Sunday, August 14, 2011

Around the World three times

Well, I finished reading Verne's Around the World in Eighty Days, and enjoyed it. Near the end I was surprised to read about Fogg buying Captain Speedy's ship and having the crew dismantle and burn any wooden parts for fuel. That's very similar to a passage in Nicholas Meyer's The Seven-Per-Cent Solution, where Holmes and company dismantle a train for fuel so they can catch up to the villain's getaway train. I had thought that was Meyer's original idea, but it appears he was borrowing from a different Victorian classic. Oh well.

Anyway, in Verne's book I was amused when, on the train in Utah, a Mormon preacher gives a lecture to the passengers about the history of his religion. Passepartout sits through the whole lecture while other passengers walk out, and Verne never says a disparaging word about it. He just reports the preacher telling the entire Joseph Smith history, and how the Mormons have been driven out of various towns until they settled in Utah, and how poor Brigham Young is in jail now and the United States have made Utah outlaw polygamy. The Mormon preacher ends by asking if Passepartout will convert and join them, but Passepartout simply says, "No!" and leaves. It's an amusing digression from the journey, but it's never been featured in a film version.

To my disappointment, Aouda remained a cipher throughout the book; I'm not even sure what her full name was. Several times Verne stops to reveal (or even ask rhetorically) what Passepartout is thinking, or Fix, or Fogg. But there is nothing of that depth in Aouda, other than her continual gratitude to Fogg and concern that he should not be hurt or lose his wager. About the only personality she displayed was when she also shot at the Indians attacking their train in Nebraska, rather than being a passive damsel in distress as she had been before. Aouda is English-educated, but I didn't realize that this would include knowing how to fire a rifle. Did she have to hunt in India? Also, she was the one who proposed to Phileas Fogg when they thought he lost the bet. He showed no masculine embarrassment, nor even a suspicion that she was doing it so that he could have her money (presumably her uncle in Holland would be rich and she would inherit). He simply accepts the proposal with genuine happiness and confesses that he loves her. Actually, I think Fogg in a way was an unreadable cipher too, always being private and never showing emotion even when his friends felt anxious about him losing the wager. Stiff upper lip is one thing, but to have no hint at all of his emotions, other than him punching Fix at the end, made him somewhat improbable to believe.

Anyway, after I finished the book, I also ordered two DVD adaptations of the story, the famous 1956 epic starring David Niven and Cantinflas, and the TV miniseries starring Pierce Brosnan and Eric Idle. I can't say I preferred one version to another, for they both had their strengths and weaknesses.

The 1956 film was a spectacular hit by producer Mike Todd, who talked many stars into appearing in cameo roles. However it is seriously marred by the opening prologue, which is not even in the same aspect ratio as the rest of the film. Moreover, it's an introduction by Edward R. Murrow of a silent film short of another Verne book, followed by footage of an unmanned rocket launch, before we finally get to the main action in 1872. The DVD commentaries claim that this irrelevant garbage was put there to impress the viewers with the new, larger aspect ratio of the film and to invite comparisons about how far technology and travel have come. I just don't give a crap about that, when the movie is already 3 hours long, and I came for the story. It's like how Billy Wilder wanted to do a present-day prologue for The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, showing us Watson's veterinarian grandson. Who cares? I want the meat of story.

Once the main story starts, it gets much better, and Cantinflas, a major Latin American star of the time, plays Passepartout quite deftly. He's very funny and entertaining as a ladies' man, acrobat, and resourceful servant. You think at first that he'd be turned away by Fogg (or the employment agency) because of his tramp-like pants, but he makes it through anyway. Besides Passepartout's nationality, there are other changes made to the story. In Verne's book, there is never any hot air balloon ride, and there is no difficulty in their crossing Europe by train and steamer. It's all over in a week; the excitement only starts once they get to the Suez Canal, and Detective Fix first gets on their trail.

