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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
Ugo Paletti Ugo Paletti ... Captain
Fusia El Kader Fusia El Kader ... Halima
Mohamed Ben Kassen Mohamed Ben Kassen ... Petit Omar
Franco Moruzzi Franco Moruzzi ... (as Franco Morici)
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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 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Director Gillo Pontecorvo and composer Ennio Morricone had regular disagreements over the movie's score. At one point, Pontecorvo had a melody stuck in his mind which he desperately wanted as a theme in the movie. He went to Morricone's apartment to play it for him, and hummed the tune all the way up to the top floor. Then Morricone asked him to wait with the tune, since he had conceived a melody of his own. To Pontecorvo's surprise, the tune was exactly the same as the one he had in mind, and he was delighted to find out that after all those months of struggling, they had finally found something, separate from each other, on which they could agree. It wasn't until months later at the Venice film festival that Morricone admitted that he had pulled a prank on him; he had already heard Pontecorvo humming the song while coming up the stairs, and decided to pretend he had come up with the same melody himself. 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 need to have the Kasbah at our disposal. We have to sift through it and interrogate everyone. And that's where we find ourselves hindered by a conspiracy of laws and regulations that continue to operate as if Algiers were a holiday resort and not a battleground. We've requested a carte blanche, but that's very difficult to obtain. Therefore, it's necessary to find an excuse to legitimize our intervention and make it possible. It's necessary to create this for ourselves, this excuse. Unless ...
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Connections

Featured in Terror's Advocate (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

St. Matthew Passion BWV 244, 1st movement
Composed by Johann Sebastian Bach
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Great war movie? Yes---and maybe the best POLITICAL movie ever.
6 September 2001 | by Robert HirschfeldSee all my reviews

I wish I could locate a videocassette of this film--subtitled, not dubbed. The first time I saw it, I was a little put off by what I thought was a pompous disclaimer that "not one foot" of documentary footage had been used. But, in light of the finished product, it's a remarkable statement. If a film has better captured the harsh and ugly realities that are an inevitable part of a true revolutionary movement, I never saw it. It is greatly to its credit that one never gets a sense of "good guys vs. bad guys" here--only of people trapped in a truly impossible set of circumstances, from which no escape is possible without confrontation and bloodshed. It was depressing to see this movie in Berkeley in the early 70s, and hear the audience cheer the "heroic" Algerian revolutionaries while booing the "villainous" French, in view of the great pains that had been taken to present a balanced viewpoint. This film is thrilling, heartbreaking, thought-provoking, and beautiful--sometimes by turns and sometimes all at once. If you haven't seen it and it show up anywhere in the vicinityh, drop everything and go--and pray that it's subtitled and not dubbed. (There are dubbed prints and, as is usually the case, dubbing pretty nearly wrecks it.) This is a masterpiece.


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