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Brother Orchid

42 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Racket Boss John Sarto, tired of gang violence, quits and goes to Europe for "culture." His fortune soon dissipated by European swindlers, he returns to the old mob; but new boss Jack Burns finds him strictly superfluous. Narrowly escaping being rubbed out, Sarto is taken in by the monastery of the "Little Brothers of the Flower." His unique talents prove very useful to the monks...especially when Sarto's old mob forces them out of the flower market.


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Product Details

  • Actors: Edward G. Robinson, Humphrey Bogart, Ann Sothern, Donald Crisp, Ralph Bellamy
  • Directors: Lloyd Bacon
  • Writers: Earl Baldwin, Jerry Wald, Richard Connell, Richard Macaulay
  • Producers: Hal B. Wallis, Mark Hellinger
  • Format: Black & White, Original recording remastered, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: March 25, 2008
  • Run Time: 88 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00114XLR8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,668 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Brother Orchid" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Simon Davis on August 4, 2003
Format: VHS Tape
"Brother Orchid", has always been a film I have greatly enjoyed on a number of different levels. It is one of the few attempts by Warner Brothers, who made the Gangster genre their own in the 1930's, to show another side to such a story so here we get a most unusual combination of hard nosed story telling typical of Warners, alongside a sentimental and quite comical story detailing one conman's search for "class" and "style" in his world.
"Brother Orchid", provided Edward G. Robinson with one of his most appealing roles as Little Johnny Sarto a big time racketeer who grows tired of the gangland goings on he has presided over for too long, and tries to quit the scene to pursue his quest for real class and refinement in life. After an abortive trip to Europe Johnny finds his old haunts and collegues are no longer welcoming and soon he finds himself pursued by ruthless thug and former employee Jack Buck (Humphrey Bogart in one of his last bad guy supporting roles before his real stardom kicked in the next year). Supposedly set up with a reconciliation meeting with Jack by his kind hearted girlfriend "Flo" Adams (Ann Sothern in a delightful performance) Johnny finds himself a marked man and narrowly escapes being murdered after Jack's boys take him out into the woods to finish him off. Escaping wounded Johnny finds his way to a secluded Monastery where he is taken in by the kindly monks and brought back to health. Along the way Johnny learns a few things about life and what he regarded as initially an ideal hideout till he could plot his revenge against Jack turns into a life changing experience and the one time hood becomes the placid life appreciating "Brother Orchid".
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By James L. on June 29, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
Edward G. Robinson stars as gangster Little John Sarto, a man fed up with the racket who travels across Europe in the hopes of finding class. When he returns, he finds his gang in the hands of Humphrey Bogart, his girlfriend Ann Sothern newly wealthy, and himself penniless and still without class. He tries to get back into his old life, but it proves to be harder than expected, and he ends up hiding out in a monastery of all places! Brother Orchid came at the end of the cycle of gangster films at Warner Brothers. It's a hard film to classify - it's part gangster film, part comedy, and also a character study of a man's moral awakening. Surprisingly, these diverse elements come together well in the film. The plot is unbelievable, but Robinson fits into the role well, bringing a history to the character through all of his other gangster performances, and also bringing his talent for broad comedy that was not seen often enough. Sothern is terrific as his patient fiancee, while Bogart doesn't register much as the cardboard bad guy. Allen Jenkins, one of Warner Brothers best character actors, has some funny moments as Robinson's loyal henchman. Director Lloyd Bacon keeps the film moving right along, and although this fish-out-of-water story may sound too farfetched, its heart is in the right place and it's fun to watch.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Tim Janson HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 20, 2005
Format: VHS Tape
Edward G. Robinson is most well-known from his many crime dramas and playing gangsters but among his best roles were comedies where he often parodied his gangster roles and did so with incredible diversity and skill. He was vastly underrated as a comedic actor and unfortunately many of his films are not on DVD or even VHS. Brother orchid is and it's one of Robinson's best comedic performances and maybe one of his best performances period! This film combines so many genres typical of the late 30's and early 40's, with crime drama, film noir, and comedy elements.

Robinson is Little John Sarto a mobster who aspires to be a man of sophistication and elegance. He goes to Europe and takes part in things like polo and art collecting. While he's away Humphrey Bogart, as jack Buck, takes over running the 'protection' operation and doesn't want to give it up. Sarto recruits a new gang to try and muscle in on Buck's territory but his girlfriend Flo (Ann Southern) unwittingly sets Sarto up for a hit. Sarto survives the hit and eventually makes his way to a monastery where he is aided by the monks. Sarto soon finds himself enjoying the serene peace of the monastery and finds his mobster ways being stripped away by the pious monks who come to accept Sarto as one of their own. But when Buck tries to run the Monk's flower business under, it's time for him to settle the score.

Boy what a really enjoyable movie that his humorous and yet filled with hope and a moral, yet not overbearing message of peace. The film has an incredible supporting cast including Ann Southern, Ralph Bellamy and the aforementioned Bogart. Thankfully this one is on VHS and I can only hope someone will gives us a collection of Edward G. Robinson films in the very near future.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By eleven11@bigfoot.com on June 16, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
Brother Orchid is one movie I can recommend to anyone. It has gangsters, violence, cop chases, monks, humility and the reality of God's love. Throw Edward G. Robinson and Humphrey Bogart into a great script and this with popcorn is the next best thing to heaven.
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