Pépé le Moko (1937)

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Pépé le Moko Photos

Movie Info

Pepe le Moko (Jean Gabin) is a well-known criminal mastermind who eludes the French police by hiding in the Casbah section of Algiers. He knows he is safe in this labyrinthine netherworld, where he is surrounded by his fellow thieves and cutthroats. Police inspector Slimane (Lucas Gridoux), who has developed a grudging respect for Pepe, bides his time, waiting for Pepe to try to leave the Casbah. When Gaby Gould (Mirielle Balin), a Parisian tourist, falls in love with Pepe, the inspector hopes to use this relationship to his advantage. He tells Gaby that Pepe has been killed, knowing that the heartbroken girl will return to Paris -- and that Pepe will risk everything to go after her. The French Pepe le Moko was remade in the US as Algiers, which followed the original so slavishly (except for changing its ending) that the American producers were able to utilize generous amounts of stock footage from the French film. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Rating: NR
Genre: Art House & International , Drama , Romance
Directed By: Julien Duvivier
Written By: Henri La Barthe
In Theaters: wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Criterion Collection

Cast

Jean Gabin
as Pepe le Moko
Mireille Balin
as Gaby Gould
Lucas Gridoux
as Inspector Slimane
Saturnin Fabre
as Grandfather
Gilbert Gil
as Pierrot
Frank Maurice
as An Inspector
Phillipe Richard
as Inspector Janvier
Rene Bergeron
as Inspector Meunier
Renée Carl
as Mother Tarte
Frehel
as Tania
Charles Granval
as Maxime Kleep
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News & Interviews for Pépé le Moko

Critic Reviews for Pépé le Moko

All Critics (29) | Top Critics (12)

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

Full Review… | April 27, 2009
Variety
Top Critic

Film noir as we know (and love) it is just around the corner from here.

Full Review… | February 8, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

The French original has it all over on the Hollywood version in the way it conveys atmosphere.

Full Review… | August 16, 2002
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

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… | August 9, 2002
Boston Globe
Top Critic

A timeless romantic thriller that steeps us in one of those great artificial movie worlds that become more overpowering than reality itself.

Full Review… | June 27, 2002
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

Mr. Gabin was no stranger to playing doomed men on film, and his Pépé is the grandest of the damned.

Full Review… | May 23, 2002
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Pépé le Moko

Famous French jewel thief Pepe is hiding out in the Casbah in North Africa where he has become the boss of everything ... except his own life, because if he tries to leave the multi-diversity enclave of crooked streets and rooftops the police'll see he does 20 years at the very least. After 2 years the poor guy is going crazy thinking that it'd be better to be nobody back home in the City of Lights than to be king in the African stronghold. With the usual suspects as henchmen, and beauties as alluring bait, this old black and whiter is chock full of nuance, subtlety, and romance. Very entertaining.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Okay foreign movie, but I should really watch it again before I write more about it.

Aj V
Aj V

atmospheric and cynical proto-noir with an iconic performance by jean gabin as the tragic antihero trapped by his illusions. just a few years later, hollywood would remake this almost shot for shot as algiers with charles boyer, changing only the ending. fools. btw this was released in 1936, not 1941 as flixster would have us believe

Stella Dallas
Stella Dallas

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