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 »

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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

Gross USA:

$155,895

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$155,895
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

When Walter Wanger produced Algiers (1938), the American remake, he tried to have all copies of "Pépé le Moko" destroyed. Fortunately, he was not able to do so. 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: I hate people laughing without me knowing why!
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Où est-il donc ?
Music by Vincent Scotto
Lyrics by André Decaye and Lucien Carol
Performed by Fréhel
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The greatest French director?
5 May 2004 | by dbdumonteilSee all my reviews

Some say Renoir.Some say Carné.Some say Clouzot.Some will say..yuk ..Godard..

I say Duvivier.His career spans half a century,from the silent era to the sixties,full of detours and retreats.But when he broke through -and his epiphanies were many and various, (there are masterpieces all along his career;never until the very end he produced anything mediocre)he made brilliant films.

But those precious years just before WW2 were justly looked upon as the best French cinema that had ever been.And Duvivier was among the creme de la creme ,producing during this golden era a chef-d'oeuvre a year (la belle equipe:1936;la fin du jour:1939).But 1937 was Duvivier's year:he made not one but two classics :"un carnet de bal" and "Pepe le Moko" both rated four stars by Leonard Maltin.

"Pepe le Moko" 's screenplay is so simple it's a wonder Duvivier could make such a masterwork from such a script.More than the story itself,it's the atmosphere which matters ,and a bevy of colorful characters surrounding the hero,played by the director's favorite actor Jean Gabin :one often forgets that it's Duvivier who launched Gabin,the most famous French star of the era (and maybe of all time)in such works as "la bandera" (1935)and "la belle equipe" (1936).

"Pepe " takes place in Algiers ,in some kind of ghetto" la casbah" .the hero is a gangster who reigns in this underground world ,but we soon discover he is actually a prisoner:a cop,like a spider on its web, is waiting for him to leave his refuge to arrest him.Duvivier's camera work is dazzling ,using panoramic shots which depicts la casbah as a maze ;when Pepe finally leaves the place ,the background behind him becomes blurred ,then merges with the sea,the gate of freedom.More than a gangster story ,it's a tale of nostalgia.Pepe falls in love with a woman (Mireille Balin) "from the outside world" while talking with her about different places in Paris,ending with la place blanche where they both belong.There 's the harrowing sequence where a has-been chanteuse (Frehel) plays one of her records on a gramophone ,thinks of her glorious past,and sings the chorus with her youth's voice as her tears fall down.

There are also exciting film noir sequences:the informer (Charpin) ,more and more terrified ,as the room fills with men ready to kill him;his death against a player piano ;Pepe behind the gates in the harbor.All the final scenes had probably a strong influence on Carol Reed's "odd man out" (1947)

Remade as "Algiers" by John Cromwell(1938) ,Charles Boyer taking on Gabin's part.


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