PEPE

STUDIO:  Columbia

PRODUCTION NUMBER:  1233

PRODUCTION DATES:  Judy recorded “The Faraway Part of Town” in April 1960 

RUNNING TIME:  195 minutes

RELEASE DATE:  December 20, 1960

INITIAL BOX OFFICE:  $4.8 million

Pepe isn’t really a “Judy Garland film” although it’s always listed as part of the Garland film canon.  This is based on the fact that she recorded the new song “The Faraway Part of Town” which was nominated for the Oscar for “Best Original Song.”  It lost to “Never on Sunday” from the film of the same name.  Judy doesn’t appear in the film, only her song is heard while Shirley Jones and Dan Dailey dance on screen.

Pepe was made to show off the talents of the popular Mexican film star Cantinflas, who has scored a major success supporting David Niven in 1956’s Around The World in 80 Days.  That film also featured numerous cameos by huge stars and that gimmick was expected to help Pepe connect with audiences.  It didn’t work.

Judy’s involvement in the film was originally planned to include an appearance on screen, as one of the many cameos featured (see the cast list below).  Unfortunately, Judy’s weight had ballooned due to a serious bout with hepatitis.  She was recovering from that illness when the producers decided she was too heavy to appear on screen!  Regardless, Pepe was Judy’s first work on any film since 1954’s A Star Is Born and along with the year 1960, was the beginning of Judy’s amazing early-1960s career renaissance.  

Although it wasn’t a critical success, Pepe was nominated for seven Academy Awards but won none:

  • Best Art Direction (Ted Haworth, William Kiernan)
  • Best Cinematography (Joseph MacDonald)
  • Best Costume Design (Edith Head)
  • Best Film Editing (Viola Lawrence, Al Clark)
  • Best Original Song (“Faraway Part of Town”)
  • Best Scoring
  • Best Sound (Charles Rice)

Japanese insert provided by Hisato Masuyama.  Note that it states the “Boice” of Judy Garland!

CAST:

Cantinflas as Pepe

Dan Dailey as Ted Holt

Shirley Jones as Suzie Murphy

Carlos Montalbán as Rodríguez (auctioneer)

Vicki Trickett as Lupita

Matt Mattox as Dancer

Hank Henry as Manager

Suzanne Lloyd as Carmen

Carlos Rivas as Carlos

Michael Callan as Dancer

William Demarest as Movie Studio Gateman

CAMEOS:
Joey Bishop
Billie Burke
Maurice Chevalier
Charles Coburn
Richard Conte
Bing Crosby
Tony Curtis
Bobby Darin
Ann B. Davis as her TV character Schultzy
Sammy Davis Jr.
Jimmy Durante
Zsa Zsa Gabór
Judy Garland (voice only)
Greer Garson
Hedda Hopper
Ernie Kovacs
Peter Lawford
Janet Leigh
Jack Lemmon
Dean Martin
Jay North as his TV character Dennis the Menace
Kim Novak
André Previn
Donna Reed
Debbie Reynolds
Edward G. Robinson
Cesar Romero
Frank Sinatra

CREW:

Directed and Produced by: George Sidney

Associate Producer: Jacques Gelman

Assistant Director: David Silver

Screenplay by: Dorothy Kingsley, Claude Binyon

Screen Story by: Leonard Spigelgass and Sonya Levien

Based on a Play by L. Bush-Fekete (“Broadway Magic”)

General Music Supervision and

Background Score by: Johnny Green

“Pepe” and “Mimi” Special Material and Routines by Roger Edens

Songs: “Faraway Part of Town,” “That’s How It Went, Alright” Music by André Previn, Lyrics by Dory Langdon, Conducted by André Previn; “Pepe” Music by Hans Wittstatt, Special Instrumental by Johnny Green, Lyrics by Dory Langdon; “The Rumble” instrumental by André Previn; “Lovely Day” (“Concha Hacar”) Music by Augustin Lara, Spanish Lyrics by Maria Teresa Lara, Special English Lyrics by Dory Langdon; Maurice Chevalier Recordings of “September Song” and “Mimi” courtesy of MGM Records

Choreography: “The Rumble,” “Faraway Part of Town” (by) Eugene Loring

Additional Choreography: Alex Romero

Art Direction: Ted Haworth

Associate Art Director: Gunthere Gerszo

Set Decorator: William Kiernan

Gowns: Edith Head

Make-Up Supervision: Ben Lane

Hair Styles: Larry Germain, Myrl Stoltz

Recording Supervisor: Charles J. Rice

Sound: James Z. Flaster

Director of Photography: Joe Mac Donald

Special Sequences Photographed in CinemaScope, Eastman Color by Pathe

Film Editors: Viola Lawrence, Al Clark

Las Vegas Sequences Photographed at The Sands Hotel, The Tropicana Hotel

Bullfight and Fiesta Scenes Photographed at Hacienda Vista Hermosa, Mexico

With Special Appreciation to the Members of the Motion Picture Production Worker’s Union of the Republic of Mexico for Their Splendid Co-Operation.

SONGS:

Pennies from Heaven/Let’s Fall in Love/South of the Border
(Bing Crosby and Cantinflas)

That’s How It Went All Right
(Bobby Darin)

The Far Away Part of Town 
(Judy Garland)

Hooray for Hollywood
(Sammy Davis, Jr.)

Card game comedy routine
(Cantinflas and Jimmy Durante)

Tequila
(Instrumental)

Mimi
(Maurice Chevalier)

September Song
(Maurice Chevalier)

Rhumba
(Instrumental)

Pepe
(Shirley Jones & Children’s Chorus)

Lovely Day
(Shirley Jones)

Suzy’s Theme
(Instrumental)