The young Mexican Pepe's beloved horse is sold to Hollywood star Ted Holt, leading to Pepe's journey to Hollywood to get the horse back, and Pepe's encounter with half the stars working in Hollywood at the time.
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In Mexico, Pepe is the good-natured ranch foreman of Sr. Rodriguez. Pepe's pride and joy is Don Juan, a magnificent white stud stallion that he raised from a colt for Sr. Rodriguez and that he refers to as his "son". As Sr. Rodriguez has decided to sell Don Juan at auction, Pepe enacts a plan to dissuade any interested buyers so that he can buy Don Juan himself. The plan doesn't work, as Don Juan is sold to washed-up Hollywood movie director Ted Holt - his current Hollywood status due to alcohol over-consumption - who wants to use Don Juan for his comeback project to be shot in Mexico with an all-Mexican cast except for an American female lead. Pepe decides to head to Hollywood and earn lots of money so that he can buy Don Juan and bring him back to Mexico. In Hollywood, Pepe gets into one misadventure after another with a cavalcade of Hollywood movie stars, those misadventures based largely on Pepe's limited grasp of the English language, he often taking what is said to him in their ...Written by
"Pepe" premiered in Hollywood on December 27, 1960. The Columbia Pictures feature, starring the Mexican film star Mario Moreno, "Cantinflas," in the title role, was directed by George Sidney. A multitude of cameo appearances attempted to replicate the success of Mario Moreno's American debut, notably, "Around The World in Eighty Days," produced in 1956 by Mike Todd. The Hollywood Hill top swimming pool sequence was filmed on property owned by Brian Aherne and Joan Fontaine. The Eastern property point overlooking Hollywood, downtown Los Angeles, and the panorama to the West, was located at the end of North Crescent Heights Boulevard, adjacent Hollywood Boulevard, Sunset Boulevard and Laurel Canyon. Columbia Studios' "Pepe" art director Ted Hayworth selected the location for the swimming pool scene-encounter. The studio built a full size swimming pool, on the bluff overlooking Hollywood Boulevard and Sunset Boulevard. The entire set was fabricated on the bluff for this scene, with the four columned two story (Aherne-Fontaine) mansion as the backdrop for reverse camera angle shots. Upon completion of filming, everything built for the setting was removed, with the property restored back to the original condition. During the mid 60's, after Aherne and Fontaine's divorce in 1959, the mansion hill-top was sold, abandoned, becoming a Sunset Strip hippie enclave fort; the mansion was demolished in the late 60's; Great Western, sub-dividing the hill-top, developed home sights selling for approximately $350,000 to $500,000 in the late 1970's. See more »
[watching her boyfriend dance with another woman]
Men make me sick. With no effort, I could hate them all.
[sitting beside her ]
You mean, you hate Pepe?
You? Of course not. I never even think of you as a man.
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Although several sources list the film's running time as either 190 or 195 minutes, according to studio records it is exactly three hours. The intermission might have attributed to the extra 10-15 minutes. Later cut to 157 minutes after initial screenings. See more »
It's really hard to rate this movie. On the one hand, it's a true time capsule of 1960..every mega star is here..including practically the whole rat pack. On the other hand , this is a an extremely corny movie about a man and his donkey.
What is really painful to watch is what the movie does to the Cantinflas persona. In his Mexican movies, he is street smart but with a sentimental side. Sort of a Mexican Little Tramp. In his Mexican movies this persona became more and more sentimental and less street smart as years went by. But nothing can prepare you for this movie. In it, the Cantinflas persona becomes a virtual moron. He is such an ignorant fool it is almost painful to watch.
I remember seeing this movie with my grandmother and mother at the old Radio City theater in Santurce. I was a boy expecting a Cantinflas movie and was surprised to see a movie like this.
Still I have fond memories and I feel that the movie deserves a DVD release. In fact this movie doesn't even show up on AMC or TCM. And its a shame because this movie is an interesting way to go back to 1960.
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