Around the World in 80 Days. I so very much want to, but have only four vacation days saved up. However I work in a library, where imagination reigns supreme, so I’m moving on to Plan B: Around the World in 80 Days In Your Imagination. I figure that Riley Library has enough DVDs, cookbooks, photography books and stories to keep my travel urges stoked through these lingering cold days of spring. My husband enthusiastically signed on board, pleased with the reduced cost of a virtual trip. My son signed on as long as there were good snacks involved.
Jules Verne wrote the adventure novel in 1873. To prepare for our epic journey, we watched the classic 1956 movie. David Niven plays Phileas Fogg heading out from London with his valet Passepartout on a bet they can’t make travel all the way around the world in 80 days. It’s a classic 1950s lush and slow moving film, with long travelogue sequences, goofy slapstick, and lots of cameos by famous people like Frank Sinatra and Marlene Dietrich.
Next we watched Jackie Chan’s goofy remake Around the World in 80 Days from 2004. This bombed at the box office, but we enjoyed its gleeful idiocy as it veers way off the track of the original story. As in all Jackie Chan’s movies, it’s all about the elaborate choreographed fight scenes in which every possible object is turned into a weapon.
There are other movies and TV shows inspired by the story. Michael Palin from Monty Python made a documentary travel series. There was a TV remake in 1989 with Pierce Brosnan as Phileas. Alberta Theatre Projects have announced they will perform the play in November 2013.
No time for those, however, as we are busy placing our library holds on books about our first destination on the trip. We are heading south from London to Morocco!