Pépé le Moko. 1937. France. Directed by Julien Duvivier. Screenplay by Henri La Barthe, Julien Duvivier. With Jean Gabin, Mireille Balin, Marcel Dalio. Duvivier’s most influential film stars Gabin as a suave Parisian jewel thief who eludes capture by taking refuge in the Casbah—the mysterious, labyrinthine quarter of Algiers that embodies the exotic, and erotic, Arabian nights of our colonialist imagination. Graham Greene rhapsodized, "I cannot remember [a picture] which has succeeded so admirably in raising the thriller to a poetic level," and French film critic André Bazin observed, "With Gabin…death is, after all, at the end of the adventure, implacably awaiting its appointment. The fate of Gabin is precisely to be duped by life." In French; English subtitles. 94 min.
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