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The Devil's Brother (1933)

Passed  -  Comedy | Musical  -  5 May 1933 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 1,130 users  
Reviews: 18 user | 8 critic

Two wannabe bandits join the service of a dashing nobleman, who secretly masquerades as Fra Diavolo, a notorious outlaw.


, (as Charles Rogers)


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Title: The Devil's Brother (1933)

The Devil's Brother (1933) on IMDb 7.2/10

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Complete credited cast:
Dennis King ...
Fra Diavolo / Marquis de San Marco
Thelma Todd ...
Lady Pamela
James Finlayson ...
Lord Rocburg
Lucile Browne ...
Arthur Pierson ...
Henry Armetta ...
Matt McHugh ...
Lane Chandler ...
Nina Quartero ...
Rita (as Nena Quartaro)
Wilfred Lucas ...
James C. Morton ...


At Stanlio's urging, Ollio foists himself off as the dread singing bandit Fra Diavolo and unknowingly attempts to rob the notorious brigand himself. As punishment, Diavolo orders Stanlio to hang Ollio, but gives them a second chance when Stanlio bungles the job. Taking them on as his retainers, Diavolo travels to the Tavern de Cucu in his guise as the foppish Marquis de San Marco to rob the rich, aged Lord Rocburg and woo beauteous Lady Pamela. Stanlio drives Ollio and the innkeeper to distraction by playing "earsie kneesie nosie" and "finger wiggle," and gets drunk helping Ollio fill tankards of wine, sending him into an uncontrollable laughing fit. The boys plot to capture Diavolo but wind up with him in front of a firing squad. Written by Paul Penna <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


In the early eighteenth century, Northern Italy was terrorized by bandits. Boldest among the robber-chieftains was Fra Diavolo (The Devil's Brother), who masqueraded as the elegant Marquis de San Marco in order to mingle with the rich. Great lords lost their gold to him-great ladies their hearts.


Comedy | Musical


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

5 May 1933 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bogus Bandits  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In a 1957 radio interview, Stan Laurel said he considered this to be one of the best of the comedy team's movies. See more »


Position of the noose during the hanging sequence. See more »


Ollio: I'm not afraid of poverty.
Stanlio: But I am.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The credits are listed on a scroll at the beginning of the movie. All the performers appear to have signed their own names to the list. See more »


Version of Fra Diavolo (1922) See more »


Fra Diabolo
(1830) (uncredited)
Music by Daniel-François Auber from his comic opera
Libretto by Eugène Scribe
Excerpts and arias Played and Sung throughout the movie
See more »

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User Reviews

"You Don't Need Any Brains To Be A Bandit"
13 December 2007 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

With those words to live by, Oliver Hardy convinces Stan Laurel that this might be just the profession for them in 18th century France. Unfortunately the second guy they decide to rob is the famous bandit, Fra Diavolo, the Devil's Brother played by Broadway star Dennis King in his second feature film role. And to top it all off, these two decide to impersonate Fra Diavolo while doing the robbery.

King is justifiably angry about this and orders Stan to hang Ollie who he sizes up rather quickly as the brains of the outfit. But when Stan bungles the job in a most amusing manner, King decides these guys are worth having around for laughs.

King's on quest, to rob nobleman James Finlayson of a fortune in jewels and then to woo the lovely Thelma Todd. At that point the action of the film and for that matter the operetta it's based on takes place in an inn where all the principals are staying. These also include Arthur Pierson as the earnest, but rather dull young French officer who wants to capture the notorious Fra Diavolo and Lucille Browne, the barmaid who loves the lug.

Stan and Ollie give King cause to regret his choice of confederates on this job before the film is over. Let's just say the rotund Mr. Hardy is not built for swashbuckling and my favorite moment is seeing Ollie swinging from the balcony like the man on the flying trapeze. Best moment for Stan is him getting drunk in the wine cellar. There's a whole lot more.

The Devil's Brother was their second film where they have supporting roles in a classic operetta. The first was The Rogue Song where they support Lawrence Tibbett which has unfortunately been lost. Dennis King who primarily concentrated on the stage in his career delivers a far better screen performance in this than he did when he repeated his Broadway role of Francois Villon in The Vagabond King. Dennis King had a strong voice, it's a pity he did not do more musical films.

In the end their escape has to be seen to be believed. Let's just say that one of Stan's earlier gags came back to haunt the forces of law and order.

The Devil's Brother is Stan and Ollie at their finest with Hal Roach, don't miss it if you are fan of their's.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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