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Best of British Classics: Candelight in Algeria [Import]


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Product Details

  • Format: Full Screen, NTSC, Import
  • Language: English
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Studio: Vci Video
  • Release Date: March 29 2011
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004HWZDHW

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J. Lovins TOP 50 REVIEWER on March 31 2011
VCI Entertainment and British Aviation Pictures presents "CANDLELIGHT IN ALGERIA" (1944) (82 min/B&W) -- Starring James Mason, Carla Lehmann, Raymond Lovell, Enid Stamp-Taylor, Walter Rilla & Pamela Stirling

Directed by George King

Fact, fiction and espionage are combined in this drama that follows the exploits of Eisenhower's top aide, Mark Clark, and other important Allies as they journey to an important meeting held on Algeria's coast. The precise location of this vital secret gathering is upon a piece of film which must not fall into enemy hands, lest the Allied honchos get captured. The film is hidden in a German colony in Algiers. It is up to one of Britain's top spies (James Mason) to bring it to safety. He is hindered by a Nazi spy who follows him. He is assisted by an American woman and a French woman. They are successful and gun-play ensues as they try to flee the country.

A classic chase and hiding out in the Casbah is given touches of humor, without ever losing its interesting edge as it pits suave Brit Mason against brave but naive neo-puritan USer, Lehman. Look for the interrogation scenes, the Algiers' hideout scenes and the climactic and intelligent chase sequence. This is a film worth watching many times -- It was often imitated afterward but seldom equaled.

One of a trilogy of WWII UK films in which Mason played the "good" guy - the other two are Secret Mission (1942) and Hotel Reserve (1944) -- nice to see he does have a good side to his nature.

BIOS:
1. George King [Director]
Date of Birth: 1899 - England, UK
Date of Death: 26 June 1966 - London, England, UK

2.
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A good wartime movie , but there have been many such movies. I chose this one because of actor James Mason.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 5 reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
"Get in there, old school tie." April 11 2011
By H. Bala - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
You'd have to be some kind of crummy Englishman to play an espionage agent and not be all suave and dashing. It's probably the accent. Today, James Mason isn't acclaimed for his leading man prowess, and nowadays if he's referred to, it's probably by Eddie Izzard in one of his stand up routines. Mason is more lauded for his memorable character turns in films like HEAVEN CAN WAIT, THE VERDICT, and MURDER BY DECREE (where he is fantastic as Watson). But, once upon a time, James Mason did take on leading man roles, and he was tremendous. Case in point, this rather fantastic (yet obscure) 1944 British spy thriller, CANDLELIGHT IN ALGERIA. If you get an opportunity, do yourself a favor and dust off this old chestnut.

James Mason pretty much classes up whatever joint he steps into. He plays Alan Thurston, a fugitive British agent caught in a desperate race against German operatives. His mission is to unearth a roll of film which reveals the secret location of the planned Allied invasion of North Africa. Carla Lehmann is marvelous as Susan Ann Foster, the plucky and resourceful American girl (visiting from Kansas) who abets Thurston (and naturally falls in love with him). CANDLELIGHT IN ALGERIA is mostly framed as a flashback story and told from the girl's perspective. The film's opening moments present a scene in which the Allied soldiers are triumphantly marching thru the Algerian streets and, in a nearby hospice, a recuperating Susan Foster wonders if the gallant British agent had survived his mission. At which point, roll the flashback...

What makes James Mason so watchable is that you could sense some sort of turmoil stirring beneath the calm facade. No one can do buttoned-down melancholy quite like Mr. Mason. In a way, it's a refreshing change of pace that, for this flick, he rolls with a more heroic, more dapper sensibility. Mason is practically breezy in this role. He displays a wry affability and a keen sense of humor, and I loved the witty banter exchanged between him and Carla Lehmann. Their first encounter, as Lehmann initially demurs from helping Mason, and Mason airily tells her (as only Mason could deliver it): "Okay, Kansas, pull your chin in. No one's going to shoot you." That's when I knew I was in good hands, and was in for a good time.

