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Brother Orchid (1940)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Crime, Drama  |  8 June 1940 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 1,656 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.



(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 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
Curley Matthews


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Comedy | Crime | Drama | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

8 June 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Orchid, der Gangsterbruder  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Both Charles De Ravenne (Stable Boy) and John Qualen (Mr. Pigeon) are in studio records for their roles in this film, "Brother Orchid (1940)," but neither were seen in the movie. See more »


At 1:04:25 Brother Superior's right arm is in his lap. When it cuts to the reverse angle, his right hand is placed on Brother Orchid's shoulder. See more »


Flo Addams: Now, wait a minute, Clarence. Johnny didn't never say no such thing.
Little Johnny Sarto: Certainly, I didn't. I never said anything about you. Never even thought anything about you.
See more »


Featured in Bullets Over Hollywood (2005) See more »


Frühlingslied (Spring Song)
(1842-4) (uncredited)
Music by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
See more »

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User Reviews

Worth a look
3 July 2001 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I'm a big fan of Bogart,but I have to admit this is not one of his shining moments.But fortunately,the audience is treated to some very funny performances by Edward G. Robinson,Ann Sothern,and Allen Jenkins(very often Bogart's side-kick,but not here),in particular Ann Sothern,who should have been a much bigger star than she was.The story basically dies once the brothers at the monastery rescue Robinson,but all in all,this movie has more style than most of the rot-gut being shown at your local multi-plex this week.Definitely worth a look.

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