In Todd's movie, an avalanche delays their train out of Paris, and by an incredible coincidence, their travel agent is a balloonist willing to sell them his balloon. So with great fanfare they take off in the hot air balloon, enjoying the view of the French countryside, castles, etc. The DVD commentary says that David Niven was afraid of heights and even had difficulty filming in a studio set, where the balloon was held still by a crane. None of his nervousness shows in the movie, which is a testament to his acting ability. Fogg and Passepartout mistakenly land in Spain instead of Marseille, France, where they need to catch a steamer. Here Passepartout's ability to speak Spanish comes in handy, as he asks the townspeople where they can find a boat to take them to Marseille. Coincidentally (again), a wealthy Arab is in town with a fast yacht, and he spends his nights in a club called the Cave of the Seven Winds.

So Fogg and Passepartout go there, watch some talented Spanish dancers, and then ask the favor of the Arab. He's interested in bullfighting and was impressed by Passepartout's earlier dancing moves, so he talks them into participating in a bullfight the next day. Passepartout does the bullfight, but in the film we don't see any blood or killing. Mostly we just see the matadors sweeping their varied color capes before the bull, and then Passepartout is carried off in triumph. I wonder if the bulls were really killed afterward, or if they might have been spared, as they were on film. The DVD commentaries don't say a word about it. Anyway, Fogg and Passepartout get their ride to Marseille.

From that point on, Todd's movie is almost entirely faithful to Verne's book in every detail, even down to Passepartout leaving the gas on in his room and having to pay for it when they return to London. One departure is that Passepartout has an amusing scene in India where he interferes with a snake-charming trick and then shoos a cow away from a flower stand using some bullfight cape-work. It's a good, believable touch that he misunderstands the local culture; that's what leads to several men chasing him into a temple, although they don't get into trouble for running through with their shoes on. Another departure is that after they rescue the Princess Aouda, she keeps her Indian garments on, whereas in the book Verne had Fogg buy English clothes for her, I guess to help disguise her better so she could not be kidnapped again. (But still, it'd be awkward to redress her while she's still drugged unconscious. And how does he know her size, given the difference between Eastern and Western dress?) Aouda is played by Shirley Maclaine, and the writers attempt to give her some personality by having her agree with Fogg that punctuality is important, and that stories about card games are fascinating. However, she does wish that Fogg wouldn't be so proper and formal all the time, and she thinks that he might have had his heart broken by a woman long ago, to explain it. Once they get to Hong Kong, she starts wearing a Chinese outfit and tries to express her feelings to Fogg, but he rebuffs her with his usual discomfort with emotion.

One thing I don't understand about Hong Kong back then is why they offer ostrich rides; ostriches are African birds. Why not some native beast of burden? Seems weird to import birds for transportation, instead of just providing more bicycles and/or rickshaws. Whatever. Then Passepartout gets separated from them, due to Fix's machinations, and they have to catch up on a different, presumably slower boat. Everyone reunites at the circus in Yokohama, then takes the steamer to San Francisco. On the ship, Passepartout tells Aouda that Fix is a detective who's trying to arrest Fogg, but Aouda mysteriously suggests that Fogg already suspects this. I don't understand this scene. If he knows, why would Fogg allow Fix to keep following him? They omitted any lines like Verne had in his book, where Fix promised to only help Fogg now that he had left British soil and could not be arrested anymore. (But still, it didn't make sense to me in the book why Passepartout decided to never tell Fogg or Aouda about Fix's suspicions, so that Fogg could refute being a bank thief.) Anyway, that's where Intermission for the epic movie begins.

Once the movie resumes, Todd interrupts the story for scenes in England, clearly created just for cameos from stars. Strangely, he never reveals who plays Queen Victoria. Then we go rejoin Fogg and party in America.

