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Passage to Marseille
IMDB Rating: 6.9/10 from 2,499 votes
Release: 11 March 1944 (USA) /

Passage to Marseille

Genre: Adventure, Drama, History, War
Director: Michael Curtiz,
Stars: , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Synopsis: As French bomber crews prepare an air raid from a base in England, we learn the story of Matrac, a French journalist who opposed the Munich Pact. Framed for murder and sent to Devil's Island, he and four others escape. They are on a ship bound for Marseilles when France surrenders and fascist sympathizer Major Duval tries to seize the ship for Vichy. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

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Critic Reviews

I think this film gets a bad rap as most people see it as a Casablanca wanna-be based on the fact that the same players appear in both (even the singer Corinne Mura shows up here although she was uncredited in Casablanca). Granted, this is a propaganda film but so were hundreds of others made at this time. France gets particular attention as the sole cause of the Munich sell-out and Marshall Petain, old and misguided, gets all the blame......this is not exactly how it was but we have to remember that Vichy was collaborating with the Nazis. (Remember how Claude Rains threw away the bottle of Vichy water in Casablanca?) So we have to view this film in the context of the times.

Bogey plays his character just like Bogey.....no attempt at a French accent which probably would have been disastrous anyway and the cast is a melting pot of nationalities. But how can you go wrong with Bogey, Greenstreet, Rains and Lorre? They could make an educational film about the building and maintenance of an internal combustion engine interesting!

The flashbacks are not hard to follow, and although a rather awkward story telling method in this particular film, don't really take that much away from the screenplay.

Bogey's actions surrounding the survivors of the downed German plane were a bit surprising but hey, it was war. The entire fight on the ship against the Germans was the best part of the film.

Michele Morgan had absolutely nothing to do in this film which is too bad as she was a wonderful actress with a haunting beauty but this is basically a man's movie.

All in all, this isn't a bad film but it has suffered because of its comparison to Casablanca. Be warned that it is pure propaganda but I found it enjoyable and a window on a different time.

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