1937's Pépé le Moko was directed by Julien Duvivier and was an immediate critical and box office success. Viewed in hindsight it's easy to see that the film captures a few stylistic aspects important to the French cinema and stands as a major influence to Hollywood in the 1940s; particularly poetic realism, crime noir, and the policier genre (i.e. cops and robbers). Poetic realism in this case is closer to fatalistic romanticism, which never really got a foothold in Hollywood, but the noir characteristics and the policier aspect was played out throughout the 1940s and '50s and goes on straight through to today. The film spawned two Hollywood remakes and there are also obvious parallels with Casablanca, which came out in 1942.
Continue reading: Pépé Le Moko Review
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