The huge scene in San Francisco is over the top--fireworks and parades for each candidate in an election--and the saloon scene is good mainly for Red Skelton's cameo, and for Fogg remarking that America is a "primitive country" and that Passepartout should buy them some guns for protection! On the street, Fogg tries to stop Aouda from seeing the scantily dressed ladies in the parade, but she tells him to let her see. Later, after they meet Fix yet again giving a lame excuse for following them, there's a nice scene where Fogg first starts his feud with the American colonel. Proctor thinks Fogg is arrogant, and calls him "Percy." Then he asks if Aouda is some kind of "hoochy-kootchy dancer," and tries to grab her arm, so Fogg protests and hits the man on the head with his umbrella. Proctor tries to punch him, but accidentally hits Fix instead, then Aouda yanks his arm with her own umbrella, while Fogg thumps Proctor again with his brolly. I liked that she participated in defending herself, and it wasn't all just masculine display of dominance. Anyway, they leave for the transcontinental train.

Aouda changes into a purple Westernized dress, which comes with a cape and long veiled-hat. Meanwhile, Passepartout looks like a vaquero, and is armed to the teeth. Buster Keaton plays their conductor with wry humor. There's an impressive scene in which the train flies over a collapsing bridge; I'm not sure I believe the claim that Mike Todd paid for the railroad company to actually explode a real bridge so they could film it. It seems too dangerous to me. Also, in the book the bridge had merely been over a flooded river, not a huge canyon. Passepartout tried to suggest that the people could get out of the train and walk over the rickety bridge, then have the empty train speed over afterward; the Americans didn't even hear him out. Here Passepartout agrees wholeheartedly with the suggestion to fly the train over as is.

Later Colonel Proctor runs into Fogg's group playing whist, so he picks a fight with Fogg, and claims that he must have been hit with a iron bar, not an umbrella. There's a weird cut, as if the scene was truncated here. A longer version is in the DVD extras, but the sound was lost, so we never know what else was said here. But anyway, Fogg and Proctor decide to have a duel, and Buster Keaton empties a car for their use. They turn to fire, but are interrupted by an Indian attack, straight out of a Western. Like in the book, Aouda takes up a gun along with the other passengers, though she seems somewhat surprised.

Passepartout volunteers to go to the front to stop the train before Fort Kearney, where the army can help them. However, for some reason he climbs on top of the train, where I would think he'd be a sitting duck for arrows. In any case, the train engineer is alive after all and pulls the brake, causing Passepartout to fall off the train. He's uninjured, and he signals to a passing wagon of miners. Still in hero mode, he borrows a horse from them so he can go ride to Fort Kearney. But again he doesn't succeed and is captured by the Indians, who decide to burn him at the stake. Wow, my god the racism of depicting the Indians this way. Meanwhile the train stops at Fort Kearney (which actually looks more like a train station than a fort), and Passepartout is still considered a hero for distracting the Indians from the train. Fogg asks for a rescue party, and soon the cavalry ride out to save Passepartout. When they return to the fort, the train has already left without them, so they all mope.

The train station manager/clerk talks to them about their city-folk need to rush about, and he actually sounds authentically American, unlike Colonel Proctor and his overuse of slang. Inspiration strikes and Fogg invents a new vehicle called a "prairie sail car" in the DVD chapter titles. It's a sort of wagon that rides on the rails, and in front it has a large sail on a mast. (In the book, the vehicle is actually invented by another man, and is more of a sledge riding on the snow and frozen lakes. Both movies don't depict that the story is supposed to happen during wintertime.) The sail car even goes around a stopped train on the tracks, and Fogg remarks about "homemade American trains."

Back in London, the Reform Club members discuss the fact that Fogg still missed the steamer from New York to Liverpool, but soon they hear from a Scotland Yard inspector that Fogg must be the bank thief. (In the book, this accusation came about only a week into Fogg's journey, and stopped a lot of betting about him.) Inspector Hunter says that Fogg has recently left America on the cargo ship, the Henrietta, which is bound for Caracas, and England has no extradition treaty with Venezuela. (In the book, the ship was bound for Bordeaux, France.) The Reform Club members are shocked and torn about whether to believe that Fogg is actually a bank thief.

