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Monday, September 1, 2014 
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Cinematronic by Michael Snyder
DVD
cinematronic
  Pépé le Moko cinematronic
  director

Julien Duvivier

cast

Jean Gabin, Mireille Balin, Gabriel Gabrio, Lucas Gridoux, Gilbert-Gil, Charpin, Line Noro, Roger Legris, Gaston Modot, Saturnin Fabre

year

1937

extras

Criterion Collection — In French; full screen; new digital transfer, made from newly restored film elements; new and improved English subtitle translation; excerpts from the 1978 television documentary "Remembering Jean Gabin"; 1962 French television interview with director Julien Duvivier; 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 le Moko" on popular culture, including a special video comparison between "Pépé le Moko" and the 1938 U.S. remake "Algiers"; theatrical trailer.

rating rating cinematronic
  Here's a mark of greatness: "Pépé le Moko" — the exotic French crime drama/romance starring the magnificent Jean Gabin as suave French criminal expatriate Pépé le Moko — is such an entertaining, exciting, memorable film that it spawned not one, but two worthy remakes. There's "Algiers," a 1939 American version released shortly after the original and featuring Charles Boyer as Pépé, and "Casbah," a musical take on the story, with swarthy Tony Martin as a singing Pépé. But if you want to see the best rendition of this classic gangster tragedy, glom onto the exceptional Criterion Collection DVD of "Pépé le Moko," with a print that's been diligently restored to its original pristine glory. Pépé's situation is a pip. On the lam from the cops, he hides out in the dark, labyrinthine Casbah, the most dangerous, impoverished quarter of Algiers. Although he longs for Paris, Pépé rules the Casbah with his gang, he's adored by the local women, and he's respected by all, even police inspector Slimane (Lucas Gridoux), who plots his downfall. Only Pépé's ardor for slumming rich girl Gaby (Mireille Balin) could lure him from the Casbah, which could be his undoing.  
cinematronic
cinematronic


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