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Au coeur de la Casbah (1952)

Maria Pilar is the second wife of a gangster of Algiers who has just been arrested. Michel, her husband's son by a first marriage, arrives in Algiers, the town in which he was born but that... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Viviane Romance ...
Maria Pilar
...
Michel
...
Jo
Philippe Richard ...
Gros Polo
Sylvie Pelayo ...
Sylvie
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Himmoud Brahimi
Roger Gaillard ...
Le père de Michel
Simone Moussia ...
Yasmine
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Storyline

Maria Pilar is the second wife of a gangster of Algiers who has just been arrested. Michel, her husband's son by a first marriage, arrives in Algiers, the town in which he was born but that he left long ago. Charmed by the teenager, his stepmother soon feels a burning passion for Michel. Michel tries to defend himself, but in vain. When he falls for young Sylvie, Maria Pilar gets beside herself with rage... Written by Guy Bellinger

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Drama

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24 January 1952 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Amor de Casbah  »

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1.37 : 1
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C'est Venus Tout Entière A Sa Proie Attachée.....(Racine)
20 November 2012 | by See all my reviews

A parboiled cross between "Phaedra" and "Pepe Le Moko " might strike horror into one heart.

It was Pierre Cardinal's debut as a director and his depiction of the casbah is not bad ,mainly in the first part;in the final chase,obviously strongly inspired by Duvivier's classic ,it is a pale reflection.He cannot compare favorably with one of the greatest French artists' directing.

The story deals with the problems of an aging woman,Maria-Pilar(Vivianne Romance ,the star of Duvivier' s "Panique" and "La Belle Equipe",both French classics),who does not love her husband anymore but who wants a child to fill the emptiness of her life ;she no longer invokes the Greek divinities ,but she firmly puts her faith in Virgin Mary.

Enter her stepson,Michel,who stayed in France for eight years ,suffering from TB.He is a pure young man,believing in true love ;he is portrayed by Claude Laydu (Bresson's "Journal D'Un Curé DE Campagne"the year before)):the role was tailor made for him:shy,chaste,not exactly handsome,but bursting with innocence and longing for a romantic love .Like Phaedra,the step-mom falls head over heels in the love with the boyish young man and tragedy cannot be stopped anymore : her mad passion shows when she lies on Michel's cushions ,to feel his warmth and his smell.

Michel has found love with a young girl ,Sylvie ,and the husband is released from jail .The moments on the beach are the only sunny side of a dark movie.

Badly edited (or were scenes lost or cut?),the result is so so,sometimes verging on ridicule.


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