The Henrietta is Captain Speedy's boat, and it seems to be a paddle-wheel steamer. How could it go to Venezuela? On board, Passepartout is back to normal clothes, and Aouda is now wearing a fur wrap and different hat with her purple dress. When did Fogg find time to buy more stuff for her? Fix is still along for the ride, with no explanation. It really strains credulity that Fogg keeps paying for Fix to join them, especially since Aouda suggests that Fogg knows what Fix wants. Maybe Fogg simply thinks that Fix is an agent of the Reform Club members, to keep track of Fogg's progress? (That's what Passepartout thinks Fix is in the book.) But even if Fogg thought that, he should suspect Fix of sabotage at least.

In the book, Captain Speedy refused to sail for Liverpool, so Fogg had to bribe the crew to mutiny and turn the ship. He only lets Speedy out when he proposes to buy the ship and burn her parts for fuel; then finally Speedy is cooperative, and they race to Liverpool. In Todd's film, Captain Speedy is willing to change course from the start, so Fogg doesn't have to lie and manipulate. To keep the paddle wheel going, Fogg still has to burn most of the ship, even his own hat and umbrella. (Someone even tries to confiscate another man's peg leg for burning, but Passepartout stops him!) They spot land just in time, and Fogg tells Captain Speedy to keep the boat and rebuild it. On getting to the Liverpool train station, Fix has Fogg arrested as the bank thief, while Passepartout protests his master's innocence. Fix of course later realizes his mistake and apologizes most offensively, but Fogg doesn't punch him like he does in the book; he just insults his whist-playing and leaves the jail. Kind of ruined the moment.

Anyway, they conclude that Fogg has already lost the bet, and they just slink back to his house in London, where Passepartout finally turns off the gas in his room. The next day, Aouda is back to wearing Indian dress and Passepartout feels awful for Fogg but no concern for himself since he can get another job easily. She talks to Fogg and feels guilty for delaying him, but he blames no one but himself. At last she proposes to him. Passepartout is secretly eavesdropping using the whatchamacallit thing in the kitchen. It's like an intercom, only each time you use it, you're supposed to blow into the tube to call somebody. Passepartout is happy for them, and he rushes off to fetch the reverend, but on the way back, he sees a newspaper and realizes the date. He abandons the reverend and runs home. After some argument, Fogg realizes that he gained an extra day going eastward and crossing the International Dateline.

There's just 10 minutes left, so he hurries to the Reform Club, but in the most contrived way, the cab driver can't drive and the horse won't obey anyone else. So Fogg gets off and runs, only to get stopped by yet another annoying cameo in the form of a Salvation Army lady. That really stretched my credulity that he could still make it on time. We didn't need that many cameos in the film. Anyway, Fogg finally makes it inside the club and wins the bet, but Aouda soon follows him in and the men all protest the presence of a woman. She asks why, and Fogg says, "Because that could spell the end of the British Empire." Passepartout excitedly appears at the window, and another Reform Club member says dejectedly, "This is the end." Then the movie cuts to the whimsically animated end credits. If only they could have done something like that for the beginning of the movie instead of the awful, awful prologue.

The Pierce Brosnan miniseries did not have a useless prologue, but Eric Idle as a Frenchman was sometimes too comically bad to accept. Even Cantinflas saying "oui, monsieur" didn't seem so out of place in the other movie, despite his being Latin; it felt more like Passepartout using lingua franca rather than some affectation. Aouda is played by Julia Nickson, who while not actually Indian, at least is Asian instead of white. She also keeps her Indian clothing throughout the trip, only changing into a Western wedding gown at the end. There is an attempt to make her somewhat feminist and anti-Imperialist too. She saves Fogg's life more than once, so the gratitude is mutual. Peter Ustinov played Detective Fix, who for some reason is made a private detective instead of a Scotland Yard detective. Fix would have been fine had the writers not tried to expand his role too much. They tampered with the book's final scenes, and really spoiled Fix by trying to redeem him.

