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Pepe Le Moko (The Criterion Collection)
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Pepe le Moko (Jean Gabin) fled France for Algiers after a robbery, and has been holed up in the Casbah for two years. He's a major crime figure and the police, as long as he stays in the Casbah's labyrinth of streets, stairways and alleys, protected and warned by the people who live there, can't touch him. But le Moko is tired of his fate. He longs for France and freedom. He's bored with his life and with his mistress (Line Noro). The Casbah has become a prison. He knows Inspector Slimane (Lucas Gridoux), for whom he has a degree of liking, is patiently waiting for the opportunity to trap him. Then one night, escaping from a botched police raid, he encounters Gaby (Mireille Balin), a slumming socialite whose bills are being paid by a wealthy older man. She, at first, is intrigued by his reputation and then is captured by his charm and confidence. Le Moko is captured, too, by her beauty, her freshness and by the overwhelming lure of freedom she represents. In the background, observing and then manipulating, is Inspector Slimane. When we first meet him, Slimane seems a little too obsequious to his superiors and a little too outclassed by le Moko. In fact, he proves smarter and more ruthless than anyone else. The ending is a heartbreaker.
Jean Gabin gives a performance of such understated power that you can't keep your eyes off him. What's le Moko like, asks one character. Charming and frightening is the reply.Read more ›
"Women long for him, his rivals want to destroy him, and the law is breathing down his neck..." Enter a Parisian playgirl and Pepe is compelled to risk his life and its confines once and for all.
This landmark crime romance is the precursor to film noir. Restored to full length, this digital transfer with new subtitles is loaded with extras including a 1962 interview with director Julien Duvivier. Highly recommended.
The film itself looks wonderful. There's still some slight aging, etc, but most of these were retained on purpose. In addition to the film, this disc includes some great supplements including the history of "Pepe" and a direct comparison between Pepe le Moko and the English language remake the next year, Algiers.
I had seen Algiers many times prior to seeing Pepe. I loved Charles Boyer but if you have a chance to see both films I think you will agree that Pepe le moko is by far supperior. Jean Gabin's screen presence to an extent that Boyer doesn't quite match. In addition, the romance in Pepe has real sparks and chemistry. This is simply a wonderful film, and this dvd edition is excellent.
Thank you Criterion.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I originally saw this film in college and fell in love with it. This film is the roots of Film Noir and will be a hit with any fan of the genre. Read morePublished on January 15, 2014 by Slashoom
Don't get me wrong, I like the idea of a crime kingpin slowly being baited out of a colonial city with his obsession for a pretty girl and betrayed by informants and double... Read morePublished on March 14, 2013 by mr. contrarian
This is a black & white French classic film from the 1930s starring Jean Gabin. It was remade in the U.S. as Algiers starring Charles Boyer and Hedy Lamar. Read morePublished on August 31, 2012 by Paul Kao
I saw this first at the National Gallery of Art in DC and loved it. Duvivier made many films, and made them well. In this film, the place is absolutely wonderful. Read morePublished on July 23, 2012 by Frank
Jean Gabin is one of my favorite actors. The movie is very good, although a little hard to believe at times (which does not interfere with the pleasure of watching it). Read morePublished on May 10, 2012 by R. Consta
"Pepe Le Moko" is a 1937 French film remade in 1938 as "Algiers" starring Charles Boyer, Hedy Lemarr, and Joseph Calleia, with Alan Hale Sr. Read morePublished on August 21, 2011 by Dr. James Gardner
"Pepe le Moko," (1936) is a classic French film, a black and white crime/drama/romance, and an early film noir, made before the concept was even codified, by the French, of course. Read morePublished on July 1, 2010 by Stephanie De Pue
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