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Pépé le Moko is a gangster from Paris that hides in Algier's Casbah. In the Casbah, he is safe and is able to elude the police's attempts to capture him. But he misses his freedom, after two years in the Casbah. He meets a gorgeous Parisian tourist, Gaby, and they fall in love. Native inspector Slimane tries to use her to attract Pépé out of the Casbah in order to catch him. Written by
There are two cast lists in the title credits. The first one only list the 8 main players as follows: Jean Gabin, Mireille Balin, Gabriel Gabrio, Lucas Gridoux, Gilbert Gil (as Gilbert-Gil), Lino Noro, Saturnin Fabre and Fernand Charpin (as Charpin). Then a full cast list details all male players along with their respective character names, followed by the female cast (also with the names of their characters) See more »
In a scene after Pierrot's death, Pepe is getting progressively drunker and his suit coat opens to reveal more of his shirt. His shirt has the monogram of "JG" on the pocket; clearly the monogram of the actor (Jean Gabin) and not the character. See more »
In the greatest gangster film of all time, Duvivier brings to the silver screen a gripping tale of love, passion, friendship and loyalty, as Pépé le Moko (Jean Gabin) reclusively hides in the seedy, underground of the Casbah quarters of Algiers. Elusive and dangerous, Pépé is considered one of France's most wanted at-large criminals. However, upon meeting a beautiful "parisienne", Gaby Gould (Mireille Balin), Pépé discovers that his heart is in Paris. Willing to risk his life and freedom to pursue his new love, Pépé takes to the streets of Algiers to find Gaby.
An enlightening look at French Algeria in the early 20th-century, Pépé le Moko is a cultural and historical masterpiece as much as it is a classic film. Examining the diversity of the inhabitants of the Casbah and exploring its architectural layout, this film provides for an extremely interesting postcolonial, anthropological, even Freudian (architectural) reading.
The friendship that develops between Inspector Slimane (Lucas Gridoux), a native Algerian investigator sent to capture the fugitive, and Pépé adds an element of perplexity, as the inspector is caught in a crux of friendship and loyalty and his duty to the state.
What ensues is a heartwrenching scene between the disconsolate gangster pursuing his beloved Gaby while being pursued by his inspector friend and the French Algerian police. One of the greatest endings in the history of film, Duvivier exposes the sovereignty of the heart, even the heart of a brazen criminal.
Duvivier's best effort and the greatest gangster film ever, this film ranks in my top ten of all-time. To truly understand Humphrey Bogart, Edward Robinson, Robert Mitchum and Al Pacino, one must first discover Jean Gabin, the archetype gangster for the crime genre. Duvivier's masterpiece is a film that all lovers of cinema simply must see.
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