Algiers (1938)

Unrated  |   |  Drama, Mystery, Romance  |  5 August 1938 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 1,637 users  
Reviews: 40 user | 13 critic

Beautiful Gaby meets a romantic jewel thief in the mysterious Casbah.



(screenplay), (additional dialogue), 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Walter Kingsford ...
Paul Harvey ...
Stanley Fields ...
Johnny Downs ...
Charles D. Brown ...
Robert Greig ...
Andre Giraux
Leonid Kinskey ...
Nina Koshetz ...
Tania (as Mme. Nina Koshetz)


Pepe Le Moko, a thief who escaped from France with a fortune in jewels, has for two years lived in, and virtually ruled, the mazelike, impenetrable Casbah, "native quarter" of Algiers. A French official insists that he be captured, but sly Inspector Slimane knows he need only bide his time. The suave Pepe increasingly regards his stronghold as also his prison, especially when he meets beautiful Parisian visitor Gaby, who reminds him of the boulevards to which he dare not return...and arouses the mad jealousy of Ines, his Algerian mistress. Written by Rod Crawford <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


You've Got A Date With Danger, A Rendezvous With Romance In The Glamorous, Mysterious Algiers . . Make A Date Now !


Drama | Mystery | Romance


Unrated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

5 August 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Algier  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(copyright length)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


According to information in the file on Algiers contained in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, the first script submitted to the Hays Office was deemed "not acceptable," in part, because of the suggestion that the "two leading female characters are both kept women." Several other minor points in the script were suggested for alteration or deletion. A memo from PCA Director Joseph I. Breen to Walter Wanger, dated February 18, 1938, requested changes pertaining to references to prostitution, "Sex appeal," Pepe's promiscuity, and Pepe's suicide at the end to escape punishment. Other memos in the file indicate that Wanger and screenwriter John Howard Lawson were instructed to change the ending so that "Slimane's" men would shoot Pepe, rather than having him actually commit suicide. Additional information in the file indicates that a number of "women's clubs" and other groups had objected to Hedy Lamarr appearing in the film because of her appearance in Ecstasy (1933). Because of potential problems anticipated by Wanger and MGM (to whom Lamarr went under contract), no publicity generated by either company made reference to her appearance in Ecstasy. See more »


Pepe le Moko: You're beautiful. That's easy to say. I know that other people have told you. But what I'm telling you is different, see? For to me you're more than that.
See more »

Crazy Credits

When complete cast credits are listed at the start of a movie and at the end, there are usually no changes. In this movie, the end credits reverse the order of the last two credits: Bert Roach follows Ben Hall. See more »


Referenced in Dad's Army: The Captain's Car (1974) See more »


C'est la vie
(1938) (uncredited)
Music by Vincent Scotto
Lyrics by Ann Ronell
Performed by Charles Boyer
See more »

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User Reviews

Back in the Casbah
31 August 2008 | by See all my reviews

It was made just one year after Duvivier's classic ,which even Godard (Godard!)mentioned in his "Pierrot LE Fou".Although I hate God'Art about as much as I love Duvivier,I must admit that a film that can transcend the New Wavelet's contempt possesses something magic a la "Casablanca" .

I was skeptical about the lead:aristocratic Charles Boyer replacing plebeian Gabin?I was wrong :Boyer,who began his career in France after all ,was up to scratch.And I 'd go as far as to write that Hedy Lamarr is much more attractive than Mireille Balin in the original.

All that remains is faithful like a dog: except for the scene when an old singer (Frehel) bursting into tears when she hears one of her old recordings,all the important sequences were kept.Cromwell's directing is efficient ,although it never recaptures the intensity (and the director's pessimism) of its model ,is a good film one can recommend to people who cannot get "Pepe Le Moko" .

Objections: the scene of Pierrot 's letter and the punishment of the informer is much too long and lacks suspense.Biggest gaffe is this ditty ("C'est La Vie" ) which Boyer sings and which seems out of a musical :in what is primarily a film noir,it's thoroughly incongruous.

Many of the great lines of the French classic can be heard ,notably the famous "I'm an informer,I'm not a hypocrite",and the Boyer/Lamarr pairing displays a special chemistry .The black and white makes a good use of shadows and lights.

If all the remakes were made with care like this one.....

10 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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