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Passage to Marseille (1944)

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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.

Director:

Michael Curtiz

Writers:

Casey Robinson (screenplay), Jack Moffitt (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Humphrey Bogart ... Jean Matrac
Claude Rains ... Capt. Freycinet
Michèle Morgan ... Paula Matrac (as Michele Morgan)
Philip Dorn ... Renault
Sydney Greenstreet ... Maj. Duval
Peter Lorre ... Marius
George Tobias ... Petit
Helmut Dantine ... Garou
John Loder ... Manning
Victor Francen ... Capt. Patain Malo
Vladimir Sokoloff ... Grandpere
Eduardo Ciannelli ... 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:

Adventure | Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French | German | Spanish

Release Date:

11 March 1944 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Message to Marseille See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The FW 200 could also carry a 900-kilogram (2,000 lb) bomb load or naval mines to use against shipping. It was claimed that between June 1940 and February 1941, they sank 331,122 tonnes (365,000 tons) of shipping, despite a rather crude bombsight. As of August 1941, the aircrews were told to cease all shipping attacks in order to save the few remaining aircraft. The FW 200 plane model was to be a FW 200 C-5 model. See more »

Goofs

In the film, the aircraft used by the Free French squadrons are American-built Boeing B-17 Flying Fortresses, and are described as such by Capt. Freycinet. There actually were two Free French heavy bomber squadrons based in England: Groupes de Bombardment GB II/23 "Guyenne" and GB I/25 "Tunisie," which were part of the Royal Air Force as 346 and 347 Squadrons respectively. However, they did not fly Fortresses. Their aircraft was the British-built Handley Page Halifax. Obviously, for Hollywood purposes, Fortresses were easier to obtain than Halifaxes. 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

Someday I'll Meet You Again
(1944) (uncredited)
Music by Max Steiner
Lyrics by Ned Washington
Sung by Corinna Mura at the nightclub
Sung also by an offscreen male voice
Played on piano by Michèle Morgan
Played often as part of the score
See more »

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User Reviews

Casablanca Redux?
19 October 2004 | by Bucs1960See all my reviews

I think this film gets a bad rap as most people see it as a Casablanca wanna-be based on the fact that the same players appear in both (even the singer Corinne Mura shows up here although she was uncredited in Casablanca). Granted, this is a propaganda film but so were hundreds of others made at this time. France gets particular attention as the sole cause of the Munich sell-out and Marshall Petain, old and misguided, gets all the blame......this is not exactly how it was but we have to remember that Vichy was collaborating with the Nazis. (Remember how Claude Rains threw away the bottle of Vichy water in Casablanca?) So we have to view this film in the context of the times.

Bogey plays his character just like Bogey.....no attempt at a French accent which probably would have been disastrous anyway and the cast is a melting pot of nationalities. But how can you go wrong with Bogey, Greenstreet, Rains and Lorre? They could make an educational film about the building and maintenance of an internal combustion engine interesting!

The flashbacks are not hard to follow, and although a rather awkward story telling method in this particular film, don't really take that much away from the screenplay.

Bogey's actions surrounding the survivors of the downed German plane were a bit surprising but hey, it was war. The entire fight on the ship against the Germans was the best part of the film.

Michele Morgan had absolutely nothing to do in this film which is too bad as she was a wonderful actress with a haunting beauty but this is basically a man's movie.

All in all, this isn't a bad film but it has suffered because of its comparison to Casablanca. Be warned that it is pure propaganda but I found it enjoyable and a window on a different time.


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