Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


THE DEVIL'S BROTHER (1933). Director: Hal Roach.

Auber's 1830 opera has been turned into an amusing semi-musical romp with Laurel and Hardy stepping in for two bumpkins in the original work. After being robbed of their life savings, the boys decide to become thieves themselves, but make the mistake of trying to hold up Fra Diavolo (The Devil's Brother), the most infamous bandit in the land. Sparing their lives, Diavolo turns the two into his servants as -- in disguise as the somewhat fopposh Marquis de San Marco -- he attempts to discover where Lady Pamela (Thelma Todd) has hidden her husband's fortune. This leads to many complications at the Inn where all the principals are gathered. Laurel and Hardy are as wonderful as ever, Todd is amusing, and Dennis King outstanding as the sinister singing bandit. Very little of Auber's music is actually used.

Verdict: Very pleasant L&H feature. ***.

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