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Passage to Marseille (1944)

 -  Drama | Adventure | War  -  11 March 1944 (USA)
6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 2,215 users  
Reviews: 43 user | 8 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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Title: Passage to Marseille (1944)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Paula Matrac (as Michele Morgan)
Philip Dorn ...
Renault
...
Maj. Duval
...
Marius
...
Petit
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:

TV-PG | 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

One of the few films to employ a flashback within a flashback within a flashback. This film is often seen as an attempt to recapture the magic of Casablanca (1942), which many of this film's key players were a part. Some "usual suspects" include director Michael Curtiz, stars Humphrey Bogart and Claude Rains, supporting and bit players Peter Lorre, Sydney Greenstreet, Helmut Dantine and Corinna Mura, writer Casey Robinson, composer Max Steiner, producer Hal B. Wallis and executive producer Jack L. Warner (both films were made by Warner Bros.). Also, Michèle Morgan was originally cast as Ilsa in "Casablanca", but her salary demand was too big, so Ingrid Bergman was cast instead. See more »

Goofs

We see the plane during bombing runs being attacked by anti-aircraft artillery and fighters at the same time. This would not happen as the fighters would stay outside the area when AAA is firing on the planes; as they would be shot down by their own guns. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Featured in Warner at War (2008) 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

 
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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