Pepe le Moko [Criterion Collection] [DVD] [1937]

Julien Duvivier's classic 1937 film Pepe le Moco gets the treatment it so richly deserves from Criterion. The film is presented in its original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.33:1. The French soundtrack is rendered in Dolby Digital Mono. English subtitles are accessible. Supplemental materials include a 1963 interview with the director, clips from a television tribute to actor Jean Gabin, excerpts from a British Film Institute study of the film, a featurette on how the film affected popular French culture, a comparison of the film with the American version of the same story (Algiers), the original theatrical trailer, and an essay by film critic Michael Atkinson. This is the kind of release that has made Criterion one of the premiere names in home video.
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Special Features

  • New high-definition digital transfer made from the extensive 35mm restoration
  • 1962 French television interview with director Julien Duvivier
  • Excerpts from the 1978 television documentary "Remembering Jean Gabin"
  • Excerpts from Ginette Vincendeau's BFI Classics study of "Pépé le Moko," addressing the historical background of the film's setting and the French crime novel genre
  • A study of the lasting influence of "Pépé" on popular culture, including a special video comparison between "Pépé" and the 1978 U.S. remake "Algiers"
  • Essay by film critic Michael Atkinson
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • Optimal image quality: RSDL dual-layer edition


Pépé le Moko
Pepe le Moko (Jean Gabin) is a well-known criminal mastermind who eludes the French police by hiding in the Casbah section of Algiers. He knows he is safe in this labyrinthine netherworld, where he is surrounded by his fellow thieves and cutthroats. Police inspector Slimane (Lucas Gridoux), who has developed a grudging respect for Pepe, bides his time, waiting for Pepe to try to leave the Casbah. When Gaby Gould (Mirielle Balin), a Parisian tourist, falls in love with Pepe, the inspector hopes to use this relationship to his advantage. He tells Gaby that Pepe has been killed, knowing that the heartbroken girl will return to Paris -- and that Pepe will risk everything to go after her. The French Pepe le Moko was remade in the US as Algiers, which followed the original so slavishly (except for changing its ending) that the American producers were able to utilize generous amounts of stock footage from the French film. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Jean Gabin
    Jean Gabin - Pepe le Moko
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    Mireille Balin - Gaby Gould
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    Line Noro - Ines
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    Lucas Gridoux - Inspector Slimane
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    Gabriel Gabrio - Carlos
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