Algiers (1938)


“You’re beautiful. That’s easy to say. I know that other people have told you. But what I’m telling you is different, see? For to me you’re more than that. ” – Pepe Le Moko

Number of Times Seen – 1 (19 Jun 2018)

Brief Synopsis – A man wanted by the authorities hides in the maze-like area of the Casbah in Algiers

My Take on it – This is a film that is largely known due to the fact that it heavily influenced the film Casablanca (1942) 4 years later.

They do a nice job showing how a man trying to hide from the authorities can possibly get trapped in a claustrophobic situations as things begin to slowly close in on him.

The main reason that this film influenced the future Oscar winner was the love story between Charles Boyer and Hedy Lemarr.

They have great chemistry together and I can understand why they initially wanted to have Lemarr play Ingrid Bergman’s role.

Boyer was deservingly nominated for Best Actor at the Oscars that years but the fact that he was up against a very fine group of nominees made it an almost impossible task to try and win.

AS good as all 4 of the contenders were, none of them would be able to top Spencer Tracy’s performance as Father Flanagan which would end up earning him his second of two back to back Best Actor Oscars which is a feat that only Tom hanks was able to duplicate in the 90 years that the Awards have been presented.

Bottom Line – Interesting idea of showing how a man can trap himself in a claustrophobic situation and has to deal with things as the world closes in on him. The chemistry between Boyer and LeMarr is quite good and it’s quite understandable how this story helped influence the idea for Casablanca (1942) just a few years later. Boyer deservingly was nominated for Best Actor at the Oscars for this role, yet it was a strong year and he had little chance of beating Tracy.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Animator Chuck Jones based the Warner Brothers cartoon character “Pepe le Pew” on the “Pepe le Moko” character played by Charles Boyer in this film. (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy (6/10)

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3 thoughts on “Algiers (1938)

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  3. Pingback: Did They Get it Right? – Best Supporting Actor – Oscars 1938 | MovieRob

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