|Candlelight in Algeria|
|Directed by||George King|
|Screenplay by|| Katherine Strueby |
|Story by||Dorothy Hope|
|Produced by||George King|
|Starring|| James Mason |
|Edited by|| Winifred Cooper |
|Music by|| Roy Douglas |
British Aviation Pictures
|Distributed by|| British Lion Film Corporation (United Kingdom)|
20th Century Fox (United States)
|Languages||English, French, German|
Candlelight in Algeria is a 1944 British war film directed by George King and starring James Mason, Carla Lehmann and Raymond Lovell. The story is loosely based on an October 1942 secret conference in Cherchell, Algeria between American general Mark W. Clark and a group of high-ranking Vichy French commanders. At the conference, the Vichy French commanders agreed to not resist the Operation Torch landings in Vichy France-controlled French North Africa that occurred one month later.
Ahead of the conference, British agent Alan Thurston has been assigned to travel to Algiers to recover a camera containing photos that reveal where the meeting will take place. Thurston is not aware of the meeting or the content of the photos, but he has orders to prevent the camera from reaching the Germans. He is shadowed by German spy Dr. Müller, who intends to steal the camera as soon as Thurston acquires it.
Susan Foster, an American sculptress living in Biskra, agrees to help Thurston. In Algiers, she steals the camera from the bedroom of nightclub singer Martiza, but instead of giving the camera to Thurston, she plans to take it to the American consulate. However, her opinion of Thurston quickly changes when he rescues her from Müller. They take cover in a kasbah with Thurston’s French friend Yvette and develop the film there. After Thurston recognises the place in the photos, they race to the meeting place to warn the Allied officers.
The film premiered at the Regal, Marble Arch in London on 18 February 1944,but the reviewer for The Times was somewhat disappointed: "Candlelight in Algeria is not the film it might have been with such a theme to inspire it; it shows itself aware of the possibilities, but fails to exploit them."
When the film opened at the Victoria Theater in New York City on 29 July 1944, The New York Times critic Paul P. Kennedy was somewhat more forgiving: "The British Lion production which came to the Victoria Saturday is, as a whole, well put together, and the acting, while not outstanding, is worthy of the film. Add to this the mysterious background of Algiers and a lot of international intrigue and the result is a generally entertaining picture."
According to trade papers, the film was a success at the British box office in 1944.
Operation Torch was an Allied invasion of French North Africa during the Second World War. Torch was a compromise operation that met the British objective of securing victory in North Africa while allowing American armed forces the opportunity to engage in the fight against Nazi Germany on a limited scale. It was the first mass involvement of US troops in the European–North African Theatre, and saw the first major airborne assault carried out by the United States.
Free France was a political entity that claimed to be the legitimate government of France following the dissolution of the Third Republic. Led by French general Charles de Gaulle, Free France was established as a government-in-exile in London in June 1940 after the Fall of France during World War II and fought the Axis as an Allied nation with its Free French Forces. Free France also supported the resistance in Nazi-occupied France, known as the French Forces of the Interior, and gained strategic footholds in several French colonies in Africa.
Jean Louis Xavier François Darlan was a French admiral and political figure. Born in Nérac, Darlan graduated from the École navale in 1902 and quickly advanced through the ranks following his service during World War I. He was promoted to rear admiral in 1929, vice admiral in 1932, lieutenant admiral in 1937 before finally being made admiral and Chief of the Naval Staff in 1937. In 1939, Darlan was promoted to admiral of the fleet, a rank created specifically for him.
Henri Honoré Giraud was a French general and a leader of the Free French Forces during the Second World War until he was forced to retire in 1944.
The History of the Jews in Algeria refers to the history of the Jewish community of Algeria, which dates to the 1st century CE. In the 15th century, many Spanish Jews fled to the Maghreb, including today's Algeria, following expulsion from Spain and Portugal; among them were respected Jewish scholars, including Isaac ben Sheshet (Ribash) and Simeon ben Zemah Duran (Rashbatz).
Georges Albert Julien Catroux was a French Army general and diplomat who served in both World War I and World War II, and served as Grand Chancellor of the Légion d'honneur from 1954 to 1969.
