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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

The plane shown attacking the freighter is an accurate model of a Focke-Wulf 200 (except for the fact that it was shown to have a bomb bay, which it didn't have), a bomber developed from a airliner. 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: My comrades, I can think of no more fitting last words for our friend than those which he himself wrote as his last words and wasn't able to deliver. "My dear son, today you are 5 years old and your father has never seen you. But someday, in a better world, he will. I write to you of that day. Together we walk, hand in hand. We walk and we look. And some of the things we see are wonderful, and some are terrible. On a green stretch of ground are 10,000 graves, and you feel hatred welling up in ...
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

 
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…


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