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The Brotherhood (1968)

PG-13 | | Crime, Drama | 1969 (Austria)
The son of a powerful Mafia don comes home from his army service in Vietnam and wants to lead his own life, but family tradition, intrigues and powerplays involving his older brother ... See full summary »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Frank Ginetta
...
Vince Ginetta
...
Ida Ginetta
...
Dominick Bertolo
...
Emma Ginetta
...
Jim Egan
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Don Peppino
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Pietro Rizzi (as Joe DeSantis)
Connie Scott ...
Carmela Ginetta
...
Jake Rotherman
...
Cheech
...
Sol Levin
...
Vido
Michele Cimarosa ...
Toto
Louis Badolati ...
Don Turridu
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Storyline

The son of a powerful Mafia don comes home from his army service in Vietnam and wants to lead his own life, but family tradition, intrigues and powerplays involving his older brother dictate otherwise, and he finds himself being slowly drawn back into that world. Written by anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Honor. Loyalty. Betrayal.

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some violence | See all certifications »
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Details

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Language:

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Release Date:

1969 (Austria)  »

Also Known As:

The Hoods  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When this film came out, it did not do very well at the box office. As a result, studios were reluctant to do more organized crime stories. The failure of this film almost convinced Paramount not to make The Godfather (1972). See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hell's Angels '69 (1969) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Kirk Douglas is oddly cast yet believable as a Mafia king pin
22 December 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is a Mafia drama about, among other things, conflict between some heads of the organization wanting to behave on the surface like a respectable modern business, as opposed to another who is ready to resort on occasion to "the old ways" of brutality and violence with opponents.

This film died a quick death at the 1968 box office, becoming enough of a concern that some Paramount executives were worried about spending the big bucks on a film adaption of Puzo's The Godfather a few years later. The Francis Ford Coppola film, of course, was a huge hit which has gone on to become a film legend, while The Brotherhood is pretty much forgotten today.

But this earlier Martin Ritt directed Mafia exploration, while lacking the drama and epic quality of the Coppola film, still has some things to recommend it. Kirk Douglas is solid as one of the heads of a Mafia syndicate in conflict with other heads of that organization as to how to deal with "finks," as Douglas calls them. The other heads want to stay out of the headlines as much as possible. They also want to expand the business in ways that the more cautious Douglas doesn't like.

The Brotherhood precedes The Godfather by having a big marriage sequence in which all members of the family and old members of the Mafia gather for a festive occasion. Douglas plays the gracious host, and is full of ebullience and charm. At one point, though, he takes a few seconds to talk to two torpedoes who have just returned from having Douglas that is the highlight of the production. For reasons of plot giveaways I can't reveal the contents of this tense sequence. Suffice it to say, if the film had had one or two other scenes as potent as this one The Brotherhood might be better remembered today.

A minor crime drama, in the final analysis, one distinguished by some good performances, and that gripping scene between Douglas and Adler. made a hit for him. Reassured from them that all went well, Douglas is immediately back to the smiles and charm as party host.

Cast in the role of Douglas's younger brother who wants into the organization is Alex Cord. I'm tempted to call him Alex Cord of Wood because that would best sum up his performance. If ever there was a contrast in what is and is not charismatic on screen it would be a comparison between Cord and Douglas.

Irene Papas, playing Douglas's wife, is largely wasted in the film, I'm sorry to say. However, playing an old time Mafioso big boss that Douglas respects is Hollywood veteran Eduardo Ciannelli, and Ciannelli is terrific in his part, with one scene that is quite riveting. It's nice to see the character actor with an opportunity to still strut his stuff in a role that was ideal casting for him (you might regard it as the character that he had played in 1937's Marked Woman thirty years before).

Also impressive in this drama is Luther Adler as one of the heads of the Mafia. Luther will play a very strong scene in this film with Douglas that is the highlight of the production. For reasons of plot giveaways I can't reveal the contents of this tense sequence. Suffice it to say, if the film had had one or two other scenes as potent as this one The Brotherhood might be better remembered today.

In the final analysis, this is a minor crime drama, one distinguished by some good performances, and that gripping scene between Douglas and Adler.


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