BROTHER ORCHID - Content
For Hicksflicks.com, Nov. 8, 2013
"Brother Orchid" (1940, b/w) is a light gangster comedy starring two stalwarts of the era — and the genre — Edward G. Robinson, already a big star for a decade thanks to "Little Caesar," and Humphrey Bogart, who was on the verge of hitting it big with "High Sierra" and "The Maltese Falcon."
In "Brother Orchid," Robinson is a hood who retires so he can travel Europe and earn some "class." As he departs, he turns over the reigns to Humphrey Bogart, who accepts the job with relish. Naturally, when Robinson's quest fails, he returns and wants to move back into his old job, but Bogart is having none of it. So Robinson decides to organize another gang and go toe to toe with Bogart. But when he's nearly killed and taken in by monks, Robinson begins to see the error of his ways ... within limits. Silliness ensues.
This light-as-a-feather farce might not fly with lesser actors, but Robinson and Bogart put it over with aplomb. And Ann Sothern, as Robinson's moll, has some nice quips. Donald Crisp heads up the monastary, Ralph Bellamy is amusing as a country bumpkin and other familiar character acors lend comic support.
"Brother Orchid" will be shown Friday, Nov. 8, at the Harold B. Lee Library on the Brigham Young University campus in Provo. Admission is free and the show starts at 7 p.m. Check out the film series website for more information. If you miss it, the film is available on DVD.