Masterpiece. Everyone lives towards something else, somewhere else, sometime else. Such shift goes for characters and for editing. Some fast sequences are pure Eisenstein, poetic and beautiful. The final walk from the Casbah to the pier, a dead-man-walking scene, brings everything together. Law, outlaw. Love, hate. Confidence, jelousy. Illusion, hard truth. Life, death. Unforgettable.
A great 'exotic' thriller, with elements of early French noir and 1930s poetic realism. Gabin is suitably weathered as the handsome criminal hiding out in the Casbah maze, with Line Noro and Mireille Balin providing support as his lovers (some of the more cliched gangster extras are less welcome). The film - a clear influence on the Third Man - showed what could be done in the genre when the Hays Code wasn't applied.
(4/5) Un filme con muchos buenos elementos. La presencia de Gabin, es uno. Un guion lleno de humor y con el temperamento francès ante el amor. Con una reconstrucciòn en estudio de un espacio àrabe muy propio de lugares de norÀfrica. Duvivier es un director preciso, con control pleno de cada aspecto y con un final coherente con el planteamiento principal del argumento. Visto ahora puede parecer un poco inverosìmil...
PÉPÉ LE MOKO creates this beautiful conflict of Pépé being in the middle of wars: both with himself, who wants to get out of hiding to be able to finally embrace love; and with police, who will hunt him even if it takes to destroy all of Casbah. It's a mature love tragedy, with surprising political observations of the Casbah, that serves both as a setting and as a illustration of the journey that Pépé will make.
A great classical drama. It does not set sails off the safe harbour of the genre standards (characters feel static and a bit detached from the context they live in, the story develops around a simple opposition of elements) but this makes the movie stand firm and proud. Charming and entertaining, as well as plenty of memorable scenes and touching moments.
This is the original film. 'Algiers' and 'Casbah' which have similar plots came later. It stars the marvelous Jean Gabin as the title character. Freedom or love. Which is more important? It has lots of action and gunplay. It's a bit overstylized in the way Pepe is photographed. They're trying to make him seem more of a legend, which they really don't have to. Gabin is a legend.