skip navigation
Pepe

Pepe(1961)

TCM Messageboards
Post your comments here
ADD YOUR COMMENT>

share:
Remind Me

TCMDb Archive MaterialsView all archives (0)

NOTES

powered by AFI

Onscreen credits contain the following written acknowledgment: "With grateful appreciation to the members of the Motion Picture Production Worker's Union of the Republic of Mexico for their splendid cooperation." Onscreen song credits read: "Maurice Chevalier recordings of "September Song" and "Mimi" courtesy of M-G-M Records." According to publicity materials in the film's production file at the AMPAS Library, Posa Films Internacional was owned by Cantinflas (whose real name was Mario Moreno) and Jacques Gelman, who is listed as the associate producer of Pepe. Cantinflas' success in the 1956 film Around the World in 80 Days led to his starring role in Pepe^.
       Although various reviews list the film's length as 190 or 195 minutes, studio records reveal that the actual running time was 180 minutes 29 seconds. It is possible that the running time in the reviews included the film's intermission. The viewed print ran approximately 157 minutes. According to a February 10, 1960 Hollywood Reporter news item, animators William Hanna and Joseph Barbera were to create a "Don Quixote" dream sequence. A studio synopsis dated March 21, 1960 in the film's production file includes the sequence, in which "Pepe" dreams he is Don Quixote, protecting his lady from harm. This scene was not in the viewed print.
       In onscreen credits, Frank Sinatra's name is followed by "And ? ?," referring to the guest stars who are not credited onscreen. Some of the film's cameo's appearances, which sometimes involved the stars playing minor roles that advanced the plot, and other times merely had them briefly portraying themselves, include the following: Ernie Kovacs portrays a customs official as Pepe crosses the border. As Pepe waits for "Ted Holt" at the studio, he encounters Bing Crosby, who sings a few bars from his popular songs "Pennies from Heaven" and "South of the Border Down Mexico Way" to him. Zsa Zsa Gabor, Jay North, known as "Dennis the Menace" because of a popular television show in which he starred, and Jack Lemmon (wearing his costume from Some Like It Hot, see below) also appear in the studio sequence, but Pepe fails to recognize any of them as celebrities.
       Bobby Darin sings "That's How It Went, Alright" at Kelly's Cafe, where Andr Previn plays the piano and Michael Callan dances with "Suzie Murphy." Peter Lawford, Frank Sinatra, Richard Conte, Dean Martin and "Big" Jack Entratter, president of the Sands Hotel, appear in the Las Vegas sequence, in which Sammy Davis, Jr. also sings "Hooray for Hollywood." In another sequence, miniature figures of Pepe and Debbie Reynolds dance to the music of the hit instrumental "Tequila" while Ted considers taking a swig from his tequila jug. Janet Leigh and Tony Curtis, who were married at the time, appear in the scene at an Acapulco resort in which Leigh mistakes Pepe for an official from the censorship board, and Kim Novak helps Pepe pick out an engagement ring in a Mexico City jewelry shop. Cast member Col. E. E. "Buddy" Fogelson was married to Greer Garson, who also appeared in the film.
       A March 1958 Hollywood Reporter news item in the "Rambling Reporter" column noted that Columbia wanted Fred Astaire and Judy Garland to star in the film. Although Garland did not appear in the film, her voice is heard singing "Faraway Part of Town." January 1960 Hollywood Reporter news items noted that Natalie Wood, who was originally to play Suzie, pulled out of the film. The studio then considered Barrie Chase and Sandra Church as her replacement. Although various 1960 Hollywood Reporter news items listed Anthony Redondo, George Ford, Roger Ferry, Phil Hartman, Eddie Edell, Barbara Chrysler, Shep Houghton, Mark Lambert and Pedro Galvan in the cast, their appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. Although February 1960 Hollywood Reporter news items noted that Robert Young was to make a cameo in the film and Columbia studio head Sam Briskin was to appear in a walk on, neither appeared in the viewed print.
       Onscreen credits note that the Las Vegas sequences were photographed at the Sands and Tropicana Hotels in Las Vegas, NV, and the bullfight and fiesta scenes were photographed at Hacienda Vista Hermosa in Mexico. Other Hollywood Reporter news items noted that location filming was also done in Taxco and Acapulco, Mexico, and interiors were filmed at the Estudios Churubusco in Mexico City and the Columbia studios lot in Los Angeles. In the Acapulco sequence, the famed troupe of divers known as the La Perla Divers are shown plunging from steep cliffs into the sea water below.
       Modern sources note that location filming was also done in Puebla and Oaxaca, Mexico. According to a June 1960 Hollywood Reporter news item, as part of the promotion of the picture, Cantinflas sent out a chronicle of events describing the activities of the company while they were on location. An August 1961 Hollywood Reporter news item noted that the film was to open with Spanish subtitles at two theaters in Los Angeles. Although a February 1961 Los Angeles Times news item noted that producer-director George Sidney was planning to make a sequel titled Pepe in Paris, that film was never made and consequently, Pepe marked Cantinflas' last American film.
       Pepe was nominated for the following Academy Awards: Best Musical Score; Best Art Direction (Color); Best Costume Design (Color); Best Film Editing; Best Cinematography (Color); and Best Sound. "Faraway Part of Town" was nominated for Best Song.