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Passage to Marseille (1944)

Approved  |   |  Drama, Adventure, War  |  11 March 1944 (USA)
6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 2,460 users  
Reviews: 44 user | 9 critic

Five patriotic convicts are helped to escape imprisonment in Devil's Island so they can fight for occupied Free French forces against the Nazis.

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 3 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Paula Matrac (as Michele Morgan)
Philip Dorn ...
...
...
Marius
...
Helmut Dantine ...
Garou
John Loder ...
Manning
Victor Francen ...
Capt. Patain Malo
Vladimir Sokoloff ...
Grandpere
Eduardo Ciannelli ...
Chief Engineer (as Edward Ciannelli)
Corinna Mura ...
Singer
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Storyline

As French bomber crews prepare an air raid from a base in England, we learn the story of Matrac, a French journalist who opposed the Munich Pact. Framed for murder and sent to Devil's Island, he and four others escape. They are on a ship bound for Marseilles when France surrenders and fascist sympathizer Major Duval tries to seize the ship for Vichy. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Adventure | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

11 March 1944 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Passagem Para Marselha  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During filming, Lauren Bacall was brought to the set in order to gauge her chemistry with Humphrey Bogart with whom she would soon be co-starring in To Have and Have Not (1944). This was the famous duo's first meeting, though it would be months before their romance began. See more »

Goofs

When describing French Guiana to another escapee, the construction by inmates of Route Zero (the road to nowhere) in the jungle is shown with an escape attempt, where the escaping inmate is shot by a guard and left in the swamp. Immediately, an broad-snouted alligator is shown swimming toward the hapless victim who was just shot. However, there are no alligators in French Guiana, or anywhere else in South America for that matter. Alligators only exist in the southeast mainland coastal region of the USA and along the Yangtze River in China, and are easily distinguishable from crocodiles by their broad snout (whereas crocodiles have long narrow tapered snouts). The species more likely to be found in French Guiana was the caiman, a smaller relative of the American Crocodile. See more »

Quotes

First Mate: The British will fight.
Chief Engineer: [Sarcastically] Yes, to the last drop of French blood.
See more »


Soundtracks

La Marseillaise
(1792) (uncredited)
Written by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle
Variations played often in the score
Sung by a chorus at the end
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Bogart maintained an opposing balance of virtue and vice…

Wartime heroics never seemed exploited in quite so complex a fashion as "Passage to Marseille," directed by Michael Curtiz…

Bogart, a French journalist framed for murder because of his political views and sent to Devil's Island during World War II, escapes from his penal hell with four other convicts and winds up on a French freighter bound for home… Hoping to rejoin the fighting Free French resistance movement, the men, all fiercely loyal patriots, become involved in preventing a takeover of the ship by Fascist sympathizers…

This relatively simple plot line is then surrounded by a series of extraneous plots and subplots which were related in a series of single, double, and even triple flashbacks, making any semblance of coherency virtually impossible…

Bogart's characterization is equally vague and complicated as he maintained an opposing balance of virtue and vice… At one moment he is the picture of idealistic moral righteousness fighting against a callous system, and the next he debased his human nature as he brutally machine-guns some defenseless enemies… His moral platitudes do not balance his immoral behavior, making for ambiguity and confusion...

The most important saving grace of "Passage to Marseille" is the supporting cast headed by Bogart's "Casablanca" co-stars Claude Rains, Sydney Greenstreet, and Peter Lorre, who all turned in strong character portrayals…


28 of 35 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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