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Passage to Marseille (1944)

Approved | | Drama, Adventure, War | 11 March 1944 (USA)
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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) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Paula Matrac (as Michele Morgan)
Philip Dorn ...
...
...
Marius
...
Helmut Dantine ...
Garou
...
Manning
Victor Francen ...
Capt. Patain Malo
Vladimir Sokoloff ...
Grandpere
...
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:

 »
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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

Warner Bros. built a full-scale Merchant Marine ship in three months, modeled after the French ship Ville de Nancy. See more »

Goofs

When Mattrac is pointing his fifty cal. machine gun out the waist gun window, we hear machine gun sounds, but the gun is not firing. The 50 cal. M2 machine gun produces a great deal of vibration when it is being fired. The gun did not vibrate one bit. See more »

Quotes

Maj. Duval: Haven't you been taught to stand in the presence of officials?
Jean Matrac: [Flatly] No.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Great Performances: Bacall on Bogart (1988) 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
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User Reviews

 
Papillon in flashbacks
17 October 2004 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

The best reason for watching this movie was the work of director, Michael Curtiz, a fine man who always delivered. Unfortunately, he relied on a screen play that doesn't do anything to make us care more about the people it tries to portray. As a propaganda film, it glorifies that myth that France always was for the American public.

It's hard to believe the escapees from Cayenne be given a chance to fight for the same country that had exiled them to hard labor, where chances of survival was almost non existing. Reality would only tells us these men would be put in prison as they arrived in France.

The film compensates with the different plots by including heavy action at sea, and then during the bombing of Germany by the French squadron now in England. The story of how Jean Matrac lands in the penal colony of Guyana, after being accused of killing someone is seen in flashbacks. This episode shows his falling in love for the lovely Paula, who becomes the love of his life.

The problem with the film is the potpourri of actors and backgrounds that make the movie a small leaning Tower of Babel. Our hero, Matrac, speaks NewYorkese! Bogey, is not as effective in this movie as in others. What made the film interesting was the strong supporting cast that was put together. Claude Rains, Sidney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, George Tobias, Helmut Dantine, John Loden, Philip Dorn, among others, do excellent work under Mr. Curtiz's direction. Michelle Morgan, one of the most radiant women in films, has nothing to do in it. The film also boasts an appearance by Corinna Mura, who also appeared in "Casablanca".

The film, by no means, a bad one, could have used a better screen play, or at least one that would have made it more fun to watch.


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