Brother Orchid


Comedy / Crime

IMDb Rating 7.0


Downloaded 312 times
2/13/2020 9:02:25 PM

88 min
P/S 1 / 0

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by secondtake 7

Brother Orchid (1940)<br/><br/>Edward G. Robinson plays first fiddle here, a mob boss jaded with the business and leaving it in Humphrey Bogart&#39;s hands while he goes to Europe. For five years. He comes back broke, and he&#39;s surprised he isn&#39;t boss anymore. Ha. That&#39;s just the first twenty minutes. There are more mob doings, and then it takes an odd couple of twists that give the movie its distinction. <br/><br/>&quot;Brother Orchid&quot; is fast, it&#39;s classic mobster stuff, and yet it&#39;s never hard edged and mean, as if it knows by 1940 the genre is old and people watching it have a bit of of nostalgia for it. (This isn&#39;t really true, however, as Cagney&#39;s most polished and possibly best gangster movie was White Heat in 1949. By the way, Cagney was originally slated for Robinson&#39;s role.) It is a light comedy around the edges, and Ralph Bellamy is the one truly comic character. But Ann Southern as the lead girl plays a lighthearted moll. <br/><br/>The mood here is to entertain. The title is odd from outside the theater but it makes sense after seeing it, and it&#39;s this second half of the movie that makes it all a little too starry eyed, even if it&#39;s also tongue-in-cheek. But most of all, it&#39;s totally enjoyable. Bogart, who appears really for just a couple minutes of screen time total, is restrained and not the classic Bogart just emerging (&quot;The Maltese Falcon&quot; and &quot;High Sierra&quot; are both 1941). But Robinson is in usual top form, subtle, peculiar, convincing, sympathetic. He even delivers some very sentimental lines with such earthy conviction you can believe him. Almost.

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Reviewed by blanche-2 7

Edward G. Robinson becomes &quot;Brother Orchid&quot; in this 1940 film directed by Lloyd Bacon and also starring Humphrey Bogart, Ann Sothern, Ralph Bellamy, and Allen Jenkins. Robinson plays a mobster, Johnny Sarto, who works protection. He quits the business, turning it over to his right hand man, Jack Buck (Bogart) and spends five years touring the world in search of class. He comes back home broke from bad investments (the Borgia&#39;s bed was made in Grand Rapids) and wants back in.<br/><br/>Jack Buck, however, doesn&#39;t want to give up his position. When Johnny&#39;s airhead girlfriend Flo (Sothern) speaks with Jack about reconciling with Johnny, she reminds him that Johnny witnessed Jack murder someone. Jack pretends to go along with the reconciliation, but in reality, he plans on killing Johnny. Johnny escapes the hit men and, believing Flo set him up, realizes he has no one to turn to. He passes out in front of a monastery and winds up donning the monastic robe and raising flowers.<br/><br/>Very funny and warm film with wonderful performances. Robinson always played comedy very seriously, making his sinister gangster seem even funnier here. Beautiful Ann Sothern is great as the ditsy girlfriend who loves Johnny but can&#39;t get a commitment out of him. Bogart is still portraying crooks at this point, and he does an excellent job as the dangerous Johnny Buck. Donald Woods and Cecil Kellaway are two of the monks Johnny encounters.<br/><br/>Director Bacon did a lot of gangster films at Warners, and he really knew how to pace them.<br/><br/>Very enjoyable.

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Reviewed by utgard14 7

Gangster Little John Sarto (Edward G. Robinson) retires from the racket to &quot;get some class.&quot; After that flops he tries to reclaim his old mob, which is now run by Jack Buck (Humphrey Bogart). After nearly being rubbed out and believing his girlfriend (Ann Sothern) set him up, Little John joins a monastery! Entertaining Warner Bros. gangster comedy is helped by fun dialogue and solid cast. Robinson, Bogart, and Sothern are all great. Support from the likes of Ralph Bellamy, Allen Jenkins, Cecil Kellaway, and Donald Crisp. Doesn&#39;t launch into the monastery part of the film until about halfway through. It&#39;s a fairly routine gangster story for the first half. Although with this cast, fairly routine is still pretty enjoyable to watch.

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