Julien Duvivier

Pépé le moko

Pépé le moko

The notorious Pépé le moko (Jean Gabin, in a truly iconic performance) is a wanted man: women long for him, rivals hope to destroy him, and the law is breathing down his neck at every turn. On the lam in the labyrinthine Casbah of Algiers, Pépé is safe from the clutches of the police--until a Parisian playgirl compels him to risk his life and leave its confines once and for all. One of the most influential films of the 20th century and a landmark of French poetic realism, Julien Duvivier's Pépé le moko is presented here in its full-length version.

Film Info

  • Julien Duvivier
  • France
  • 1937
  • 94 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 1.33:1
  • French
  • Spine #172

Special Features

  • New digital transfer, made from newly restored film elements
  • 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 1938 U.S. remake Algiers
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • Optimal image quality: RSDL dual-layer edition

New cover by Eva Wah

Purchase Options

Collector's Sets

Collector's Set

Essential Art House: 50 Years of Janus Films

Essential Art House: 50 Years of Janus Films

DVD Box Set

50 Discs

$650.00

Special Features

  • New digital transfer, made from newly restored film elements
  • 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 1938 U.S. remake Algiers
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • Optimal image quality: RSDL dual-layer edition

New cover by Eva Wah

Pépé le moko
Cast
Jean Gabin
Pépé le Moko
Gabriel Gabrio
Carlos
Saturnin Fabre
Le Grand Père
Fernand Charpin
Régis
Lucas Gridoux
Inspecteur Slimane
Gilbert Gil
Pierrot
Marcel Dalio
L'Arbi
Gaston Modot
Jimmy
Paul Escoffier
Chef Inspecteur Louvain
Credits
Director
Julien Duvivier
Based on the novel by
Ashelbé
Scenario
Julien Duvivier
Adaptation
Jacques Constant
Dialogue
Henri Jeanson
Cinematography
Marc Fossard
Cinematography
Jules Kruger
Editing
Marguerite Beaugé
Scenario
Ashelbé
Music
Vincent Scotto
Music
Mohamed Yguerbouchen
Producer
Robert Hakim
Producer
Raymond Hakim

From The Current

What’s in a Name

Dark Passages

What’s in a Name

If you consider noir as a global phenomenon, then films like Julien Duvivier’s Pépé le moko (1937), Jean Renoir’s La bête humaine (1938), and Carné’s Port of Shadows (1938) may be the first full harvest of this bitter crop.

By Imogen Sara Smith

On Film / Features — Sep 19, 2016
Vive Duvivier! Long Live Renoir!

Two new retrospectives happening concurrently on different continents pay serious respect to a pair of thirties French cinema pioneers. First, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Jean Renoir is being celebrated with a four-week series (already u…


Mar 17, 2010
CELEBRATING JULIEN DUVIVIER

French filmmaker Julien Duvivier is undoubtedly best known for the 1937 classic Pépé le Moko, starring Jean Gabin. But many film lovers today have seen little else by this poetic realist pioneer, a victim, Michael Atkinson writes in an insightful n…


May 6, 2009
Pépé le moko

To fully submerge into the antiquated, almost aboriginal mirage of Julien Duvivier’s Pépé le moko (1937), you cannot overlook its position as a cog in the dream-works of film history. Seasoning post-WWI fatalism with what would become film noir…

By Michael Atkinson


Jan 7, 2003

Explore

Jean Gabin

Actor

With his penetrating gaze, quiet strength, and unshakeable everyman persona, Jean Gabin was the most popular French matinee idol of the prewar period, and remains one of the great icons of cinema. Though his parents were cabaret performers, Gabin—born Jean-Alexis Moncorgé in 1904—put off show business at first, working instead as a laborer for a construction company. He eventually followed in his family’s footsteps, though, appearing onstage at various Paris music halls and theaters, including the Moulin Rouge. This led to roles in silent films, but it was with the advent of sound that Gabin found his true calling—even if his quiet stoicism was what he would become best known for. His work with director Julien Duvivier would prove his most important: they collaborated on two successful films in the midthirties (Maria Chapdelaine and La bandera), but it was their third, Pépé le moko, that, in creating the romantic criminal antihero archetype, shot Gabin into the stratosphere. As Michael Atkinson has written for Criterion, “Without its iconic precedent, there would have been no Humphrey Bogart, no John Garfield, no Robert Mitchum, no Randolph Scott, no Jean-Paul Belmondo (or Breathless or Pierrot le fou), no Jean-Pierre Melville or Alain Delon, no Steve McQueen . . .” Soon after Pépé, Renoir’s antiwar masterpiece Grand Illusion hit, and it was an even bigger smash, cementing Gabin’s superstar status; in this and all of his most successful roles (La bête humaine, Le jour se lève), Gabin played some form of working-class social outcast, and he always provided audiences with a strong point of identification. Following a brief, less successful stint in Hollywood and a period of fighting with the Allies in North Africa during World War II, Gabin saw his film career slow down, and he appeared mostly in supporting roles for a while (including in Ophuls’s Le plaisir). Jacques Becker’s 1954 heist thriller Touchez pas au grisbi was the comeback he needed, and it propelled him into a successful second act, which lasted until his death in 1976.