Algiers (1938)

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Algiers is a 1938 American drama film directed by John Cromwell and starring Charles Boyer, Sigrid Gurie, and Hedy Lamarr. Written by John Howard Lawson, the film is about a notorious French jewel thief hiding in the labyrinthine native quarter of Algiers known as the Casbah. Feeling imprisoned by his self-imposed exile, he is drawn out of hiding by a beautiful French tourist who reminds him of happier times in Paris. The Walter Wanger production was a remake of the successful 1937 French film Pepe le Moko, which derived its plot from the Henri La Barthe novel of the same name.

Algiers was a sensation because it was the first Hollywood film starring Hedy Lamarr, whose stunning beauty became the main feature for film audiences. The film is notable as one of the sources of inspiration to the screenwriters of the 1942 Warner Bros. film Casablanca who wrote it with Hedy Lamarr in mind as the original female lead. According to the Turner Classic Movie channel, Charles Boyer's depiction of the main character, Pepe Le Moko, was the inspiration for the Warner Bros. animated character, Pepe Le Pew. In 1966, the film entered the public domain (in the USA) due to the claimants' failure to renew its copyright registration in the 28th year after publication.