Brother Orchid (1940) - Rotten Tomatoes

Brother Orchid (1940)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Brother Orchid Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

Edward G. Robinson plays orchid-loving gangster Little John Sarto, who aspires to "real class." During a power struggle with usurping mobster Jack Buck (Humphrey Bogart), Sarto is taken for a one-way ride, but he escapes his would-be assassins and hides out in a monastery overseen by Brother Superior (Donald Crisp). Sarto insists that he'd like to become a monk himself, but in fact he's using the monastery as a hideout, the better to mount his counterattack against Buck. Eventually Sarto's resolve is weakened by the kindness of the monks, and he decides to turn over a new leaf. He sees to it that Buck is brought to justice, and also fixes up his true-blue "moll," Flo Addams (Ann Sothern), with good-hearted Texas rancher Clarence Fletcher (Ralph Bellamy). (News flash! Bellamy gets the girl for once!) Sarto, now known as "Brother Orchid," returns to the monastery for good, declaring that he's finally found the real class. Though Edward G. Robinson didn't want to play another gangster, he agreed to star in Brother Orchid in exchange for being allowed to essay the lead in Warner Bros.' historical drama A Dispatch From Reuter's (1940).more
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure, Classics, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Earl W. Baldwin
In Theaters:
On DVD: Mar 25, 2008


Edward G. Robinson
as Little John T. `John...
Ann Sothern
as Florence `Flo' Addam...
Humphrey Bogart
as Jack Buck
Donald Crisp
as Brother Superior
Ralph Bellamy
as Clarence Fletcher
Allen Jenkins
as Willie The Knife
Charles D. Brown
as Brother Wren
Cecil Kellaway
as Brother Goodwin
Morgan Conway
as Philadelphia Powell
Richard Lane
as Mugsy O'Day
Paul Guilfoyle
as Red Martin
John Ridgely
as Texas Pearson
Joseph Crehan
as Brother MacEwen
Wilfred Lucas
as Brother MacDonald
Tom Tyler
as Curley Matthews
Dick Wessel
as Buffalo Burns
Granville Bates
as Pattonsville Supt.
Paul Phillips
as French Frank
Don Rowan
as Al Muller
Joe Caits
as Handsome Harry
Tim Ryan
as Turkey Malone
Joe Caites
as Handsome Harry
Pat Gleason
as Dopey Perkins
Harlan Briggs
as Thomas A. Bailey
Charles Coleman
as Englishman
Jean Del Val
as Frenchman
Frank Faylen
as Superintendent of Se...
James Flavin
as Parking Attendant
Mary Gordon
as Mrs. Sweeney
Armand Kaliz
as Frenchman
Sam McDaniel
as Janitor
Leonard Mudie
as Englishman
Edgar Norton
as Meadows
Frank Orth
as Waiter
John Qualen
as Mr. Pigeon
G. Pat Collins
as Tim O'Hara
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Brother Orchid

Critic Reviews for Brother Orchid

All Critics (4)

Just charming enough to keep it from becoming a dud... It's Robinson's delicate touch that keeps us watching.

Full Review… | April 5, 2008

...combines a gentle humor with a touch of sweetness that makes it a delight. (Warner Gangsters Collection, Vol. 3)

Full Review… | March 20, 2008
Movie Metropolis

It's a pic that delights in being so ridiculous and corny.

Full Review… | May 16, 2007
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

October 21, 2008

Audience Reviews for Brother Orchid

This is one of my favourite dramas of the 1940s. It has a good cast and a good story. I highly recommend this movie.

Aj V

Super Reviewer

Brother Orchid is an uneven and odd movie from the Warner Bros. gangster stable. Edward G. Robinson plays the likable little tough guy who gets chiseled out of his racket by a one-dimensional performance by Humphrey Bogart. The first half of the movie plays like a gangster comedy that's not without its charms but the second half when a presumed dead Robinson hides out at a flower-growing monastery takes on this dramatic, Lost Horizonesque quality that's enjoyable enough, but just sort of left me bewildered. Robinson and Bogart play their trademarked (at the time for Bogart, at least) roles and Ann Southern did the dizzy blonde thing perfectly. Ralph Bellamy was actually a standout. Brother Orchid definitely isn't required viewing but fans of Edward G. and Bogart but it's not to be avoided either.

Michael Gildea

Super Reviewer


a better gangster picture than most, this sports pretty good acting by the emotionally-torn Robinson and a fairly memorable script.

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