Tuesday, January 3, 2012

112. Pepe le Moko

Pepe le Moko
Directed by Julien Duvivier

Doesn't this guy have the best name ever?  If that was my name I would be a thief too.  The guy really doesn't have a choice...

This film is about the pursuit of Pepe le Moko, a thief who resides in Casbah but longs for Paris.  Pepe is played by the unequaled Jean Gabin, who we previously saw in La Grande Illusion.  He has a certain careless charisma about him that is incredibly charming.  Anyway, this film was a major precursor to film noir because of its use of shadows, femme fatales, and fast talking, street wise guys (the latter being a personal observation).

So I really liked it.  Not many films take place in Casbah (quick, name one!), and watching the background was just as interesting as watching Pepe's exploits.  Pepe is a really relatable character; I think we all have a special place in the world that we are drawn to, even at a danger to ourselves.

RATING: ****-

Interesting Facts:

Walter Wanger remade this film and tried to get all copies of this movie destroyed.  He failed.  Stupid Americans!
I just watched Inglourious Basterds the other day and it was amazing!  Check it out!



  1. Name one? How about .. Casbah? 1948. The American remake of this with ... Peter Lorre. Great stuff.. Peter Lorre at his best ,, but the film is decidedly missing Gabin..
    There is even a 1938 .. with Charles Boyer and Heddy Lamarr .. which I have not seen. Source of one of those great movie misquotes (one my mother was always coming out with) in which a shady stereotype dodgy arab character hisses "Come with me to the Casbah"
    OK, sorry, I'm a smart ass.

  2. I have never heard of that! That's embarrassing.

  3. If pushed, I'd say pepe le Moko was the better of the two I've seen.. But 'Casbah' .. with Peter Lorre... OOhhh...
    Are you in the UK now Amanda? .. If you have easy TV access .. on - say - freeview .. Look out of a chanel called 'Movies for men' .. NO! That is not what it is, honest... It is mostly rather poor modern STV actioners, but a large number on B&W 40's / 50's Noirs. You should find Casbah on there sometime.

    1. Yes, I am in London now! And I do have TV access. I was watching Taskmaster last night...I don't know if you have ever seen that show. I will check out Movies for Men, despite the blatant gender exclusion!

  4. I know! I had great difficulty explaining to a female friend - who saw it on the TV menu- that 'Movies for men' was not at all what it sounded like. Honestly, what a terrible title.
    Please feel free to get in touch sometime..... You should have my private Email (I don't seem to have yours .. last time I sent you an Email, it came back as undelivered)..and I will let you have my phone number should you ever need anything .. or even try and make a visit.

    1. I am sorry your email didn't get through! I do have yours and will definitely get in touch!

  5. Do you know if this was actual filmed on location in the casbah of Algiers? It looked very real and I like to think this was the real thing. Pepe really had a thing going the in the old town. Too bad he was so eager to give it up.