Little did I know in 1956 when I saw Mike Todd’s “Around the World in 80 Days” that 35 years later I would be living in his home town, Bloomington, Minn. Todd was one of those bright young Jewish lads, sons of Eastern European fathers like the Volk Brothers, who found their fortune in movies. (Todd was born in 1909, a year after Sidney Volk and a contemporary of my father who came to Minneapolis in about 1920.)
FAIRY TALE FOR ADULTS
I saw Todd’s “fairy tale for adults” “Around the World in 80 Days” at the refurbished Post Theater in Spokane where the projection booth was moved from the second balcony to the first floor and a wide curved screen was installed for Todd-AO plus surrounding speakers. Todd-AO and Cinerama were both Todd enterprises that brought TV viewers out of their living rooms to the theaters again.
THRIFT STORE BARGAIN
The price tag was $49.63 but I bought it for $1.28 at the thrift store. That would be the double DVD set of “Around the World in 80 Days” which includes a documentary on Todd’s life. Liz Taylor is flashing the 29 carat diamond Todd gave her in the 90 minute CBS live coverage of Todd’s Madison Square Garden “party” celebrating the movie and this is painfully boring.
Todd never had a follow up act for ATW and I doubt that when the bills came due he could swing another ring for Liz. They lived large and did not frequent thrift stores.