Raymond Lovell was a Canadian-born actor who performed in British films. He mainly played supporting roles, often somewhat pompous characters.
José Aboulker was a French Algerian Jew and the leader of the anti-Nazi resistance in French Algeria in World War II. He received the U.S. Medal of Freedom, the Croix de Guerre, and was made a Companion of the Liberation and a Commander of the Légion d'honneur. After the war, he became a neurosurgeon and a political figure in France, who advocated for the political rights of Algerian Muslims.
The Battle of Algiers is a 1966 war film co-written and directed by Gillo Pontecorvo. It is based on events undertaken by rebels during the Algerian War (1954–1962) against the French government in North Africa, the most prominent being the eponymous Battle of Algiers, the capital of Algeria. It was shot on location in a Roberto Rossellini-inspired newsreel style: in black and white with documentary-type editing to add to its sense of historical authenticity, with mostly non-professional actors who had lived through the real battle. The film's score was composed by Pontecorvo and Ennio Morricone. It is often associated with Italian neorealist cinema.
The Front de l'Algérie française was a political and militant movement in favour of French Algeria, established in 1960 in Algiers. Its founder was Said Boualam.
The French State, popularly known as Vichy France, as led by Marshal Philippe Pétain after the Fall of France in 1940 before Nazi Germany, was quickly recognized by the Allies, as well as by the Soviet Union, until 30 June 1941 and Operation Barbarossa. However France broke with the United Kingdom after the destruction of the French Fleet at Mers-el-Kebir. Canada maintained diplomatic relations until the occupation of Southern France by Germany and Italy in November 1942.
The French Committee of National Liberation was a provisional government of Free France formed by the French generals Henri Giraud and Charles de Gaulle to provide united leadership, organize and coordinate the campaign to liberate France from Nazi Germany during World War II. The committee was formed on 3 June 1943 and after a period of joint leadership, on 9 November it came under the chairmanship of de Gaulle. The committee directly challenged the legitimacy of the Vichy regime and unified all the French forces that fought against the Nazis and collaborators. The committee functioned as a provisional government for Algeria and the liberated parts of the colonial empire. Later it evolved into the Provisional Government of the French Republic, under the premiership of Charles de Gaulle.
Hotel Reserve is a 1944 British spy film starring James Mason as an innocent man caught up in pre-Second World War espionage. Other cast members include Lucie Mannheim, Raymond Lovell and Herbert Lom. It was based on Eric Ambler's 1938 novel Epitaph for a Spy. Unusually, it was both directed and produced by a trio: Lance Comfort, Mutz Greenbaum and Victor Hanbury. It was shot at Denham Studios with sets designed by the art director William C. Andrews. The film was produced and distributed by the British branch of RKO Pictures.
Secret Mission is a 1942 British war film directed by Harold French and starring Hugh Williams, James Mason, Nancy Price, Carla Lehmann and Roland Culver.
Carla Lehmann was a Canadian-born stage, film and television actress.
Operation Kingpin was part of the run-up to Operation Torch, the planned Allied invasion of North Africa during World War II. It was a successor to Operation Flagpole, in which a secret meeting between U.S. General Mark W. Clark and diplomat Robert Murphy, representing the Allies, and General Charles E. Mast, the leader of a group of pro-Allied Vichy France officers in French North Africa, was arranged to secure their cooperation with the invasion. In Operation Kingpin, French General Henri Giraud, code-named "Kingpin", was released from confinement and brought to Gibraltar to meet with Operation Torch commander General Dwight D. Eisenhower and Clark in order to secure his cooperation with the invasion.
The Géo Gras Group was a French resistance movement that played a decisive role during Operation Torch, the British-American invasion of French North Africa during WWII.
The liberation of France in the Second World War was accomplished through diplomacy, politics and the combined military efforts of the Allied Powers, Free French forces in London and Africa, as well as the French Resistance.
The French Civil and Military High Command was an administrative and military governing body in Algiers that was created in connection with the Allied landings in French North Africa on 7 and 8 November 1942 as part of Operation Torch. It came about as a result of negotiations between the Americans and two military figures from Vichy France who the Americans believed could assure safe passage for the landing forces, namely Henri Giraud and François Darlan.
Paul Ruff was a French trade unionist, mathematician and resistance fighter.