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The Battle of Algiers (1966)

La battaglia di Algeri (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama , War | 20 September 1967 (USA)
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In the 1950s, fear and violence escalate as the people of Algiers fight for independence from the French government.

Director:

Gillo Pontecorvo

Writers:

Franco Solinas, Franco Solinas (story) (as F. Solinas) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 9 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Jean Martin ... Col. Mathieu
Yacef Saadi Yacef Saadi ... Djafar (as Saadi Yacef)
Brahim Hadjadj ... Ali La Pointe (as Brahim Haggiag)
Tommaso Neri Tommaso Neri ... Captain
Samia Kerbash Samia Kerbash ... Fathia
Ugo Paletti Ugo Paletti ... Captain
Fusia El Kader Fusia El Kader ... Halima
Franco Moruzzi Franco Moruzzi ... (as Franco Morici)
Mohamed Ben Kassen Mohamed Ben Kassen ... Petit Omar
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Storyline

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 <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The French Colonel...who was forced even to torture! One of the many women...who stopped at nothing to win! The Algerian Street Boy...who became a rebel hero! See more »

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Algeria | Italy

Language:

French | Arabic | English

Release Date:

20 September 1967 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Battle of Algiers See more »

Filming Locations:

Algeria See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$800,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$64,870, 11 January 2004, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$55,908, 6 January 2017
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Casbah Film,Igor Film See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

Ali's first assignment is to assault a police officer. During this, the cop's hat falls to the ground, and the position of the hat changes between cuts. See more »

Quotes

Col. Mathieu: Interrogation becomes a method when conducted in a manner so as always to obtain a result, or rather an answer. In practice, demonstrating a false humanitarianism only leads to ridiculousness and impotence. I'm certain that all units will understand and react accordingly.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mel and His Movies (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

St. Matthew Passion BWV 244, 1st movement
Composed by Johann Sebastian Bach
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Powerful and Impressive Masterpiece
31 May 2008 | by claudio_carvalhoSee all my reviews

In 1954, the National Liberation Front of Algiers shots many French policemen beginning a movement for the independence of their country; in return, the Chief of Police plants a bomb in the Arab quarter, killing many dwellers. The NLF sends three women with bombs to two bars and the Air France office in the European quarter, killing many people. The French government sends the military forces under the command of the abusive Colonel Mathieu (Jean Martin) that does not respect the human rights and uses torture to destroy the NLF command. In 1962, the Algerians finally achieve their aimed independence.

"La Battaglia di Algeri" is a powerful and impressive masterpiece about the fight that happened in Algiers in the period between 1954 and 1962 between the Algerian resistance and the French military forces. A couple of months ago I saw "Mon Colonel", another magnificent movie about this dark period of the mankind history. In both movies, we see no difference between the methods used by French in Algerian, or the Nazis in World War II, or the South American's dictatorships in the 60's, 70's and 80's, or by the American in Iraq, of the Chinese in Tibet. "Liberty, Fraternity, Equality for us, but torture and abuse of the human rights for the others" should be the correct sentence applicable to most nations. Therefore the writing of Machiavelli in "The Prince" about the behavior of the "princes" along history could be updated to the disrespect of human rights by powerful nations against weakest ones in the name of their best interests. This movie is impressive because it seems to be a documentary, with grainy cinematography and non-professional actors, in a perfect contemporary Neorealism. I am not familiar with the work of director Gillo Pontecorvo, but I really believe that this movie is his masterpiece. My vote is ten.

Title (Brazil): "A Batalha de Argel" ("The Battle of Algiers")


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