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

Thursday, April 3, 2014


James Darren, Kathryn Grant, Richard Conte

THE BROTHERS RICO (1957). Director: Phil Karlson.

Eddie Rico (Richard Conte) has been out of the "family business" -- run by his "uncle" Sid (Larry Gates) -- for some time, but that is not the case with his two brothers. Gino (Paul Picerni) performed a hit on Sid's orders and Johnny (James Darren) drove the getaway car. Now both are in hiding afraid that Sid thinks they're going to talk and wants to silence them. Eddie can't believe that of Sid, whose life was once saved by his mother, Mrs. Rico (Argentina Brunetti), so he agrees to go find his brothers. This couldn't happen at a worse time, as Eddie and his wife, Alice (Dianne Foster of Drive a Crooked Road), are hoping to adopt a baby and Eddie needs to be at an important meeting. He learns to his regret that you can't trust Uncle Sid ... Larry Gates plays Sid with admirable, understated menace, and James Darren is dead-on as the conflicted youngest brother. Although she's billed above the title and gives a terrific performance as Darren's wife, Kathryn Grant (The 7th Voyage of Sinbad) is on screen for only about five minutes. Foster and William Phipps as Joe are also notable. The Brothers Rico has some effective scenes, and is well-photographed by Burnett Guffey, but it's somehow unconvincing, and considering what's happening Conte is much too controlled throughout. A funny scene has Grandma Rico delightedly watching Earth vs the Flying Saucers on television [unlikely, since the movie was released only the year before].

Verdict: Acceptable potboiler. **1/2.

No comments: