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Brother Orchid (1940)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Crime, Drama  |  8 June 1940 (USA)
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 1,609 users  
Reviews: 22 user | 15 critic

When retired racket boss John Sarto tries to reclaim his place and former friends try to kill him, he finds solace in a monastery and reinvents himself as a pious monk.

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(screen play), (based on the story by: Collier's Magazine), 2 more credits »
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Title: Brother Orchid (1940)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Flo Addams
...
Jack Buck
...
Brother Superior
...
Clarence Fletcher
...
Willie The Knife
Charles D. Brown ...
Brother Wren
...
Brother Goodwin
Morgan Conway ...
Philadelphia Powell
Richard Lane ...
Mugsy O'Day
Paul Guilfoyle ...
Red Martin
John Ridgely ...
Texas Pearson
Joseph Crehan ...
Brother MacEwen
Wilfred Lucas ...
Brother MacDonald
Tom Tyler ...
Curley Matthews
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Storyline

Gang boss Little John Sarto returns from Europe where he was looking for "class" to find his old mob taken over by Jack Burns. When he puts together a rival gang he gets wounded and seeks refuge in a monastery. He is gradually transformed by the simple, sincere brothers and, after one last gangland appearance, decides he has found class at last in the monastery. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

We'd like youse to meet Brother Orchid!

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

8 June 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Orchid, der Gangsterbruder  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Of the five films that Edward G. Robinson and Humphrey Bogart made together, this is the only one in which neither is killed. See more »

Goofs

At 1:25:55 As Brother Orchid enters the monastery, he holds his hat with both hands. When it cuts to a medium shot, he is holding it with one. See more »

Quotes

Little Johnny Sarto: [riding with Flo in Clarence's back seat] What's that whistlin' I hear?
Flo Addams: That's Clarence makin' birdcalls. He's awful good.
Clarence P. Fletcher: [makes a hooting sound]
Flo Addams: Want him to impersonate a robin?
Little Johnny Sarto: What'll he do? Eat a worm?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Footsteps in the Dark (1941) See more »

Soundtracks

Second Piano Sonata (Funeral March)
(1837) (uncredited)
Music by Frédéric Chopin
Played when Johnny looks at his photograph
See more »

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User Reviews

A Versatile Robinson, An Irrelevant Bogart

Worth renting or catching on late night TV, "Brother Orchid" is a 1940 hybrid, a film that uneasily coasts between comedy and drama. With both Edward G. Robinson and Humphrey Bogart capturing theater marquees with both violent crime and some serious drama roles this film is sort of a detour but it's a good one.

Robinson plays a gangster chief who quits the mob to undertake a long and financially ruinous Grand Tour of Europe. Returning to the U.S. he is astounded to discover that he can't pick up the reins he once held firmly and that his former underboss, Bogart, wants him out of the way - permanently. Bogart's talent is not very much on display in this movie.

Robinson winds up hiding in a friary populated by gentle souls and, of course, his condition is gentled under their patient ministration.

Ann Sothern is terrific as his "fiancee," a gang moll waiting long and patiently for the march to the altar. Ralph Bellamy is amusing as a Western rancher who exudes a patience and understanding more often associated with saints than cowboys.

For those who enjoy the pre-World War II Hollywood crime films this one is just different enough from the formula, and very violent, ones.


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