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Casablanca Express

Italy 1989
produced by
Pietro Innocenzi, Umberto Innocenzi (executive) for Dania Film, Globe Films, National Cinematografica, Surf Film
directed by Sergio Martino
starring Jason Connery, Francesco Quinn, Jinny Steffan, Manfred Lehmann, Jean Sorel, Donald Pleasence, Glenn Ford, Luisa Maneri, Horst Schön, David Brandon, John Evans, Marina Viro, Giulia Urso, Giovanni Tamberi, Augusto Poderosi, Phillip Vye, Todd Carter, Claire Seelinger, Omar Chenbod, J.R.M. Chapman, J. Pierre Chevalier, Stella Vizzazi, Sabah Chahid, Zakaria El Hammadi, Khadiya Hadda, Khalid Nekmouche, Bouchaid Ben Chefii, Dennis, Michael Vargas, Robert Chavagnac, Guillaume De Casenove, Malayrand J.Pierre, Christan Chamalaud
story by Roberto Leoni, screenplay by Roberto Leoni, Ernesto Gastaldi, Sergio Martino, music by Luigi Ceccarelli, special effects by Paolo Ricci

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Africa, 1942 (during World War II, so to speak): Winston Churchill (John Evans) has to be shipped right through the continent to Casablanca, but somehow the Axis forces have learned of this and of course will stop at nothing to assassinate him ... so the Allied generals decide to send him through Africa via train (!), despite the fact that all of the train's route is still a battlefield.

Major Valmore (Jean Sorel) is to supervise the operation from Allied HQ, agents Franchetti (Francesco Cooper) and Lorna (Jinny Steffan) work as undercover spies on Churchill's train, and Cooper (Jason Connery) is to do some on-the-ground-intelligence work ... but he soon finds out that Valmore is a traitor - but is held at headquarters on murder charges produced by Valmore.

Meanwhile, top German spy Otto von Tiblis (Manfred Lehmann) has made his way onto Churchill's train and is trying to sabotage it every which way he can, and German paratroopers attack the train. It's only when all seems lost that Cooper is cleared of the murder charges and Valmore is arrested ... but Cooper manages to catch up with the train anyways, where he fights off the paratroopers. But by then, von Tiblis has taken control of the engine and wants to pilot the train right into another German ambush - but Cooper manages to uncouple the waggons from the engine just in time and only von Tiblis falls prey to his own sabotage.

In the end, the Allied army finally arrives to clear up the mess.

And Churchill ?

He took the plane after all (clever choice), the train was only a decoy carrying his double.

Donald Pleasence and Glenn Ford are rather wasted as Allied officers who sit around in headquarters and get rather little to do safe from some discussing.

 


The events depicted in this film are entirely fictional, have pretty much nothing to do with actual history - which makes the film kind of endearing - in my view at least. The film as such though is rather lame, an underbudgeted period piece full of tired actionscenes and overused plottwists - and Jason son of Sean Connery and Francesco son of Anthony Quinn lack charisma to really carry the film.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
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shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD