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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 Revolt that Stirred the World! 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

The only professional actor in the film is Jean Martin as Coloniel Matthieu. Director Gillo Pontecorvo wanted at least one professional actor, particularly in that pivotal role. The two argued frequently on set as Pontecorvo was trying to reign in Martin so that his performance would lie better with those of the non-professionals. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Col. Mathieu: We aren't madmen or sadists, gentlemen. Those who call us Fascists today, forget the contribution that many of us made to the Resistance. Those who call us Nazis, don't know that among us there are survivors of Dachau and Buchenwald. We are soldiers and our only duty is to win.
See more »

Connections

Featured in At the Movies: Ennio Morricone in Conversation (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Should be mandatory viewing for every American
30 January 2004 | by Tony43See 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.


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