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Pépé le Moko Reviews

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Variety Staff
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Interesting movement holds through the entirety. Life in the native quarter, with its squalor and intrigues, is particularly well presented and photographed.

Full Review Source: Variety

April 27, 2009
Melissa Anderson
Time Out
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Film noir as we know (and love) it is just around the corner from here.

Full Review Source: Time Out

February 9, 2006

TV Guide's Movie Guide

Director Julien Duvivier took the conventional mix of love and bullets and made it into dark poetry.

Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide | Original Score: 4.5/5

July 30, 2003
Dan Jardine
Apollo Guide

Captures the vibrancy of colonial Northern Africa with intimate sensual detail

Full Review Source: Apollo Guide | Original Score: 86/100

April 3, 2003
Steven Snyder
Zertinet Movies

am most amazed at how well it has survived the test of time.

Full Review Source: Zertinet Movies | Original Score: 4/4

March 5, 2003
James Kendrick
Q Network Film Desk

the film that made consummate French actor Jean Gabin a star

| Original Score: 4/4

January 26, 2003
Matt Langdon

You have to like a movie that was the true inspiration to that famous animated skunk Pépé le Pew.

Full Review Source: | Original Score: 4/5

January 16, 2003
Jean Lowerison
San Diego Metropolitan

It's not just an important film; it's also great entertainment, a compelling screen romance -- and one of the best places to see hunky Jean Gabin at the height of his career.

Full Review Source: San Diego Metropolitan

October 21, 2002
William Arnold
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

A delicious ensemble piece.

Full Review Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer | Original Score: A

August 29, 2002
Joe Leydon
San Francisco Examiner

An irresistibly entertaining drama of dreamy, doom-laden romantic fatalism, a vividly atmospheric film noir years before noir was cool.

| Original Score: 3.5/4

August 19, 2002
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
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The French original has it all over on the Hollywood version in the way it conveys atmosphere.

Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Original Score: 4/4

August 16, 2002
Pam Grady

Retains its power to amuse and enthrall 65 years after its debut.

| Original Score: 3.5/4

August 16, 2002
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
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Pepe le Moko, made in 1937, begins with that tinny, swooning French soundtrack music that conjures up European movies before the war, but it isn't until a few minutes later that you realize you're in for something special.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 4/4

August 9, 2002
David Elliott
San Diego Union-Tribune

Excitingly filmed with North African footage mixed with superb sets.

Full Review Source: San Diego Union-Tribune | Original Score: 4/4

July 26, 2002
Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
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A timeless romantic thriller that steeps us in one of those great artificial movie worlds that become more overpowering than reality itself.

Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 4/4

June 27, 2002
Gary Dowell
Dallas Morning News
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Mr. Gabin was no stranger to playing doomed men on film, and his Pépé is the grandest of the damned.

Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News | Original Score: A-

May 23, 2002
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
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Beautifully crafted, movingly acted, still involving and entertaining, this is just the kind of film people are talking about when they say they don't make them like this anymore.

| Original Score: 5/5

April 19, 2002
David Ehrenstein
New Times

A vehicle for Jean Gabin whose quicksilver charm hasn't aged in over 60 years.

April 18, 2002
Shawn Levy

[Gabin] magnetically holds the viewer just as Pepe rules the casbah -- with suavity, charm, machismo and a powerful aura of fallen divinity.

Full Review Source: Oregonian

March 22, 2002
Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
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If you've never seen the film, you may be pleasantly surprised by the unexpected complexity of the intrigues and the lyrical force of the feelings.

March 13, 2002
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