Pepe (film)

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Pepe movie poster.jpg
movie poster
Directed by George Sidney
Produced by George Sidney
Written by Leslie Bush-Fekete (play Broadway Zauber aka Broadway Magic)
Claude Binyon
Dorothy Kingsley
Starring Mario Moreno ("Cantinflas")
Dan Dailey
Shirley Jones
Music by Johnny Green
Cinematography Joseph MacDonald
Edited by Viola Lawrence
Al Clark
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release dates
  • December 20, 1960 (1960-12-20) (U.S.)
Running time
180 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Box office $4.8 million (US/ Canada rentals) [2]

Pepe is a 1960 film starring Mario Moreno ("Cantinflas") in the title role, directed by George Sidney. The film contained a multitude of cameo appearances, attempting to replicate the success of Mario Moreno's American debut, Around the World in 80 Days.

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;[3] in 2015, it began streaming on Netflix.


Pepe (Mario Moreno ("Cantinflas")) is 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. With his luck changing, 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 Suzie Murphy (Shirley Jones), an actress on hard times and hating the world. Just like with the stallion, Pepe brings out the best in Suzie and helps her become a big star in a movie made by Mr. Holt. The last scene shows both him and the stallion back at the ranch with several foals.




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."[4]

Soundtrack album[edit]

This was issued in 1960 by Colpix Records in the USA (CP 507) and Pye International Records in the UK (NPL 28015). The tracks were:


  1. Pepe - sung by Shirley Jones
  2. Mimi / September Song - sung by Maurice Chevalier
  3. Hooray for Hollywood - sung by Sammy Davis Jr.
  4. The Rumble (André Previn) - orchestral version


  1. That's How It Went, All Right (Dory Langdon Previn / André Previn) - sung by Bobby Darin
  2. The Faraway Part of Town (Dory Langdon Previn / André Previn) - sung by Judy Garland
  3. Suzy's Theme (Johnny Green) - orchestral version
  4. Pennies from Heaven / Let's Fall in Love / South of the Border - sung by Bing Crosby
  5. Lovely Day (Agustín Lara / Dory Langdon Previn) - sung by Shirley Jones


The film was nominated for seven Academy Awards:[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "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.
  2. ^ "All-Time Top Grossers", Variety, 8 January 1964 p 69
  3. ^
  4. ^ Crowther, Bosley (December 22, 1960). "The New York Times": 18. 
  5. ^ "The 33rd Academy Awards (1961) Nominees and Winners". Retrieved 2011-08-22. 

External links[edit]