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Five Weeks In A Balloon


Five Weeks In A Balloon


Year: 1962

Director: Irwin Allen

US Premiere: 22 August 1962

Cambridge Productions, Inc.
Copyright 1962 Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation

Plot Summary

Story based upon Jules Verne's story of a balloon expidition across Africa.


Red Buttons - Donald O'Shay
Fabian - Jacques
Barbara Eden - Susan Gale
Sir Cedric Hardwicke - Professor Samuel Fergusson
Peter Lorre - Ahmed
Richard Haydn - Sir (General) Henry Vining
Barbara Luna - Makia
Billy Gilbert - Sultan
Billy Gilbert - Red Beard, the Auctioneer
Herbert Marshall - The Prime Minister
Reginald Owen - Mr. Townsend, British Consul
Henry Daniell - Sheik Ageiba
Mike Mazurki - Slave Captain
Alan Caillou - Inspector
Ben Astar - Myanga, Court Magician
Raymond Bailey - Cornelius P. Randolph
Jonathan Gilmore - Richards
Chester The Chimp - The Duchess

Uncredited roles courtesy of IMDB:

Joe Abdullah - Slave Trader
Sheila Mathews - Courtier
John Coultas - Native Horseman
Mike De Anda - Fat Native Servant
William Edmondson - Fat Buyer
Joe Ferrante - 2nd Arab Guard
Jonathan Gilmore - Chief Slave
Al Hoosman - Guard
Kendrick Huxham - Consular Official
Roy Jenson - 1st Arab Guard
Paul Kremin - Slave Trader
Ronald Long - Lord Chiddingfold
Hedley Mattingly - Prime Minister's Butler
Eric Micklewood - French Reporter
Alex Plasschaert - Tumbler
Vernon Edward Rickard - Courtier
Vernon Edward Rickard - Photographer
George Sawaya - Nomad Chief
Paul Stader - 5th Arab Guard
Mahmed Tahir - The Muezzin, Holy Man
Vic Tayback - European Agent
Frank Watkins - Portuguese Man
Charles Wood - Native Guard


Jerry Summers - Stunt Double for Red Buttons
Roy Jenson
Paul Stader
Bill McCarter - Photo Double for Sir Cedric Hardwicke

Production Crew

Original Novel - Jules Verne
Screenplay - Charles Bennett, Irwin Allen and Albert Gail
Producer - Irwin Allen
Director - Irwin Allen
Theme Song Composer - Jodi Desmond
Theme Song Singers - The Brothers Four
Music - Paul Sawtell
Director of Photography - Winton Hoch A.S.C.
Art Direction - Jack Martin Smith, Alfred Ybarra
Set Decorations - Walter M. Scott, Stuart A. Reiss, Norman Rockett
Production Illustrator - Maurice Zuberano
Film Editor - George Boemler A.C.E.
Special Photographic Effects - L.B. Abbott A.S.C., Emil Kosa Jr.
Assistant to Producer - Al Gail
Sound - E. Clayton Ward, Warren B. Delaplain
Costume Designer - Paul Zastupnevich
Assistant Director - Ad Schaumer
Makeup - Ben Nye
Hair Styles - Helen Turpin C.H.S.
Orchestration - Sid Cutner and Max Reese
First Assistent Editor - Orven Schanzer
Unit Production Manager - Bill Eckhardt
Main Title - Pacific Title
Color - De Luxe


  • The name of the balloon in the story is Jupiter (perhaps the inspiration for the Lost in Space Jupiter 2).
  • Alex Plasschaert was a stuntman and choreographer and appears in this movie as a tumber.
  • Hedley Mattingly (Prime Minister's Butler) is perhaps best known for his role of Officer Hedley in the television series Daktari. He also appeared in an episode of Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (The Secret of the Loch).
  • Billy Gilbert plays two roles in the movie, the drunk Sultan and the Red Beard, the slave auctioneer (who is the Sultan's cousin).
  • The movie premiere was held in Denver, Colorado and was attended by Irwin Allen and several stars including Barbara Eden with husband Michael Ansara, Peter Lorre, The Brothers Four, and last but not least, Chester the Chimp. The DVD release includes some fabulous Movietone footage of the premiere and preparations. We even see Chester signing autographs.

Alternative Titles

France: Cinq Semaines en Ballon
Germany/Austria: Fünf Wochen im Ballon
Holland: Vijf Weken in een Luchtballon
Italy: Cinque Settimane in Pallone
Japan: 気球船探険 (translates as "Balloon Expedition Ship")
Spain: Cinco Semanas en Globo


Irwin Allen filming from camera crane