Anyway, the miniseries starts well, showing the bank robbery, and Fogg deciding to fire his current valet Forster for several days' worth of mistakes (in the book it's one mistake about the bath temperature). Then we get to the Reform Club, where the members discuss the mystery of Fogg and how no one knows where he got his money from. It's a real treat seeing Christopher Lee and Patrick McNee among the cast. Meanwhile, the bank teller is quite vague in his description of the robber, so how can anybody work with it? (He's later positive that Fogg is the culprit after seeing his picture in the paper, once the journey begins.) Soon Fogg hires Passepartout, but as I said, Eric Idle is too affected; it's like he's trying to be a parody Frenchman instead of playing the role straight. He even claims to be a former servant of Napoleon III. Anyway, then Fogg makes his bet at the club, though the stakes are slightly altered to make the money divide evenly among the men. Fogg finishes his game of whist before going home to pack. As Fogg and Passepartout leave London on the train, a woman named Madeline runs alongside, begging Passepartout not to leave her. You think it's just some girl he's used and jilted, but he'll mention her later and she'll come back at the end.

But that's when things go bad. Instead of crossing the channel into France and continuing the journey's forward momentum, everything stops for a cameo. The ferry from Dover to Calais apparently will not leave because the actress Sarah Bernhardt does not want to go, for maybe hours or days. Never mind that there ought to be other ferries working the channel, and the ship captain ought to get into trouble for this, but apparently they're stuck. Fogg has never heard of the actress before, and is not intimidated by her fame. He goes down into her cabin to ask her to kindly leave and stop interrupting traffic. Passepartout tries to stop him, but acquiesces reluctantly and watches them. The actress is currently in a bathtub--a bathtub on a channel ferry?--and she flirts shamelessly with Fogg, who still insists on the importance of his bet. This scene might have been funny if it were much shorter, but it seemed to go on and on, and I didn't give a crap about it. They didn't even explain why the actress wanted to stay on the boat instead of having her fun in a hotel, which could also keep her incognito for a price.

Finally Fogg and Passepartout get to France, but while on the train they discover that it's a time of revolution. Whereas the book was set in late 1872 and early 1873, the movie is apparently set in the spring of 1871, during the brief period of the Commune de Paris (or Paris Commune as wikipedia calls it). This sets obstacles in their way, starting with the train being taken over and all the passengers getting thrown out. However, there is some practical reason for going back in time. Verne's book speaks of Fort Kearney in Nebraska, but that fort was abandoned in May of 1871, over a year before Fogg's adventures there. Anyway back to France--Fogg and Passepartout slowly make their way to Paris on foot, but find that the city is in anarchy and even the famous travel agent Thomas Cook & Sons, which was featured in the 1956 film, is closed. While they search for some form of transportation, Passepartout gets injured, and Fogg begs for help from the locals, who take him into what looks like a university lecture room. The professor there treats Passepartout and tells Fogg of an invention by a friend of his named Lenoir. The professor turns out to be Louis Pasteur. (It seems this miniseries wants to namedrop as many famous Victorians as Carole Nelsen Douglas's Irene Adler mystery books.)

Fogg and Passepartout arrive at Lenoir's country house where he's having sex with some blonde woman. They go to his barn and discover his invention, an airship (like a zeppelin) named "the purple cloud"; this is an obvious homage to the 1956 film, since the book itself had no balloon or airship rides. Fogg volunteers to be a test pilot for the airship, and to send a report to the Royal Geographic Society, for the benefit of the inventor. Lenoir agrees and helps Fogg learn how to work the ship while Passepartout loads the cabin with supplies and flirts with the woman. The purple cloud gets inflated and starts lifting off. Fogg calls to Passepartout to get on board, and he has to acrobatically flip himself into the ship. Finally they rise high and head for Italy, but they soon discover that Lenoir's woman has stowed away on the ship somehow (which is odd given how brief a time she had while Passepartout was untying the ropes). Fogg worries that they don't have enough fuel with the extra passenger weight, but he can hardly land and get rid of her now. They crash in the Alps somewhere, afraid that they'll freeze to death. Fogg then decides to use the brandy they have to fuel the ship, and it works somehow. They take off again and float over Italy, finally coming down inside the Colosseum (I think in Florence, not Rome). Policemen try to arrest them for desecrating a national monument, but then they meet the stowaway woman and are more than happy to let the guys go. Fogg even gives them the report he wrote for the Royal Geographic Society. He and Passepartout finally head for Brindisi to catch a steamer to Bombay (through the Suez Canal). Boy, this was the most tiresome and absurd part of the miniseries.

