Malaga (1954) Poster


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The free international city of Tangiers
bkoganbing20 April 2005
Tangiers is yet another one of those exotic locales that connote mystery, romance, and adventure and at the point in time this film was made was under an international administration. Two years later it reverted to Spanish control as part of Spanish Morocco and now it is part of Morocco itself. So the film was dated shortly after it's release.

With some background footage of Tangiers, Malaga was shot on location with interiors done in London. Maureen O'Hara was top billed in this one in a role that Jane Russell would have normally been cast in. Like Russell, O'Hara spends most of her time busting out of the tight fitting clothing that she has to wear. I'm sure the movie goers of 1954 didn't care about the plot.

Maureen is an American agent sent to Tangiers to find out who's running a smuggling operation and take it down. Since other agents have been killed no one other than who would now be called her controller knows who she is.

Maureen's troubles begin when the controller is killed by the bad guys in the first reel. So now she's working blind not knowing who to trust.

Oh well, the location photography in Malaga looks real nice and Maureen in those tight dresses in Technicolor is a treat. Beyond that I can't say too much. Macdonald Carey looks bored, he probably came for the free trip to the Spanish Mediterranean coast. Binnie Barnes has a nice turn as a wisecracking saloonkeeper.

But there's nothing special here.
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Maureen OHara foreign intrigue in Tangier
ksf-220 August 2007
Maureen Ohara (was Mrs. Miniver, also the queen of westerns and traveler to many foreign lands) as spy Joanna Dana. Always witty and lovely, she trades barbs with just about everyone she meets in her mission to break up the ring of pirates and smugglers in the Mediterranean. When one of her associates run into trouble, the only clue she has is a cigarette lighter. Along the way, she runs into casino/bar owner Frisco (Binnie Barnes), who gives her a job. Also look for Maureen's brother James as Danny Boy, who didn't make nearly as many films as Maureen. I kept thinking of the Wonderwoman TV show while watching this; everything seems to happen around Joanna, and given her slow reflexes, she would have been knocked off pretty quickly in real life. While some spies would keep a low profile, Joanna wears flashy dresses and lots of make up. Macdonald Carey, local boat owner (Van Logan) decides to give her a tour of the town. This film "Fire Over Africa" is also known as "Malaga" (for the town in Spain, where a lot of the action takes place.) Interesting scenery of Tangiers at the beginning, and also of Malaga, later in the film. Also interesting to note that the director Richard Sale had written the novel "Not too Narrow, Not too Deep", which was later made into "Strange Cargo" with C Gable and J Crawford.
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Not worth watching.
julesbrian6 August 2017
This is a classic 'B' movie, except that it is so b... awful it is really an F movie. All I can find to say about it is that Maureen O'Hara did NOT play Mrs. Miniver, as claimed by an earlier reviewer. That was Greer Garson. This is a film that makes you realise how far Hollywood has come in the last 65 years, and also how lucky Hollywood is to be able to still sell this kind of old rubbish to TV.
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Maureen, gorgeous in color, stuck in a colorless film with a colorless leading man.
mark.waltz21 April 2017
Warning: Spoilers
More than a decade before he recited those immortal words, "Like sands through the hour glass", masculine MacDonald Carey was a film actor of respectable, if not entirely successful, leading man. He's about as charismatic on screen as a certain future U.S. President was teaching social skills to a baby chimp. MacDonald Carey may have found his niche as the head of a waspy family on "Days of Our Lives", but when cast opposite somebody as hot on screen as Maureen O'Hara, his limited abilities and charisma become extremely obvious.

That is a downer for the colorful adventure "Fire Over Africa", a second rate film about the shipping of stolen goods from North Africa to Europe. The color is strange looking in this, making a good majority of the cast look like they have fake tans and strangely glowing hair. O'Hara is saved this humiliation, looking radiant, although I might have toned down the color tones of the camera work when focused on her.

O'Hara plays a secret agent arriving in Tangier determined to expose the head of a smuggling racket. She's the mysterious agent that Carey is trying to find, but the way he sexually harasses her from start to finish fails to open his eyes to whom she really is. A blowzy Binnie Barnes plays the Sophie Tucker like club hostess (named "Frisco" no less), and has amusing moments, but after a while, thanks to the clichéd script, becomes a bit too much. This is more bland than grand, and it's one of those pretentious racket films where the racket just isn't presented interesting enough to make you devote full attention. Without O'Hara, this would be a huge dud.
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Unusual - for 1954 - premise, formula film
gridoon20184 August 2014
Warning: Spoilers
"Fire Over Africa" or "Malaga" is a film that I've wanting to get my hands on for a long time, mainly because of the unusual, for that time period, premise of a female government agent working undercover and (almost) alone. I finally managed to find a copy, but I was somewhat disappointed by the film. It's hardly what you'd call a feminist breakthrough - Maureen O'Hara's character doesn't really do much, nor does she seem to possess any extraordinary physical or mental skills; one judo flip and one chop to the neck in 82 minutes are not quite enough. In general, there is more talk than action, though some of the talk is reasonably snappy, and there are some mildly shocking moments of violence. Macdonald Carey is a rather uncharismatic male lead, and the big plot twist near the end is obvious. But the film does benefit from having been shot on location. ** out of 4.
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