A touchstone film for cinema historians trading in literary labels like 'poetic realism' and often mistakenly said to be a transposition of the Hollywood gangster movie, Pépé le Moko deserves to be reassessed for what it is - a vigorous thriller about a French gangster hiding out in the Algiers Casbah. Full of sinuous camerawork, dingy sets, deep shadows, and even darker motives, this is also the film that fixed Gabin's image for keeps as the outsider condemned to a life in the underworld. See it for the edgy, suspenseful climax where Gabin, tempted out of hiding by his femme fatale, runs to meet death. Film noir as we know (and love) it is just around the corner from here. (Adapted from a novel by Ashelbé.