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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
Edit

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:

Italy | Algeria

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

Gillo Pontecorvo originally composed the score for the film but was later persuaded to use a more conventional score. Thus, Ennio Morricone was brought in. 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

Journalist: M. Ben M'Hidi, don't you think it's a bit cowardly to use women's baskets and handbags to carry explosive devices that kill so many innocent people?
Ben M'Hidi: And doesn't it seem to you even more cowardly to drop napalm bombs on defenseless villages, so that there are a thousand times more innocent victims? Of course, if we had your airplanes it would be a lot easier for us. Give us your bombers, and you can have our baskets.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Inglourious Basterds (2009) 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

Great war movie? Yes---and maybe the best POLITICAL movie ever.
6 September 2001 | by Bobbyh-2See 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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