I love these old school WWII spy thrillers, and if they're British, then all the better. You can't beat stuff like THE THIRTY NINE STEPS, THE LADY VANISHES, PIMPERNEL SMITH, and FIVE GRAVES TO CAIRO (this last one may not be British-made). CANDLELIGHT IN ALGERIA is gripping and presents an exotic flavor, taking place as it does in Algiers. Place like that, fraught with that pensive wartime atmosphere, one almost can't help but engage in international intrigue and close shaves and desperate romance. James Mason has never been more cool or stiff-upper-lipped than when he's playing taut cat & mouse games with the Nazis' chillingly perceptive chief investigator Dr. Muller (a menacing Walter Rilla). Who knew James Mason could be so at ease flirting with danger in the casbah. Running at a well-paced 81 minutes, CANDLELIGHT IN ALGERIA is an all-around intelligent and classy production, never mind that James Mason for a while insists on wearing that ridiculous fez.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
"Candlelight in Algeria ... James Mason ... George King (Director) (2011)" March 31 2011
By J. Lovins - Published on Amazon.com
VCI Entertainment and British Aviation Pictures presents "CANDLELIGHT IN ALGERIA" (1944) (82 min/B&W) -- Starring James Mason, Carla Lehmann, Raymond Lovell, Enid Stamp-Taylor, Walter Rilla & Pamela Stirling

Directed by George King

Fact, fiction and espionage are combined in this drama that follows the exploits of Eisenhower's top aide, Mark Clark, and other important Allies as they journey to an important meeting held on Algeria's coast. The precise location of this vital secret gathering is upon a piece of film which must not fall into enemy hands, lest the Allied honchos get captured. The film is hidden in a German colony in Algiers. It is up to one of Britain's top spies (James Mason) to bring it to safety. He is hindered by a Nazi spy who follows him. He is assisted by an American woman and a French woman. They are successful and gun-play ensues as they try to flee the country.

A classic chase and hiding out in the Casbah is given touches of humor, without ever losing its interesting edge as it pits suave Brit Mason against brave but naive neo-puritan USer, Lehman. Look for the interrogation scenes, the Algiers' hideout scenes and the climactic and intelligent chase sequence. This is a film worth watching many times -- It was often imitated afterward but seldom equaled.

One of a trilogy of WWII UK films in which Mason played the "good" guy - the other two are Secret Mission (1942) and Hotel Reserve (1944) -- nice to see he does have a good side to his nature.

BIOS:
1. George King [Director]
Date of Birth: 1899 - England, UK
Date of Death: 26 June 1966 - London, England, UK

2. James Mason [aka: James Neville Mason]
Date of Birth: 15 May 1909 - Huddersfield, Yorkshire, England, UK
Date of Death: 27 July 1984 - Lausanne, Switzerland

3. Carla Lehmann
Date of Birth: 26 February 1917 - Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Date of Death: December 1990 - England, UK

4. Raymond Lovell
Date of Birth: 13 April 1900 - Montréal, Québec, Canada
Date of Death: 1 October 1953, London, England, UK

Mr. Jim's Ratings:
Quality of Picture & Sound: 4 Stars
Performance: 4 Stars
Story & Screenplay: 4 Stars
Overall: 4 Stars [Original Music, Cinematography & Film Editing]

Total Time: 82 min on DVD ~ VCI Entertainment ~ (03/29/2011)
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Top Thriller Sept. 26 2012
By Marian - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Great story - keeps you interested. James Mason gives his usual excellent performance, the typical cool British agent. Recommend it for Mason fans.
A gift to a friend Feb. 11 2013
By magic fingers - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
This dvd was a gift to a friend that has high reguards for James Mason. To find these movies was a perfect gift.
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Very disappointing May 1 2012
By Charles Hall - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I bought this to see James Mason, but Carla Lehmann gets most of the screen time. Mason is very young, and does not have a very interesting character.

As far as the movie itself, the plot is silly and the action is contrived. I guess you can forgive them for some flag waving in 1944, but the movie is still bad.

Skip this movie and track down a copy of "Hotel Reserve" (1946), only 2 years later but Mason is now the star and has an interesting persona. Now that's a good movie.

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