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Best of British Classics: Candlelight In Algeria (1944)

James Mason , Carla Lehmann , George King  |  NR |  DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: James Mason, Carla Lehmann, Raymond Lovell, Bart Norman, Pamela Stirling
  • Directors: George King
  • Format: Black & White, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: VCI Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: March 29, 2011
  • Run Time: 82 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Shipping: Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S. and to APO/FPO addresses. For APO/FPO shipments, please check with the manufacturer regarding warranty and support issues.
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #270,158 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

James Mason stars as fugitive British agent Alan Thurston on a mission to find secret photographs of the location of the Allied invasion of North Africa before the Nazis. Susan Foster (Carla Lehmann) is drawn into the intrigue of the event when she decides to help Thurston by hiding him from the imposing Nazi, Dr. Muller (Walter Rilla), who is pursuing the same end.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Get in there, old school tie." April 11, 2011
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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.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
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.

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

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Top Thriller September 26, 2012
By Marian
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Great story - keeps you interested. James Mason gives his usual excellent performance, the typical cool British agent. Recommend it for Mason fans.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A gift to a friend February 11, 2013
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This dvd was a gift to a friend that has high reguards for James Mason. To find these movies was a perfect gift.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointing May 1, 2012
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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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