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Douglas Fairbanks jr plays Siamese twins, separated by a good doctor [scalpel hemostat sutures quickly!!] after their parents are killed by Vendetta, personified by Akim Tamiroff in bolero suits. One goes to Paris, one to the Corsican Mountains to become, respectively, a gentleman and a bandit. What will happen? "I have performed the miracle I have separated their bodies. But what of their souls?" Lucien [the bandit] feels everything Mario [the Parisian fop - I mean, gentleman] feels. 20 years pass...then another year...and they are reunited in Corsica. Banditry and vendetta and a beautiful Corsican countess ensue. Written by
Chris in Oxford UK
Vendetta, the vicious tribal feuding which ravages the great families of Corsica. The Baron Calonne has ended the Franzi dynasty and made himself supreme.
Or so he thinks..... unbeknownst to him, infant twin sons of the noble line of Franzi did not perish in the inferno he visited on their family. One, was taken to Paris and raised as an aristocrat, the other lived in the Corsican woods as a bandit.
What might have been a predictable revenge saga is given an enterprising twist by the device of making the twins Siamese at birth. Surgically separated as their family is massacred and their home destroyed, they are parted and raised along different paths. Mario grows up to be a cultured and wealthy Parisian, Lucien however is raised in the Corsican woods by outlaws, and it is Lucien who retains a "sixth sense" link with his twin. He feels the pain of his brother and also the pleasure. When Mario fell in love with and fought a duel for a beautiful Countess, Lucien was present in spirit.
The paths of the brothers reconverge at their 21st birthday where they are reunited by the doctor who saved them and told of their destiny.......
Douglas Fairbanks Jr is excellent in the roles of Lucien and Mario. The special effects are limited to crude superimpositions and backprojections but he overcomes their lack of effect by the simple expedient of acting. Lucien is shorter, darker and cunning. Mario is tall, suave and clever. The countess who plays their love interest and who will eventually come between them is not so impressive. A soft focus stereotype in silly skirts simpering through the forest like an umbrella on legs.
The scene is completed by the villain, the evil Baron. What a character ! Short, greasy, and swarthy, complete with twirly moustache he is a worthy adversary for the heroic twins. If trains had been invented, the countess would surely have ended her days tied to some tracks.
The swordplay is frantic, buckles are swashed, the plot is satisfying and Fairbanks is a star twice over. If you can overlook the (awful) technical shortcomings and you like your heroes handsome but flawed and your baddies to twirl their moustaches and get their come-uppances, watch the Corsican Brothers.
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