4.2/10
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26 user 5 critic

Casablanca Express (1989)

Not Rated | | Action, Thriller, War | 22 December 1989 (Italy)
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In 1942, a commando is assigned to protect Winston Churchill when it is learned that the Nazis are plotting to kidnap him.

Director:

Sergio Martino

Writers:

Roberto Leoni (story), Ernesto Gastaldi (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jason Connery ... Alan Cooper
Francesco Quinn ... Captain Franchetti
Jinny Steffan Jinny Steffan ... Lt. Lorna Fisher
Manfred Lehmann ... Otto Von Tiblis
Jean Sorel ... Major Valmore
Donald Pleasence ... Colonel Bats
Glenn Ford ... Major Gen. Williams
Luisa Maneri Luisa Maneri ... Nanny
Horst Schön Horst Schön ... Priest (as Horst Schon)
David Brandon ... Jason Lloyd
John Evans ... Winston Churchill
Marina Viro Marina Viro ... Olga
Giulia Urso Giulia Urso ... Liz
Giovanni Tamberi Giovanni Tamberi ... Julian
Augusto Poderosi Augusto Poderosi ... Barry
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Storyline

Algiers, 1942. The special counter-intelligence agent, Alan Cooper, is assigned to protect the British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, who is aboard the Casablanca Express, on his way to a top-secret meeting with Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Joseph Stalin. However, the Nazis already know everything about their plan, and a tactical unit of German paratroopers take the commando guards by surprise, intent on kidnapping Churchill. Now, it's up to Cooper and his fellow agents, Captain Franchetti and Lt. Lorna Fisher, to lead a desperate counter-attack before all is lost. But, can they make it in time? Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Based on historical events. See more »

Genres:

Action | Thriller | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Italy

Language:

Italian | English

Release Date:

22 December 1989 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Casablanca Express: The Churchill Kidnap See more »

Filming Locations:

Casablanca, Morocco

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Boring, Sloppily Made Action Flick
28 June 2003 | by SgtSlaughterSee all my reviews

An old-fashioned WWII adventure piece, starring some elderly Hollywood vets and the sons of some great stars. Unfortunately, even with a great cast and crew, the movie comes off as forced and corny all the way.

Churchill takes a train to meet with Roosevelt and Stalin in Casablanca. German paratroopers attempt to capture the train and take Churchill alive, but their efforts are hampered by Allied commandos.

The movie is, honestly, really bad in just about every department. Jason Connery and Francesco Quinn (PLATOON) try really hard, and have enough talent to squeak by, but neither would be as convincing or at ease as their fathers (Sean Connery and Anthony Quinn). Manfred Lehmann is a pretty nasty-looking but very incompetent German officer who leads the assault on the train. Donald Pleasence (THE GREAT ESCAPE) and Glenn Ford (IS PARIS BURNING?) are onhand as the Allied generals running the show from headquarters.

The movie is chock full of supporting characters and plot elements which have absolutely nothing to do with the action. There's a Catholic priest, a couple prostitutes, nuns, Arab sheiks, and British civilians riding the train who all end up getting killed. So much emphasis is put on these characters, all of whom are focused on only to be thrown away.

There are a lot of plot holes and such which also hamper the story's credibility. Glenn Ford seems to hate Churchill and blames him for Pearl Harbor and the death of his son, but this subplot is forgotten about halfway through the movie. Men sit around talking for the first thirty minutes or so about nothing that matters, providing lots of details on events and actions which don't matter a bit. The Germans manage to take over the train quite rapidly and wipe out a platoon of American guards, but in the final act a couple good guys with MP40s are able to wipe out just about the entire German unit with no effort at all. The Germans fail to secure the entire train, just some cars; they don't bother to look underneath the cars for saboteurs; they are portrayed as buffoons and idiots all the way.

The action scenes are ultra-corny, usually involving few pyrotechnics and a couple of good guys mowing down the German paratroops or vice versa. It's all set to a typically garbage (yet serviceable) Luigi Ceccarelli music score, which is typical synthesize garbage that never makes it's potential. To make matters worse, the bulk of the action was shot on what looks to be a desert soundstage, with the train parked and not much movement of the actors or any exciting stunts. There is one nail-biting fisticuff atop the speeding train which did have me on the edge of my seat, though.

I watched CASABLANCA EXPRESS on a Portuguese videotape. The colors were bright, fresh and intense. There was occasional print damage, but for the most part this movie was well-preserved for video transfer.

CASABLANCA EXPRESS is a corny - and appropriately so - but doesn't fit bill for a late 80s war movie. Audiences could expect better from such an experienced cast and crew - even for an Italian production, it's not very good for its day.

RATING: 3/10


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