10 Great Travel Race Movies

Lists: Slow travel is well and good. But there's something irresistible about a great travel race movie. World Hum Travel Movie Clubbers Eva Holland and Eli Ellison share their favorite vicarious thrill rides.

1) Around the World in Eighty Days

Phileas Fogg (David Niven), a rigid, hyper-scheduled bore, sets off to circumnavigate the globe on a wager with his London gentleman’s club that it can’t be done in 80 days. Racing the clock, he travels by every 1870s mode of transportation imaginable, including ostrich-drawn rickshaw. Mexican comedy legend Cantinflas is Fogg’s faithful man-servant, Passepartout, and a stunning (though laughably miscast) Shirley MacLaine plays the Indian princess who ultimately melts Fogg’s frigid exterior. Today’s jaded shrinking planet audiences may roll their eyes at the cultural stereotypes (cue the savage Sioux Indian attack) and find the exotic locales, um, not so exotic. But we love the big old Hollywood extravaganzas and will take Niven/Cantinflas over Steve Coogan/Jackie Chan any day.

Eva Holland is co-editor of World Hum. She is a former associate editor at Up Here and Up Here Business magazines, and a contributor to Vela. She's based in Canada's Yukon territory.

Eli Ellison

6 Comments for 10 Great Travel Race Movies

Kevin Fay 09.12.08 | 12:18 PM ET

Good stuff, guys. But you forgot “It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World.” Have you seen it? It’s really funny, and so, so weird.

slipstream 09.12.08 | 4:19 PM ET

Burt Reynolds is the man Smokey and the Bandit is a great race scene. I have him as the voice on my GPS that I got from Navtones.com. He often helps me escape from tricky situations now!

Eli 09.12.08 | 5:03 PM ET

Thanks, Kevin. I have seen Mad World and it was a tough call between that and Great Race. At the time, the latter just seemed to fit better, but I could go either way.

I’ll let Eva tell you all about her favorite Mad World remake: Rat Race.

Eva Holland 09.13.08 | 1:02 AM ET

Ooh, don’t even get me started on Rat Race!

It takes 2nd place in my list of All-Time Worst Movies To Be Stuck Watching On A Long Distance Bus Ride With The Sound On.

(The first was Jeepers Creepers. In Turkish.)

Sub 10.02.08 | 3:16 PM ET

Midnight run is classic!  Rat Race is fun, not the greatest movie, but it does boast 3 Oscar winners.

Torah 10.04.08 | 4:36 PM ET

Yeah, I’d like to back up Kevin and say that “It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World” is missing. I’m not so sure what people have against Rat Race though; I thought it was quite humorous.

In my personal opinion, I think my favorite movie in the list is Death Race 2000.

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