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Film / Passage to Marseille

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Passage to Marseille is a 1944 war film made by Warner Bros., directed by Michael Curtiz, and starring Humphrey Bogart, Claude Rains, Peter Lorre, John Loder, Sydney Greenstreet, and Michèle Morgan.

In 1942, journalist Manning (Loder) arrives at an English air base to learn about the Free French who are fighting the Germans. Manning's interest focuses on Jean Matrac (Bogart), a gunner, and Captain Freycinet (Rains) describes Matrac's story: Two years earlier, just before the defeat of France by the Germans, five convicts, led by Matrac, escaped from Devil's Island and are found adrift in a small canoe in the Caribbean Sea. When they find out about the situation of the war, they decide to join the forces against the Nazis.


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This film features examples of:

  • Flashback: A reporter comes to an air base to interview a Free French officer, who starts telling the story of one of his men. Flashback to the man being recovered at sea by a ship along with four others. It is revealed that they are escaped prisoners. Flashback to them planning to escape in order to join the fight against the Germans...
  • Frame-Up: It is revealed that before the war, Matrac was a crusading journalist opposed to the Munich Pact, and was framed for murder to shut him up.
  • Great Escape: The group of convicts led by Matrac escape Devil's Island by raft.

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