Meanwhile Fix had been hanging out at Brindisi because he was privately hired by the bank to watch in case the robber tried to flee through there. He also spent some time moaning to people about his girlfriend Millie that he wants to marry as soon as he gets the £2000 reward money. So Fix starts following Fogg and Passepartout, but frequently he serves as comic relief because the ships are so crowded, he usually gets a terrible room (even a jail cell!) or has to stowaway in a closet. Fogg and Passepartout have to share a room with seven Egyptians, but Fogg is fine with it, just teaching them how to play whist.

At the Suez Canal, Fix introduces himself to Passepartout, who's on the way to buy more clothes. However, Fix doesn't get his arrest warrant (because the man in Brindisi who was going to send the message for him just threw it away) so he has to continue on to Bombay. Fogg meanwhile meets John Hillerman as Sir Francis Commarty (Cromarty in the book), who will accompany them on the Calcutta Express. There's also a useless scene where Sarah Bernhardt barges into the Reform Club to pretend that she seduced Fogg for hours, and to bet on his trip. In India, the train ride leads to the elephant ride, though the price for it has remarkably come down to only £6, which will contradict the driver later saying that the elephant is worth a fortune. Then we have the suttee and the rescue--though Fogg sits rather uselessly waiting all night instead of trying to tunnel into the pagoda. For a brief while he even thinks Passepartout abandoned them as a coward, and like in the book, he makes a foolhardy attempt to storm the ceremony armed only with his cane. Fortunately Passepartout emerges as a triumphant hero with Aouda, and they all leave on the elephant in a hurry.

They rejoin the train to Calcutta, and Fogg stays awake watching Aouda sleep. Sir Francis wakes up and notices, so he hands Fogg a book of Indian love poetry, before going back to sleep. Aouda wakes up and Fogg introduces himself to her, explaining only briefly that they had saved her, and giving Passepartout his rightful credit for the rescue. She gets groggy again, so she goes back to sleep. Fogg begins reading the poetry, and it's actually lines that Verne quoted in his book, to describe Aouda's beauty. At Calcutta, Sir Francis parts from Fogg, warning him that he must continue to protect Aouda, because she is not safe anywhere in India. Fogg agrees to take Aouda to her uncle in Hong Kong, since it's on his way. They board a ship called the Rangoon, but Fix can't buy a ticket, because a Burmese prince, half-brother of the king, is coming aboard with many servants. So Fix rows out to the ship and stows away in a closet. Meanwhile, the prince arrives, and Aouda tells Fogg about her forced marriage to the elderly rajah. She tried to escape before by jumping off the roof into water and swimming, but she was captured again and had no one to help her, until Fogg came along. Everyone goes to bed, but then several bandits board the ship, throwing people overboard or killing them. Fogg wakes up from the noise and warns Passepartout to hide the money from the carpetbag. Then they, the Burmese prince, and Aouda get kidnapped and taken off the ship. Only Fix is spared because he's in the closet still asleep.

