Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Movie review - "The Man from Cairo" (1953) **

The last of three films George Raft made for Lippert Pictures, all unpretentious B movie thrillers - fillers, really. It's not a bad little film if you like that sort of stuff, so I do. It's helped by some location work in Africa, an exotic background (some bullion stolen from the French during the war and the action mostly takes place in Algeria, then a French colony),

It's also assisted by having a genuine star in the lead, Raft. This was his last lead role - he's an old dude now, he's clearly smoked too much in his life time, he's too old to for his female lead, his body double in the action sequences is not convincing at all, the eyes are sunken and the skin looks grey. And he still hasn't learned how to act. But he's George Raft, tough guy, and you feel an affection for him (I did, at any rate).

There's some slinky dames in cafes, including Gianna Maria Canale, and a decent support cast all trying to imitate people from Casablanca - a film Raft supposedly turned down (he didn't, but he definitely turned down a lot of good roles). They don't quite pull it off, the script is full of wonky contrivances - the whole set up involves Raft being a tourist who is mistaken for an American agent (who they don't kill for some reason).

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