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Algiers (1938)

Unrated | | Drama, Mystery, Romance | 5 August 1938 (USA)
Beautiful Gaby meets a romantic jewel thief in the mysterious Casbah.

Director:

John Cromwell

Writers:

John Howard Lawson (screenplay), James M. Cain (additional dialogue) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Charles Boyer ... Pepe le Moko
Sigrid Gurie ... Ines
Hedy Lamarr ... Gaby
Joseph Calleia ... Slimane
Alan Hale ... Grandpere
Gene Lockhart ... Regis
Walter Kingsford ... Louvain
Paul Harvey ... Janvier
Stanley Fields ... Carlos
Johnny Downs ... Pierrot
Charles D. Brown Charles D. Brown ... Max
Robert Greig ... Andre Giraux
Leonid Kinskey ... L'Arbi
Joan Woodbury ... Aicha
Nina Koshetz Nina Koshetz ... Tania (as Mme. Nina Koshetz)
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Storyline

Pepe Le Moko, a thief who escaped from France with a fortune in jewels, has for two years lived in, and virtually ruled, the mazelike, impenetrable Casbah, "native quarter" of Algiers. A French official insists that he be captured, but sly Inspector Slimane knows he need only bide his time. The suave Pepe increasingly regards his stronghold as also his prison, especially when he meets beautiful Parisian visitor Gaby, who reminds him of the boulevards to which he dare not return...and arouses the mad jealousy of Ines, his Algerian mistress. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

You've Got A Date With Danger, A Rendezvous With Romance In The Glamorous, Mysterious Algiers . . Make A Date Now !

Genres:

Drama | Mystery | Romance

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 August 1938 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Algier See more »

Filming Locations:

Algiers, Algeria See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Walter Wanger Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(copyright length)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Charles Boyer's often repeated, and parodied, line "Come with me to the Casbah" was in the trailers but was never actually said in the film. According to an article in "Smithsonian Magazine" (July 2007), the line came from an impersonation of Boyer by the cartoon character Pepé Le Pew in The Cats Bah (1954), Warner Bros. cartoon. However, this is impossible, since "Algiers" was made in 1938 and "The Cats Bah" in 1954. See more »

Quotes

Gaby: It's late. I must go.
Pepe le Moko: Suppose you don't come tomorrow?
Gaby: Suppose I don't? Can't you ever get away from the Casbah?
Pepe le Moko: Why do you ask?
Gaby: Can't you?
Pepe le Moko: No. I'm caught here, like a bear in a hole. Dogs barking, hunters all around, no way out of it. Do you like that? Maybe it's lucky for you.
Gaby: I don't like it. And it's not lucky.
Pepe le Moko: You're right. If you don't come back, I might do anything. I might go down to your hotel to get you.
Gaby: Tomorrow, Pepe.
Pepe le Moko: Tomorrow?
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

When complete cast credits are listed at the start of a movie and at the end, there are usually no changes. In this movie, the end credits reverse the order of the last two credits: Bert Roach follows Ben Hall. See more »

Connections

Featured in Beautiful Thing (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

C'est la vie
(1938) (uncredited)
Music by Vincent Scotto
Lyrics by Ann Ronell
Performed by Charles Boyer
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Could Gabin Have Been Better?
15 January 2007 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

The tragic account of Pepe Le Moko having been filmed in France the year before with Jean Gabin as the star must have really impressed producer Walter Wanger. It's not often that a remake is made only a year later.

Jean Gabin who has been compared to Humphrey Bogart certainly would have brought a different style of Pepe Le Moko. But this film did wonders for Charles Boyer in establishing him among the first rank of American film stars.

His Pepe is suave, cunning, and deadly. Unfortunately while hanging out in the forbidden section of French Algiers known as the Casbah, Pepe has sort of built his own prison in that section. He cannot leave because the French police will grab him and a whole bunch of countries are getting in line with the French Foreign office to deport to face a slew of crimes. But in the Casbah he's untouchable as the visiting French prefect Paul Harvey finds out.

Joseph Calleia as Inspector Slimane knows the only way to capture him is to lure him out of his shelter. And the bait for that walks in with a visiting tourist from Paris played by Hedy Lamarr.

Hedy Lamarr was under contract to MGM having been brought over by Louis B. Mayer after her scandalous nude scene in the Austrian film Ecstacy. But MGM couldn't find anything for her to do, so she stayed idle drawing her weekly paycheck while a suitable property was found.

Boyer met Lamarr at a party according to The Films of Hedy Lamarr Citadel Press Series book and was taken with her. He told Walter Wanger and Wanger worked out a deal with Mayer that they could have Lamarr if Boyer did an MGM film. The one he did was Conquest with Greta Garbo. Seems to have worked out all around.

There's a lot of debate as to how good an actress Lamarr was. And in the right circumstances she could give a decent performance. The right circumstances was definitely Algiers where Boyer knew that the woman who could stir him from his safety net had to be one extraordinarily beautiful woman. No one ever questioned that about Lamarr. Algiers launched her career for American audiences with a blowout performance.

Charles Boyer was nominated for Best Actor as Pepe, but lost to Spencer Tracy in Boys Town. And Gene Lockhart as the treacherous Regis got a nod for Best Supporting Actor, but he was beaten out by Walter Brennan in Kentucky.

What's even more extraordinary is that Director John Cromwell did a magnificent job in capturing the mood and ambiance of Algiers. A few establishing newsreel shots and great sets and you would think this was done on location.

There was a third film version of Pepe Le Moko's story with Casbah starring Tony Martin. It was a musical version that fell short of establishing Martin as a big screen draw, but the songs were some of his best selling records.

Still though Boyer does a fabulous job as Pepe, though I would some day like to see Jean Gabin's version for comparison.


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