Pépé le Moko
This article relies largely or entirely on a single source. (October 2017)
|Pépé le Moko|
|Directed by||Julien Duvivier|
|Produced by||Raymond Hakim|
|Screenplay by||Julien Duvivier|
Henri La Barthe
Jacques Constant (adaptation)
Henri Jeanson (dialogue)
|Based on||Pépé le Moko by Henri La Barthe|
|Music by||Vincent Scotto|
|Edited by||Marguerite Beaugé|
|Distributed by||Arthur Mayer and Joseph Burstyn (USA, 1941)|
The Criterion Collection (Region 1 DVD, 2004)
Pépé le Moko [pe.pe lə mo.ko] is a 1937 French film directed by Julien Duvivier and starring Jean Gabin. The plot involves the trapping of a gangster on the run in Algiers, who believes he is safe from arrest in the Casbah. It was considered experimental for its day, and is credited with having inspired The Third Man.
The film depicts a gangster nicknamed Pépé le Moko. Moko is slang for a man from Toulon, derived from the Occitan amb aquò ("with that"), a term which punctuates sentences in Provence and which, in Toulon, is pronounced em'oquò.
The film is based on Henri La Barthe's novel of the same name, and La Barthe contributed to the screenplay under the pseudonym Détective Ashelbé. The sets were designed by the art director Jacques Krauss.
Pépé le Moko is an example of the 1930s French movement known as poetic realism, which combines realism with occasional flashes of unusual cinematic tricks. It often is considered a predecessor of film noir.
Pépé le Moko (Jean Gabin), a criminal on the run from the police in metropolitan France, lives in the Casbah quarter of Algiers with his gang, where he is out of reach of the local police. Inspector Slimane (Lucas Gridoux) seeks a way to lure Pépé out of his refuge. He sees his chance when he learns that Pépé is in love with Gaby (Mireille Balin), the mistress of a rich businessman. Slimane leads Gaby to believe that Pépé has been killed. Gaby, who was on the point of joining him in his hiding place, now agrees to stay with her rich lover. When Pépé is informed that Gaby is about to leave Algiers for good, then he leaves the Casbah to find her and is arrested.
- Jean Gabin as Pépé le Moko
- Gabriel Gabrio as Carlos
- Mireille Balin as Gaby Gould, the beautiful Parisienne
- Saturnin Fabre as Le Grand Père
- Fernand Charpin as Régis
- Lucas Gridoux as Inspecteur Slimane
- Gilbert Gil as Pierrot
- Marcel Dalio as L'Arbi
- Charles Granval as Maxime
- Gaston Modot as Jimmy
- René Bergeron as Inspecteur Meunier
- Paul Escoffier as Chief Inspecteur Louvain
- Roger Legris as Max
- Jean Témerson as Gravèr
- Robert Ozanne as Gendron
- Philippe Richard as Janvier
- Georges Péclet as Barsac
- Line Noro as Inès
- Fréhel as Tania
- Olga Lord as Aïcha
- Renée Carl as La mère Tarte
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English author Graham Greene in a review of the film for The Spectator asserted: "One of the most exciting and moving films I can remember seeing". It succeeds in "raising the thriller to a poetic level". According to a BBC documentary, it served as inspiration for Greene's screenplay for The Third Man. It has many similarities with the American film Casablanca, which was released a few years later.
- Pépé le Moko on IMDb
- Pépé le Moko at Rotten Tomatoes
- Pépé le Moko at Metacritic
- Pépé le Moko at AllMovie
- Pépé le Moko an essay by Michael Atkinson at the Criterion Collection