Pépé le Moko (1937)
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Yep, if Casablanca does not drink from this, and don't know where it drinks from. Some of the small characters are rare diamonds. Tania, for one, has the most extraordinary little moment.
The Criterion work on this films was superb! the photography really helps you to immerse in the world of Pépé le Moko. And I don't think he was as charming as everyone depicted him in his world, he was full of flaws BUT non the less he is a complex character, and he's capable even after 80 years later to share his longing with all of us, to move us, to permeate our own feelings, all through his longing for Gaby, and I believe his love for Gaby is a secondary matter, I think this film with every line in it, and even in the middle of Algiers screams its love and longing for Paris.
A full on romantic film, a romance with a city, with a nation, with a way of life! And without being nationalistic, but perhaps just a little näive; the love for a country, and the search for freedom was at the core of this story.
Agree with Dieguito, only it was shot 7 years earlier!
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In 9 official lists
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This movie ranks #15 in 101 Gangster Movies You Must See Before You Die
This movie ranks #96 in The Times's 100 Best French Films
This movie ranks #106 in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die
This movie ranks #119 in BFI's 360 Classic Feature Films Project
This movie ranks #175 in The Criterion Collection
This movie ranks #192 in David Thomson's Have You Seen?
This movie ranks #479 in TSPDT's 1,000 Noir Films
This movie ranks #684 in The Guardian's 1000 Films to See Before You Die
This movie ranks #973 in TSPDT's 1,000 Greatest Films