(aka 'Pépé-le-Moko )

directed by Julien Duvivier
France 1937

  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.

Posters

Theatrical Release: January 28th, 1937 - France

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DVD Review: Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC

DVD Box Cover

   

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Distribution Criterion Collection - Spine # 172 - Region 0 - NTSC

(click titles for DVDBeaver reviews)

This edition (without any extras) is also available in The Essential Art House - 50 Years of Janus Films - a 50-disc celebration of international films collected under the auspices of the groundbreaking theatrical distributor. It contains Alexander Nevsky (1938), Ashes And Diamonds (1958), L'avventura (1960), Ballad Of A Soldier (1959), Beauty And The Beast (1946), Black Orpheus (1959), Brief Encounter (1945), The Fallen Idol (1948), Fires On The Plain (1959), Fists In The Pocket (1965), Floating Weeds (1959), Forbidden Games (1952), The 400 Blows (1959), Grand Illusion (1937), Häxan (1922), Ikiru (1952), The Importance Of Being Earnest (1952), Ivan The Terrible, Part II (1958), Le Jour Se Lève (1939), Jules And Jim (1962), Kind Hearts And Coronets (1949), Knife In The Water (1962), The Lady Vanishes (1938), The Life And Death Of Colonel Blimp (1943), Loves Of A Blonde (1965), M (1931), M. Hulot's Holiday (1953), Miss Julie (1951), Pandora's Box (1929), Pépé Le Moko (1937), Il Posto (1961), Pygmalion (1938), Rashomon (1950), Richard III (1955), The Rules Of The Game (1939), Seven Samurai (1954), The Seventh Seal (1957), The Spirit Of The Beehive (1973), La Strada (1954), Summertime (1955), The Third Man (1949), The 39 Steps (1935), Ugetsu (1953), Umberto D. (1952), The Virgin Spring (1960), Viridiana (1961), The Wages Of Fear (1953), The White Sheik (1952), Wild Strawberries (1957), Three Documentaries By Saul J. Turell plus the hardcover, full color 240-page book.

Runtime 1:33:45
Video 1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.22 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Audio French (Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono) 
Subtitles English, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion / Home Vision

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• 1962 French television interview with director Julien Duvivier (10:27)
• Excerpts from the 1978 television documentary Remembering Jean Gabin (33:42)
• 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
(text)
• A study of the lasting influence of Pépé on popular culture, including a special video comparison between Pépe and the 1938 U.S. remake Algiers
• Original theatrical trailer (3:44)

8 page liner notes

DVD Release Date: January 7th, 2003

Keep Case
Chapters: 21

 

Comments:

The process that Criterion uses for DVD transfers can, at times, include excessive grain, especially in older films. Although it is a complaint, I still suspect this is the best the film has looked beyond its theatrical release almost 70 years ago. Subtitles are exceptional, contrast is untouchable - again Criterion leads the way for DVD production. This film is so French... and cool... and, thanks to Criterion, own-able. This is a perfect mood piece and you will never regret owning this DVD. out of      

Gary W. Tooze

 





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DVD Box Cover

   

CLICK to order from:

Distribution Criterion Collection - Spine # 172 - Region 0 - NTSC

(click titles for DVDBeaver reviews)

This edition (without any extras) is also available in The Essential Art House - 50 Years of Janus Films - a 50-disc celebration of international films collected under the auspices of the groundbreaking theatrical distributor. It contains Alexander Nevsky (1938), Ashes And Diamonds (1958), L'avventura (1960), Ballad Of A Soldier (1959), Beauty And The Beast (1946), Black Orpheus (1959), Brief Encounter (1945), The Fallen Idol (1948), Fires On The Plain (1959), Fists In The Pocket (1965), Floating Weeds (1959), Forbidden Games (1952), The 400 Blows (1959), Grand Illusion (1937), Häxan (1922), Ikiru (1952), The Importance Of Being Earnest (1952), Ivan The Terrible, Part II (1958), Le Jour Se Lève (1939), Jules And Jim (1962), Kind Hearts And Coronets (1949), Knife In The Water (1962), The Lady Vanishes (1938), The Life And Death Of Colonel Blimp (1943), Loves Of A Blonde (1965), M (1931), M. Hulot's Holiday (1953), Miss Julie (1951), Pandora's Box (1929), Pépé Le Moko (1937), Il Posto (1961), Pygmalion (1938), Rashomon (1950), Richard III (1955), The Rules Of The Game (1939), Seven Samurai (1954), The Seventh Seal (1957), The Spirit Of The Beehive (1973), La Strada (1954), Summertime (1955), The Third Man (1949), The 39 Steps (1935), Ugetsu (1953), Umberto D. (1952), The Virgin Spring (1960), Viridiana (1961), The Wages Of Fear (1953), The White Sheik (1952), Wild Strawberries (1957), Three Documentaries By Saul J. Turell plus the hardcover, full color 240-page book.




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Gary Tooze