Tangier (1946 film)

Tangier is a 1946 black-and-white thriller film set in the city of Tangier, Morocco that was directed by George Waggner and filmed on Universal's backlot. It was one of the last Universal Pictures films before it merged into Universal-International in July 1946.[1]

Original film poster
Directed byGeorge Waggner
Produced byPaul Malvern
Joseph Gershenson
Screenplay byMonte Collins
M.M. Musselman
Based onoriginal story by Alice D. G. Miller
StarringMaria Montez
Robert Paige
Preston Foster
Louise Allbritton
Music byMilton Rosen
CinematographyElwood Bredell
George Waggner Productions
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
  • June 6, 1946 (1946-06-06)
Running time
76 minutes
CountryUnited States

The film features a variety of well-known Universal players completing their contracts, such as Maria Montez, Robert Paige and Louise Allbritton, and well-known 1940s stars Preston Foster and Sabu who sings "She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain".

The film was made at the insistence of Maria Montez who was sick of being typecast in Technicolor oriental adventures.[2]


In Tangier, disgraced American war correspondent Paul Kenyon, cafe dancer Rita, and local entrepreneur Pepe, team up to battle Adolpho Fernandez, a Nazi diamond smuggler.




Maria Montez became famous in the 1940s appearing in a series of movies at Universal set in exotic locales and filmed in color alongside Jon Hall and Sabu, such as Arabian Nights, White Savage and Cobra Woman. In September 1943 Universal announced they would make Flame of Stamboul, from a script by Alice Miller, to star Montez, Hall and Turhan Bey, who was to play the role meant for Sabu because Sabu had gone into the army. Paul Malvern was to produce and the film was meant to be shot in color.[3]

Miller's script was set in Turkey, which was neutral for most of World War Two. However this was ultimately felt to be too problematic politically - in particular Universal were worried about upsetting the Turkish government - and filming was postponed.[4]

In March 1945 the project was re-activated as Tangier. Steve Fisher was hired to rewrite the script.[5] The film was relocated to Tangiers and the villains were turned into agents from Franco's Spain. Then this was changed to they were from a non specific nationality.[4]

Montez had been fighting with Universal over being in romantic fantasy films. "Sudan is making more money than any of the others and Universal thinks that on that account I should appear in more of these film,s" she said. "But I wanted to quit these films when they are at their peak, not on the downbeat. It isn't only that the pictures are all the same, but the stories are one just like the other."[6]

She did add that "Tangier is modern. I play a Spanish girl. I like that."[6]


Filming started on 24 September 1945. By this stage Turhan Bey and Jon Hall had gone into the army so their roles were played by Sabu and Robert Paige respectively. It was Sabu's first movie on his return from the services.[7]

Montez was pregnant during filming.[8]

Radio singer William Ching made his film debut in the movie.[9]

Choreography was made by Lester Horton.


  1. http://www.cobbles.com/simpp_archive/international_universal.htm
  2. Tangier at Maria Montez Fan Page
  3. DRAMA AND FILM: Helen Walker Awarded Starring Opportunity Maria Montez, Hall and Turhan Bey Will Appear in 'Flame of Stamboul' Scheuer, Philip K. Los Angeles Times 11 Sep 1943: 7.
  4. DIPLOMATIC HOLLYWOOD: Treading Lightly Easy on the Victuals, Please TAPPING THE HOLLYWOOD WIRE Bang, Bang--Badmen! More Theatrical History By FRED STANLEY. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 07 Oct 1945: X1.
  5. NEWS OF THE SCREEN: Donna Reed Will Portray Sandy in 'Expendable'-- New York Times 20 Mar 1945: 22.
  6. Daughter of Director Begins Cinema Career Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times 9 June 1945: A5.
  7. STAR OF 'DILLINGER' GETS JAMES ROLE: Lawrence Tierney Listed for 'Bad Man's Territory'--New Mexican Film at Belmont Of Local Origin New York Times 15 Sep 1945: 21.
  8. Cary Eyes 'Hamlet' Hopper, Hedda. The Washington Post 27 Sep 1945: 6.
  9. M'MURRAY, LUPINO TO DO FILM AT FOX: 'Dark Corner,' Murder Thriller, to Star Pair--'True Glory' at Brooklyn Albee Today Of Local Origin29 Sep 1945: 12.
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