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Passage to Marseille (1944)

Approved | | Drama, Adventure, War | 11 March 1944 (USA)
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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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Paula Matrac (as Michele Morgan)
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Manning
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Capt. Patain Malo
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Chief Engineer (as Edward Ciannelli)
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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

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Drama | Adventure | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

11 March 1944 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Passagem Para Marselha  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The FW 200 could also carry a 900-kilogram (2,000 lb) bomb load or naval mines to use against shipping. It was claimed that between June 1940 and February 1941, they sank 331,122 tonnes (365,000 tons) of shipping, despite a rather crude bombsight. As of August 1941, the aircrews were told to cease all shipping attacks in order to save the few remaining aircraft. The FW 200 plane model was to be a FW 200 C-5 model. See more »

Goofs

When Paula mentions that Matrac had wanted to go to do stories in South America, Matrac agrees and mentions Guatamala and Peru. Guatamala is in Central America. See more »

Quotes

Captain Freycinet: He still fights. The bombs they're dropping tonight are editorials the Germans will understand.
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Connections

Featured in Great Performances: Bacall on Bogart (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

Someday I'll Meet You Again
(1944) (uncredited)
Music by Max Steiner
Lyrics by Ned Washington
Sung by Corinna Mura at the nightclub
Sung also by an offscreen male voice
Played on piano by Michèle Morgan
Played often as part of the score
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User Reviews

 
Compelling despite a weak structure
21 November 1999 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Passage to Marseille's flashback within a flashback format is of course structurally weak, but its characters and storytelling are compelling. Most interesting is the cynical disillusionment Bogart's character experiences after his opposition newspaper confronts the French government's Nazi appeasement. His newspaper is destroyed by pro-government mobs while fascist-leaning police look on. For his trouble Bogart is falsely convicted of murder and sent to a hell-on-earth prison colony in French Guyana. Formerly the staunchest of patriots, Bogart comes to feel that the France living in his heart has finally died.

Bogart and cohorts escape with the aid of a freed prisoner who selects and compels them with a promise to return to France and fight for its freedom. The third flashback finds them adrift in the Caribbean in their river canoe where they are rescued by a French freighter bound for Marseille. Things get complicated when some passengers and crew members led by a utilitarian French Army officer played by Sydney Greenstreet attempt to seize control of the ship. The ship's captain and Claude Rains' character had plotted a course to England in defiance of their now Nazi-controlled government's orders.

As the free French loyalists retake control of the ship, a traitorous radio operator broadcasts their position which is picked up by a patrolling Nazi bomber. The prisoners' true convictions (no pun intended) are demonstrated both in retaking the ship and in fighting off the plane's attack. In leading the ship's defense, Bogart's true feelings are realized and his choice is made to once again fight for his country, this time with bombs and bullets instead of ink and paper.


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