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directed by John Berry

US 1948


Casbah is a musical remake of the 1938 film Algiers, which was itself a remake of the French film Pepe Le Moko. Tony Martin stars in the old Jean Gabin/Charles Boyer role as Pepe Le Moko, a master thief who lives in the Casbah section of Algiers. A French police inspector (Peter Lorre) would love to capture Pepe, but realizes that as long as the thief remains in the Casbah he is protected by his vast network of criminals. When Pepe falls in love with a beautiful tourist (Marta Toren), he schemes for the first time to leave his little "empire". Betrayed by a former lover (Yvonne De Carlo), Pepe is shot down by the police as he emerges from his sanctuary. Casbah lacks the atmosphere of the earlier non-musical versions of the story, but Tony Martin is reasonably convincing as Pepe Le Moko, even when bursting into song.


Theatrical Release: April 1948


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DVD Review: Koch Media - Region 2 - PAL

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Koch Media

Region 2 - PAL

Runtime 1:29:09 (4% PAL speedup)

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.73 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio Dolby English 2.0, German 2.0 (DUB)
Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Koch Media

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Gallery

DVD Release Date: April 28th, 2016
Book-style case

Chapters 12





Casbah come to DVD courtesy of Koch Media in Germany. It's an interesting film with musical numbers sung by Yvonne De Carlo (For Every Man There's a Woman), Tony Martin (It Was Written In The Stars, What's Good About Goodbye) or both (Hooray For Love.) It captures some of the flavor of Pepe Le Moko.

The image appears a shade digitized and waxy at times. I supposed we are spoiled by HD but this looks unnaturally soft but appealingly thick and heavy. On the positive it is progressive and there is no chroma. It's not fatally poor in-motion and I enjoyed the presentation which I found fairly consistent. The visuals are flat without texture. It is single-layered and I don't know of another edition, DVD or Blu-ray, for the film.

Lossy audio in standard Dolby, The score is by Harold Arlen (Stormy Weather) and Walter Scharf (The Glass Key, Hans Christian Andersen, The Geisha Boy, Rock-a-Bye Baby) and the songs sound reasonable and clean but without depth. There is a German DUB but no subtitles offered and the PAL disc is region 2-locked.

The only extra is a gallery.

Only recommended to see the film and, per chance, ogle Miss De Carlo - who is absolutely radiant. The 'Musicality' surprisingly suits the film and I found my viewing kind of rewarding. I'm glad I saw Casbah, although I may not view it again for some time. To each his own.

  - Gary Tooze


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Region 2 - PAL


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