7.7/10
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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:

Julien Duvivier

Writers:

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

On Disc

at Amazon

2 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

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

Taglines:

The World's New Triumph!

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French | Arabic

Release Date:

3 March 1941 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Tajanstveni Alžir See more »

Filming Locations:

Algiers, Algeria See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$14,100, 3 March 2002, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$153,936, 20 October 2002
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paris Film See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (R.C.A. Photophone)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film is part of the Criterion Collection, spine #172. 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

Pépé le Moko: Our friend Slimane is funny! He means it! He wants to arrest me! Delusions of the grandeur.
Inspecteur Slimane: I'll get you! It's written!
Pépé le Moko: Sure, sure, sure, sure.
Inspecteur Slimane: You're funny!
Pépé le Moko: How much time will I have?
Inspecteur Slimane: Consult a fortune teller.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Odor-Able Kitty (1945) See more »

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User Reviews

Before there was Bogart...
12 June 2003 | by homme_des_foulesSee all my reviews

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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