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Eddie Rico has been the book-keeper of an important Mafia boss but now he is an honest merchant and lives with his family in Florida. Everything changes when the police starts to search for his brothers. Now Eddie sees himself forced to get in touch with the Mafia again. Written by
Richard Conte stars in "The Brothers Rico," a 1957 noir with James Darren, Larry Gates, Kathryn Grant, and Dianne Foster.
Conte is Eddie Rico, a former mob accountant, now in the laundry business in Florida and quite successful. The first few scenes are filled with sexual innuendo and show a loving, romantic couple who hope to adopt a baby soon. Then Eddie gets a call from his old boss, Kubik (Gates) who wants to see him on an urgent matter. Considering his boss as "Uncle Sid," he goes to New York against his wife's (Foster) wishes.
Eddie is approached by his brother Gino - he claims the mob wants him to go to St. Louis, and he's sure they plan to rub him out as he was part of a hit and the others who were involved are dead. Eddie advises him to go to St. Louis, that Sid wants him to lay low and would never hurt him. Kubik is grateful to their mother (Argentina Brunetti) who once stopped a bullet meant for him, so Eddie knows he will protect his brothers.
When Eddie meets with Kubik, he learns that his brother Johnny is married and no one has heard from him. However, his wife's (Grant) brother has been talking to the DA about a mob witness. Eddie assures Sid it can't be Johnny. Kubik wants Eddie to find his brother and talk to him. Eddie does, not realizing that they just want to find Eddie and kill him. He realizes his mistake too late.
This was a very good, edge of your seat noir, low on violence though suspenseful. It was on Empire's list of 500 greatest movies, so I wanted to check it out.
Richard Conte does a great job as Eddie, who trusts the wrong people. This was his kind of role, playing the tough son of an immigrant, mixed up with the wrong people, but with a good heart. James Darren, now 67, hasn't changed much except in recent years he's let his hair go gray.
One more point. Someone mentioned that the casting was ridiculous because there was a 26-year difference between Conte and Darren. Back in the '20s and '30s especially, women had children that died at birth or were stillborn - my grandmother had nine children and three lived. There is quiet a gap between the oldest and youngest in that family. That was not unusual.
Everyone is very good in this film, and as a point of interest, the woman playing Argentina Brunetti's mother was, in fact, her real-life mother. Recommended.
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