The Excellent Eighties: Casablanca Express (1989)

Oh, yes! The ’80s are excellent when you get an old Sergio Martino war flick from those HBO days of yore, as you binged this alongside High Risk, Tuareg: The Desert Warrior (both reviewed this month via Mill Creek, look for them), and Inglorious Bastards. And don’t let the fact that we have the sons of Sean Connery and Anthony Quinn, Jason and Francesco, as our costarring leading men, deter your watching: they’re very good, here. When it is learned the Nazis are plotting to kidnap Winston Churchill on his way to the 1942 Casablanca Conference also attended by Franklin D. Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin, a crack commando unit is assigned for protection. Let the bullets fly and the explosions mushroom!

This isn’t — based on it being an Italian production headed by Sergio Martino, who gave us 2019: After the Fall of New York and Monster Shark (and too many Giallos* to mention) — a copycat schlock festival of pasta-war madness. Thanks to Glenn Ford and Donald Pleasence (as Maj. General Williams and Col. Bats) classing up the joint as only they know how, this — for moi — goes down as one of the best war movies of the early ’80s cable-era. This is the level of film that Michael Sopkiw deserved to be in. Even though Mike retired from acting by this point, Sergio should have called him in — especially after sticking him with Monster Shark. Mike would have been great in Jason Connery’s role.

You can get your own copy of Casablanca Express as part of Mill Creek’s Excellent Eighties 50-Film Set and you can watch it on You Tube.

* We dive deep into the bloody, yellow mayhem of Sergio Martino’s — and many other’s films — with our “Exploring: Giallo” featurette of 70-plus film reviews.

About the Author: You can learn more about the writings of R.D Francis on Facebook. He also writes for B&S About Movies.

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