So the journey takes quite a detour to Burma, where the captives are led to a cave ruled by a tyrant named Kyaukese who wants to ransom the prince and make Aouda one of his wives. Fogg manages to lure British troops to the cave by having Passepartout leave a trail of money. But help doesn't arrive for about six days, so they suffer in cages, and Fogg makes a couple of useless attempts to defend Aouda but only gets knocked down for his trouble. At last they are rescued and Kyaukese is executed. The grateful prince offers them transport to Rangoon (the city), where they can catch the steamer for Hong Kong. He even throws in some Burmese clothes for Fogg and Passepartout, who were only half dressed when kidnapped. When they arrive in Hong Kong, Fogg checks them into a hotel so that they can rest, get new clothes, and find Aouda's uncle. The desk clerk is snobby at first until he sees that Fogg has money. Fix spots Passepartout buying the tickets for the Carnatic and overhears the name of their hotel. At the hotel, Fogg reports that he's found the address of Aouda's uncle, but she gets sad at the thought of saying goodbye. They leave together to get new clothes before seeing the uncle. Fix arrives with policemen to arrest Fogg, but is frustrated at missing him. He runs into Passepartout again, and they go off to have drinks together. Passepartout is beginning to get suspicious, and tries to deceive him regarding the time the ship leaves, not knowing that Fix has already overheard and is trying to keep Passepartout from telling Fogg about the schedule change. The police remain at the hotel, waiting to arrest a "tall English gentleman" with a "beautiful Indian princess."

Fogg and Aouda discover that the uncle has moved to Holland. They have dinner at a restaurant, and Aouda makes her first anti-Imperialist remarks about Britain invading and occupying other territories. To show him that it's nothing personal against him, she tells Fogg that he is the bravest man she knows, for trying to save her in India, even if it was Passepartout's plan that succeeded. He modestly dismisses her praise, and assures her that he has no ulterior motives for helping her, i.e. plans to seduce her. She agrees that they'll just continue their journey together as friends. Meanwhile, Passepartout gets drunk, but Fix does too. He tries to confess that he's a detective, but he mangles it to sound like his girlfriend Millie is the bank thief. They pass out and are dumped outside the bar. Back at the hotel Robert Wagner has an amusing part as a man who is mistakenly arrested in place of Fogg.

Fogg and Aouda return to the hotel so late that the desk clerk is asleep and unable to give them the message that Passepartout left, about the change in the ship's departure time. So they get separated from him as usual, and have to find another ship to take them to Yokohoma. Fogg strikes up a deal with Captain Bunsby, played by Jack Klugman, almost unrecognizable but for his voice. Before leaving, Fogg and Aouda stop at the police station to report Passepartout missing, and the police don't arrest them, because they think the wanted couple already left Hong Kong last night. Fix also joins them on the boat to Shanghai, and after a terrible storm, the entire crew gets washed out to sea. I found this kind of sad, to lose Captain Bunsby and the others, when they weren't killed in the book. The ship starts sinking, so Fogg, Aouda, and an injured Fix leave in a lifeboat.

Thus we have another detour to mainland China. They need to go to Shanghai, but it's currently forbidden to travel, and they get arrested. They are brought to the Forbidden City to meet the Dowager Empress Cixi and her young son, the Tongzhi Emperor, who recognizes that Aouda is a princess, with royal blood. They want to spare Aouda's life but kill her companions, but she argues that Fogg is her guardian and that she "would not want to live" if he died. Fogg also protests against killing Fix, so that finally all three are let go. So that is how Aouda saves Fogg's life for the first time, and how Fix starts to feel guilty and grateful to Fogg. They get on the General Grant steamer and reunite with Passepartout in Yokohama before continuing on to America.

Part 3 begins with a cameo of Anna Massey as Queen Victoria. She and various government officials discuss Fogg's bravery in saving the Burmese prince, and also the suspicions of him being a bank robber. At the time, people in England think Fogg died on the ship off the coast of China. Meanwhile Fix plots to follow Fogg through America, and Passepartout hints to Fogg that Aouda is falling for him.

Unlike in the book, Aouda and Fogg discuss their feelings for each other, and even kiss a few times, I suppose to make their marriage at the end not seem so out of the blue. Fogg reads frequently from the book of poems Sir Francis gave him, and he eventually tells her of this. He even admits that he feels tender feelings toward her, but he insists that he cannot be more than friends with her. They must part once they get to England. He says it's because he's too used to being alone all these years. "It's too late for me to impose my rigid life on anyone other than a servant." She suggests that he could change himself, but he says no and leaves. She never thinks to say that he's had to adjust his rigid lifestyle all this time, no longer going to the Reform Club and having his usual routine since he embarked on this trip. (Of course at the end of the film Fogg sees the error of his ways and realizes that he does want to change; there's more to life than the temperature of his bath water.)

