barbara Luna in a loincloth most of the time,madly overacting Red Buttons, every affable and witty Peter Lorreplaying a pseudo-villain, Fabian being Fabian, and the two key and mostfun performances to Cedric Harwicke as the leader of the expedition andRichard Hayden as a rival scientist doubting all his finding buteventually coming round. Basically Hayden is playing the same role heplayed in Lost World, another Irwin Allen picture, when Claude Rainsplayed the scientific renegade out to prove the world wrong. And thatis part of the main problem with this film, the script is devoid of anydepth, full of flat characterizations, unfunny lines meant to be takenas humour, and animals obviously trained living in the middle of theuntamed jungle forest. All are trademarks of Allen's work - just watchLost in Space sometime. Yet, as I said, it is fun. It's almost camp ina way and never tries taking itself seriously and that helps the sellwork for me at least. As soon as you sit down to watch the movie, thisincredibly melodic tune sung by the Brothers Four resounds over andover again and I tell you something true - lingers on with you - dayslater. You know by that thematic tune that you are not about to sitdown to Heart of Darkness or The Lion in Winter - you are watchingsomething that is meant to be fun. Five Weeks in a Balloon is justthat. - Flawed and Fun.