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Algiers (1938) [Drama] [Mystery] [Romance]

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"Algiers" is a 1938 American drama film directed by John Cromwell and starring Charles Boyer, Sigrid Gurie, and Hedy Lamarr. Written by John Howard Lawson, the film is about a notorious French jewel thief hiding in the labyrinthine native quarter of Algiers known as the Casbah. Feeling imprisoned by his self-imposed exile, he is drawn out of hiding by a beautiful French tourist who reminds him of happier times in Paris. The Walter Wanger production was a remake of the successful 1937 French film Pépé le Moko, which derived its plot from the Henri La Barthe novel of the same name. "Algiers" was a sensation because it was the first Hollywood film starring Hedy Lamarr, whose stunning beauty became the main feature for film audiences. The film is notable as one of the sources of inspiration to the screenwriters of the 1942 Warner Bros. film Casablanca who wrote it with Hedy Lamarr in mind as the original female lead. According to the Turner Classic Movie channel, Charles Boyer's depiction of the main character, Pepe Le Moko, was the inspiration for the Warner Bros. animated character, Pepe Le Pew.

Pepe Le Moko (Boyer) is a notorious thief, who escaped from France after his last great heist to Algeria. Since his escape, Moko became a resident and leader of the immense Casbah, or "native quarter," of Algiers. French officials arrive insisting on Pepe's capture are met with unfazed local detectives, led by Inspector Slimane (Calleia), who are biding their time. Meanwhile, Pepe begins to feel increasingly trapped in his prison-like stronghold, a feeling which intensifies after meeting the beautiful Gaby (Lamarr), who is visiting from France. His love for Gaby soon arouses the jealousy of Ines (Gurie), Pepe's Algerian mistress.


Directed by John Cromwell, produced by Walter Wanger, written by James M. Cain
and John Howard Lawson, starring Charles Boyer as Pepe le Moko. Sigrid Gurie as Ines, Hedy Lamarr as Gaby, Joseph Calleia as Inspector Slimane, Alan Hale as Grandpere, Gene Lockhart as Regis, Walter Kingsford as Chef Inspector Louvain, Paul Harvey as Commissioner Janvier, Stanley Fields as Carlos, Johnny Downs as Pierrot, Charles D. Brown as Max, Robert Greig as Giraux, Leonid Kinskey as L'Arbi, Joan Woodbury as Aicha
and Nina Koshetz as Tania.


Source: "Algiers (film)" Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.. 18 March 2013. Web. 20 April 2013.

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