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The Battle of Algiers (1966)
"La battaglia di Algeri" (original title)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama, History, War  |  20 September 1967 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 33,207 users   Metascore: 94/100
Reviews: 243 user | 127 critic | 20 from

In the 1950s, fear and violence escalate as the people of Algiers fight for independence from the French government.


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Top 250 Movies #213 | Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 11 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Ali La Pointe (as Brahim Haggiag)
Jean Martin ...
Yacef Saadi ...
Djafar (as Saadi Yacef)
Samia Kerbash ...
One of the girls
Ugo Paletti ...
Fusia El Kader ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Mohamed Ben Kassen ...
Petit Omar


A film commissioned by the Algerian government that shows the Algerian revolution from both sides. The French foreign legion has left Vietnam in defeat and has something to prove. The Algerians are seeking independence. The two clash. The torture used by the French is contrasted with the Algerian's use of bombs in soda shops. A look at war as a nasty thing that harms and sullies everyone who participates in it. Written by John Vogel <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The Revolt that Stirred the World! See more »


Drama | History | War


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




| |

Release Date:

20 September 1967 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Battle of Algiers  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$64,870 (USA) (9 January 2004)


$815,345 (USA) (10 September 2004)

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Although the mass scenes look spontaneous, it took quite some planning to make them look that way. Director Gillo Pontecorvo would often draw chalk lines on the ground, dividing the mass in separate groups which had to start walking on cue in order to get proper crowd movement. He also used multiple cameras at a time and used footage from different angles to create the impression that crowds were much larger than they were in reality. See more »


Early on in the film when a man is being escorted to the guillotine in an Algiers prison, there is a cut from a long shot of the courtyard to a close-up and two men wearing suits suddenly appear by the guillotine even though there is no door nearby through which they could have emerged. See more »


Ben M'Hidi: Jaffar says you weren't in favor of the strike.
Ali La Pointe: No, I wasn't.
Ben M'Hidi: Why not?
Ali La Pointe: Because we were ordered not to use arms.
Ben M'Hidi: Acts of violence don't win wars. Neither wars nor revolutions. Terrorism is useful as a start. But then, the people themselves must act. That's the rationale behind this strike: to mobilize all Algerians, to assess our strength.
See more »


Referenced in Traffic (2000) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Should be mandatory viewing for every American
30 January 2004 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

"Battle of Algiers" is simply one of the greatest films every made. If film making can be about truth as well as fantasy, then a movie that includes a title card telling viewers that there is not one foot of documentary or newsreel footage in it must deserve viewing.

"Battle of Algiers" contains scenes that seem so real, you suspect that they couldn't have been staged. When three Algerian women come down from the Casbah to plant bombs in the French quarter of the city, you can almost cut the tension with a knife. When the bombs go off, you think they must have been real bombs. And when you see the devastation they leave in their wake, you cannot fail to be moved. The massive rebellion in the streets at the end of the film also seems so real, you sit wondering how many extras must have been injured filming those scenes.

"Battle of Algiers" combines brilliant photography, crisp direction, an intriguing plot and some very fine acting. Throw in a terrific music score, splendid editing, impressive special effects and the best example ever of docudrama style production and you have a masterpiece of film making.

But film making is not nearly as important as human life and no film in general release today says more about America's current involvement in the middle east and many other parts of the world than this picture about the French in Algeria, made more than three decades ago.

Every American should view this film, then think about our current occupation of Iraq.

174 of 204 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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