|Directed by||George Sidney|
|Produced by||George Sidney|
|Written by||Leslie Bush-Fekete (play Broadway Zauber aka Broadway Magic)
|Starring||Mario Moreno ("Cantinflas")
|Music by||Johnny Green|
|Edited by||Viola Lawrence
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
|Box office||$4.8 million (US/ Canada rentals) |
Pepe is a 1960 film starring Mario Moreno ("Cantinflas") in the title role, directed by George Sidney. A multitude of cameo appearances attempted to replicate the success of Mario Moreno's American debut, notably Around the World in Eighty Days, produced by Mike Todd in 1956.
The film failed to achieve the success of Cantinflas' previous American film and was roundly criticized by film critics. A VHS tape of the film was released on December 7, 1998; in 2015, it began streaming on Netflix.
Mario Moreno ("Cantinflas") is Pepe, a hired hand, employed on a ranch. A boozing Hollywood director, Mr. Holt, buys a white stallion that belongs to Pepe's boss. Pepe, determined to get the horse back (as he considers it his family), decides to take off to Hollywood. There he meets film stars including Jimmy Durante, Frank Sinatra, Zsa Zsa Gabór, Bing Crosby, Maurice Chevalier and Jack Lemmon in drag as Daphne from Some Like It Hot. He is also surprised by things that were new in America at the time, such as automatic swinging doors. When he finally reaches the man who bought the horse, he is led to believe there is no hope of getting it back. However Mr. Holt offers him a job when he realizes that Pepe brings new life to the stallion. Now his luck is changing and in Las Vegas Pepe wins big money, enough that Mr. Hold lets him be the producer of his next movie. Most of the movie centers around his meeting Shirley Jones who plays an actress on hard times and hating the world. Just like with the stallion, Pepe brings out the best in Shirley Jones and helps her become a big star in a movie made by Mr. Holt. Shirley Jones does a great job both as a dancer and singing the lead song called "Pepe." For those who love movies that are set in Acapulco, Mexico, this one has great appeal and beautiful scenery. The last scene shows both him and the stallion back at the ranch with several foals.
- Mario Moreno ("Cantinflas") as Pepe
- Dan Dailey as Ted Holt
- Shirley Jones as Suzie Murphy
- Carlos Montalbán as Rodríguez (auctioneer)
- Vicki Trickett as Lupita
- Matt Mattox as Dancer
- Hank Henry as Manager
- Suzanne Lloyd as Carmen
- William Demarest as Movie Studio Gateman
- Maurice Chevalier
- Bing Crosby
- Richard Conte
- Tony Curtis
- Bobby Darin
- Ann B. Davis as her TV character Schultzy
- Sammy Davis Jr.
- Jimmy Durante
- Zsa Zsa Gabór
- Judy Garland (voice only)
- Greer Garson
- Hedda Hopper
- Joey Bishop
- Ernie Kovacs
- Peter Lawford
- Janet Leigh
- Jack Lemmon
- Jay North as his TV character Dennis the Menace
- Kim Novak
- André Previn
- Donna Reed
- Debbie Reynolds
- Edward G. Robinson
- Cesar Romero
- Frank Sinatra
- Dean Martin
- Charles Coburn
- Billie Burke
Bosley Crowther of The New York Times was not impressed. "The rare and wonderful talents of Mexican comedian Cantinflas, who was nicely introduced to the general public as the valet in "Around the World in 80 Days," are pitifully spent and dissipated amid a great mass of Hollywooden dross in the oversized, over-peopled "Pepe," which opened at the Criterion last night."
- Pepe - sung by Shirley Jones
- Mimi / September Song - sung by Maurice Chevalier
- Hooray for Hollywood - sung by Sammy Davis Jr.
- The Rumble (André Previn) - orchestral version
- That's How It Went, All Right (Dory Langdon Previn / André Previn) - sung by Bobby Darin
- The Faraway Part of Town (Dory Langdon Previn / André Previn) - sung by Judy Garland
- Suzy's Theme (Johnny Green) - orchestral version
- Pennies from Heaven / Let's Fall in Love / South of the Border - sung by Bing Crosby
- Lovely Day (Agustín Lara / Dory Langdon Previn) - sung by Shirley Jones
- Best Art Direction (Ted Haworth, William Kiernan)
- Best Cinematography (Joseph MacDonald)
- Best Costume Design (Edith Head)
- Film Editing (Viola Lawrence, Al Clark)
- Best Original Song ("Faraway Part of Town")
- Best Scoring
- Best Sound (Charles Rice)
- "Although various reviews list the film's length as 190 or 195 minutes, studio records reveal that the actual running time was 180 minutes 29 seconds. It is possible that the running time in the reviews included the film's intermission." - Turner Classic Movies.
- "All-Time Top Grossers", Variety, 8 January 1964 p 69
- Crowther, Bosley (December 22, 1960). "The New York Times": 18.
- "The 33rd Academy Awards (1961) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Retrieved 2011-08-22.