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The Devil's Brother (1933)

Passed | | Comedy, Musical | 5 May 1933 (USA)
Two wannabe bandits join the service of a dashing nobleman, who secretly masquerades as Fra Diavolo, a notorious outlaw.

Directors:

, (as Charles Rogers)

Writer:

(adaptation)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Dennis King ...
...
Lady Pamela
James Finlayson ...
Lord Rocburg
Lucile Browne ...
Zerlina
Arthur Pierson ...
Lorenzo
Henry Armetta ...
Matteo
Matt McHugh ...
Francesco
...
Lieutenant
Nina Quartero ...
Rita (as Nena Quartaro)
Wilfred Lucas ...
Alessandro
James C. Morton ...
Woodchopper
...
...
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Storyline

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 <tterrace@wco.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

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.

Genres:

Comedy | Musical

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 May 1933 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bogus Bandits  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"Fra Diavolo" represented a dream project for Hal Roach, who had seen the play as a boy. The fact that the play's rights were in public domain was an added incentive to the producer. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Stanlio: I don't want to be walking around with my throat cut.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Ollio is played by Oliver Hardy, but Stanlio is played by X. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Babes in Toyland (1934) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
Mr. Laurel & Mr. Hardy Fall In Among Thieves
21 May 2002 | by (Forest Ranch, CA) – See all my reviews

Two hapless misfits find themselves working for Fra Diavolo (THE DEVIL'S BROTHER), the notorious singing bandit of the early 18th century.

Stan Laurel & Oliver Hardy are at the top of their form - high praise indeed - in this lavish, but rather obscure, rendition of Daniel-François Auber's popular operetta. Laurel's frightened squeak & Ollie's pout of wounded dignity are on display, as is the easy camaraderie and genuine affection of these two gentle souls. Here they are simply allowed to do what they did best: amuse. One hilarious sequence follows another: Stan attempting to hang Ollie (really!); their slapstick endeavor to capture the bandit; the Boys helpless in an uncontrollable fit of laughter. Director Hal Roach understood their comedic style better than anyone, and he lets them make the most of their time before the cameras. Their every moment captured on film is precious; each minute they are missing so that subplots may develop is decried as an intolerable waste.

In the title role, British opera star Dennis King monopolizes much of the screen time. A good deal of his vocalizing is unintelligible, but he plays the charming rogue well. However, it is important to notice that despite his charm, he is one of the most dangerous villains the Boys encounter in any of their films. Beneath the thin veneer of civility, he is little more than a murderous, thieving rapscallion. He has nothing but his handsome face & dulcet tones to separate him from a Karloff or a Lugosi.

Peppery James Finlayson & lovely, tragic Thelma Todd play silly, vain aristocrats who have more jewels than common sense. Both of these wonderful performers were always welcome in roles large or small - his bristling mustache and popping eyes & her classic beauty so often the focal point of great humor. But here they have very little contact with the Boys and so much of their comedic talent is rather dissipated in mildly adulterous scenes with the Bandit Chief. Pity...

There is a subplot involving the Innkeeper's daughter and her forbidden love of a young military officer, but fortunately it is not allowed to intrude too much. Henry Armetta as the Innkeeper, however, is given some very funny moments as he tries without success to duplicate Stan's intricate hand games.


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