Wicked City (1949 film)

Wicked City (French: Hans le marin) is a 1949 French-American drama film directed by François Villiers and starring the husband and wife team of Jean-Pierre Aumont and Maria Montez. It was Montez's first film in Europe.[4]

Wicked City
Directed byFrançois Villiers
Produced byAndre Sarrut
Written byJean-Pierre Aumont
Francois Villiers
Based onthe novel Hans Le Marin by Edouard Peisson
StarringMaria Montez
Jean-Pierre Aumont
Lilli Palmer
Marcel Dalio
Music byJoseph Kosma
CinematographyJean Bourgoin
Edited byHenri Taverna
Christina Productions
Release date
  • 16 November 1949 (1949-11-16) (France)
  • 1951 (1951) (U.S.)[1]
Running time
76 minutes
United States
Budget80,000 francs (US $250,000)[2]
Box office1,891,994 admissions (France)[3]

It was also known by the alternative title of The Last Port.

Along with The Man on the Eiffel Tower, the film was the first French-US co production following the war.[2]


Hans is a Canadian sailor docked in Marseilles who is having an affair with cabaret owner Dolores (Maria Montez). When he is robbed and left for dead, Hans awakens to discover that Dolores has disappeared. He goes to work as a nightclub bouncer and has a fling with gypsy girl Tania (Lilli Palmer).


  • Jean-Pierre Aumont
  • Maria Montez
  • Lilli Palmer


Aumont served with the Free French Army during World War Two and was wounded by shrapnel near Marseilles in 1944. While recuperating he read the novel Hans Le Marin by Edouard Peysson and began to think about filming it on location near Marseilles. In 1946 Aumont visited the author with his brother Francois Villiers and his wife Maria Montez, and negotiated to buy the film rights. Aumont was to write the script, Villiers was to direct and Montez and Aumont would star. The goal was to show Montez "is an actress as well as a manikin".[2]

Andre Sarrut of Safia Productions agreed to pay the production costs of the film up to 80,000 francs (then US $250,000). Aumont was to produce through his company with Montez, Christina Productions. Christina provided the services of Aumont, Montez and Lili Palmer; in exchange Christina's share would be paid off first out of US receipts.[2]

Filming began in Marseilles in July 1948. Sixty percent of the film was shot on location with the remainder done at the Joinville Studios in Paris.


  1. 'Bitter Rice' Now on View Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 08 Feb 1951: A8.
  2. Thomas Jr, George (12 December 1948). "Filming in Paris: Notes on First Franco -- American Projects". New York Times. p. X6.
  3. French box office of 1949 at Box Office Story
  4. Film information at Mariamontez.org
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