7.8/10
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42 user 42 critic

Pépé le Moko (1937)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Romance | 3 March 1941 (USA)
A wanted gangster is both king and prisoner of the Casbah. He is protected from arrest by his friends, but is torn by his desire for freedom outside. A visiting Parisian beauty may just tempt his fate.

Director:

Writers:

(novel) (as Ashelbé), (scenario) (as Détective Julien Ashelbé) | 3 more credits »

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2 wins. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Gabriel Gabrio ...
Saturnin Fabre ...
Le Grand Père
Fernand Charpin ...
Régis (as Charpin)
Lucas Gridoux ...
Gilbert Gil ...
Pierrot (as Gilbert-Gil)
...
L'Arbi (as Dalio)
...
Maxime (as Granval)
Gaston Modot ...
Jimmy
René Bergeron ...
Meunier (as Bergeron)
Paul Escoffier ...
Louvain (as Escoffier)
Roger Legris ...
Max (as Legris)
Jean Témerson ...
Gravère (as Temerson)
Robert Ozanne ...
Gendron
Philippe Richard ...
Janvier
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Storyline

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 Yepok

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

3 March 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Algeri  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$14,100 (USA) (1 March 2002)

Gross:

$153,936 (USA) (18 October 2002)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(R.C.A. Photophone)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to a BBC documentary, it served as inspiration for Graham Greene's acclaimed novel, The Third Man. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Inès: [shouting to Pépé] Luck be with you, Pépé!
Gaby Gould: What an amazing fellow!
Inspecteur Slimane: Isn't he? I think it's over I'll take you back to your friends.
Gaby Gould: With pleasure, I lost my friends.
Inspecteur Slimane: They must have gone home... Isn't Pépé Le Moko amusing?
Gaby Gould: He's entering but you won't arrest him.
Inspecteur Slimane: I've written the date of his arrest on the wall where the sun shines.
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Totò le mokò (1949) See more »

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User Reviews

Film noir from the French, before they invented the phrase
23 April 2002 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

"Pepe Le Moko" is an early film noir, coming several decades before the French themselves invented the term to explain atmospheric American crime films. And it is one of the best, a film ranking right up there with the work of Melville, Becker, and other top post war directors.

This is being billed in the US now as a sort of lost film. Actually, it wasn't lost. Hollywood simply bought the rights and kept it off American movie screens so it could release its own remake of it in 1938, retitled "Algiers." That wasn't a half bad film, made enjoyable for the most part because it was a very off-beat story, had great atmosphere and featured the breathtakingly beautiful Hedy Lamarr in the role of Gaby.

At first, when looking at this French original, you wonder why it seems so familiar. Then you realize that the Hollywood version is almost a shot for shot remake, copying almost everything. Everything, that is, but the performance of Jean Gabin.

Hollywood's version, which stared Charles Boyer, always seemed a little contrived, primarily because Boyer was just not very convincing as the tough Paris gangster who pulls a bank heist and flees to Algiers, where he takes up permanent residence in the Arab quarter, the Casbah. Boyer just didn't seem like the gangster type.

Gabin, who had played rough characters before and would go on to play many others, is perfect as the smart, charismatic, but sometimes brutal Pepe.

It is ironic that the French, so in love with gangster films that they copied American cops and robbers films of the 30s, actually made one of their own in that era that wound up being copied by the Americans.

This one is well worth seeing.


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