Movie Information

In Brief: Director John Cromwell could aptly be called a master of melodrama, though I wouldn't necessarily consider such a distinction a compliment. A perfect case in point would be Algiers (1938), an American remake of French director Julien Duvivier's Jean Gabin vehicle Pépé Le Moko (1937). Cromwell's take is inferior in almost every way — Charles Boyer is no Jean Gabin, and even with screenwriting contributions from James M. Cain, the film constantly hovers on the verge of outright camp. If there's one thing that places Algiers a cut above other potboiler crime thrillers of the period, it's the electrifying screen presence of Hedy Lamarr, making her U.S. screen debut under contract to MGM. Anyone unfamiliar with Lamarr beyond the recent doc Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story need only come to the AFS' screening of Algiers to see what all the fuss was about.
Genre: Crime Drama
Director: John Cromwell
Starring: Charles Boyer, Sigrid Gurie, Hedy Lamarr, Joseph Calleia, Alan Hale, Gene Lockhart
Rated: NR

The Asheville Film Society will screen Algiers on Tuesday, March 13, at 7 p.m. at the Grail Moviehouse, hosted by Xpress movie critic Scott Douglas.


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