In America, we have more departures from the book. Colonel Proctor is replaced by the outlaw Jesse James, who lusts after Aouda. The duel on the train is still interrupted by the Indian attack, and Jesse James eventually jumps off the train. This time Aouda's sympathies are with the Indians rather than the white passengers. She draws parallels between the American Indians and the Indians of her homeland, who resent being dominated by foreign invaders. She even hides all the guns that Passepartout bought, so they can't kill anybody. Fogg protests that this is impractical, given that they are under attack, but the conductor tells them about Fort Kearney up ahead. Passepartout climbs out on top of the train so he can reach the engine and toot the whistle, but he accidentally detaches the engine from the back of the train. After hearing the whistle, the cavalry chase off the Indians, and apparently Passepartout did not fall too far from them. So he hasn't been captured, though they do all have to walk to the fort. This time the prairie sail car is in fact another man's invention, just like in the book. Mudge uses it to haul his freight, because he doesn't like the costly train rates, and he offers them a ride to Omaha, for a fee. As usual the trains make them too late for their steamer in New York, so they have to split up to find another ship. More namedropping happens, as Fogg and Aouda crash a yacht party for Cornelius Vanderbilt. Fogg thinks they must stowaway on the ship, even without Passepartout and Fix, and merely send apologies to them later. (Which is terrible, to abandon them for at least 9 days without any word about where they've gone.) However, both Fogg and Aouda are thrown overboard, and Aouda saves him again because he can't swim. They reunite with the others and depart on Captain Speedy's boat instead.

This part is more faithful to the book than the 1956 version, because Fogg does bribe the crew into mutiny, turning the ship from Bordeaux to Liverpool. They all arrive in England and Fix arrests Fogg now that his warrant can finally be used. Meanwhile at the bank, we get to see the true bank robber who is apparently crazy. Satisfyingly, Fogg does punch Fix after being released from jail, and then they hire a special to try to make it to London. But the train gets stopped by another wrecked train.

Even worse, Fix doesn't disappear now. Out of remorse, he hangs around them as they try to win the bet. He doesn't really help so much as say "Wait for me!" as if he belongs with them. Thankfully, he doesn't come inside Fogg's house with them, but he does show up again the next day during their race to the Reform Club. Which makes no sense for him to coincidentally realize the date at the same time as they do. If anything, he should have realized earlier, what with speaking to the police about arrest warrants, and the other bank robber being captured three days ago. Fix is even part of a corny triple wedding at the end, where Fogg and Aouda marry, Passepartout and Madeline marry, and Fix and Millie marry. (I suppose Passepartout didn't tell Madeline how many women he romanced on his trip!) Fix was really intrusively tacked on to the ending, possibly to give Peter Ustinov more to do, but the results were horrid.

So overall both movies had their faults. Both had unnecessary balloon/airship rides, and did not depict winter. I liked the Brosnan version for having more stars I knew and enjoyed, and also for being more faithful about Captain Speedy's boat. But I hated the overuse of Sarah Bernhardt and Inspector Fix; Passepartout was less convincing too. I liked the 1956 version for being overall faithful to the book, and for having a better Passepartout. I also liked that Aouda was the one who proposed (unlike in the Brosnan version, which had Fogg propose). But that horrible prologue spoils the beginning, the Indians trying to burn Passepartout at the stake was so wrong, and Fogg never punched Fix like he should have. Trying to make him too nice and dignified I think (which may be why he didn't stage a mutiny on Captain Speedy's boat too).

Of course both movies are far more faithful than the Disney version with Jackie Chan as Passepartout. That was surely more of a action-comedy parody than an adaptation.

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