Watch Brother Orchid
- 1 hr 28 min
Brother Orchid is a 1940 crime-comedy film directed by Lloyd Bacon and produced by Warner Bros. It stars Edward G. Robinson, Humphrey Bogart, and Ann Sothern in lead roles. The film is set during the Prohibition era and revolves around the life of a gangster named Johnny Sarto (Robinson), who is betrayed by his own henchmen and goes on to seek revenge with the help of a monastery.
The movie begins with Johnny Sarto being elected as the top leader of his gang. However, his trusted lieutenant Jack Buck (Bogart) and the other gang members turn against him and plan to kill him. Sarto narrowly escapes and goes into hiding, where he comes across a monastery run by the eccentric Brother Superior (Donald Crisp). With nowhere else to go, Sarto takes refuge in the monastery and becomes a part of the religious community.
While living in the monastery, Sarto learns about the principles of kindness, compassion, and forgiveness, and has a change of heart. He befriends Brother Superior and the other monks, and helps them to overcome their financial troubles by introducing them to his connections in the business world.
However, Sarto's peace is short-lived as he finds out that his former associates are still out to get him. He decides to take matters into his own hands and, with the help of his new friends, works to take down the gangsters who betrayed him.
Edward G. Robinson delivers a memorable performance as Johnny Sarto, the tough gangster who transforms into a compassionate and kind-hearted man. He portrays the character's emotional journey convincingly, showcasing his acting range beyond his well-known tough-guy roles. Humphrey Bogart also impresses as the conniving and untrustworthy Jack Buck, playing off Robinson's performance to create a palpable tension on screen.
Ann Sothern, as the lovable showgirl Flo Addams, adds a touch of glamour and romance to the film. Her character's relationship with Sarto showcases his vulnerable side and the softening of his heart.
The film's production design effectively captures the era's aesthetics, with the monastery's interiors and the characters' clothing reflecting the period's styles. The score by Heinz Roemheld also adds to the film's overall charm, with its light-hearted and comedic themes complementing the movie's tone.
Brother Orchid is a unique addition to the crime-comedy genre, as it explores themes of redemption, forgiveness, and compassion in the context of a gangster film. The movie's comedic elements, mixed with the poignant moments, make for an enjoyable and heartwarming experience. The film's finale brings its themes together, providing a satisfying conclusion to the story.
Overall, Brother Orchid is a hidden gem of the classic movie era, worth watching for its stellar performances, poignant themes, and charming comedy. It stands out amongst films of its genre and remains a testament to the exceptional storytelling of director Lloyd Bacon and the talents of its lead actors.
Brother Orchid is a 1940 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 28 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.0.