French novelist Alexandre Dumas’ novels have frequently been the inspiration for movies (from The Man in the Iron Mask to The Three Musketeers), but arguably none have proved as durable as the 1841 novel The Corsican Brothers. As well as two silent versions, there’s been a spoof version with Gene Wilder and Donald Sutherland (Start the Revolution Without Me) and a Cheech and Chong adaptation in the ’80s. And even this, the most archetypally swashbuckling version, inspired a sequel in the ’50s (Bandits Of Corsica). Nearly 60 years on, it remains as lively and charismatic as ever.
The drama begins against the backdrop of a family feud between the Franchis and the Colonnas on the island of Corsica. Count Franchi (Henry Wilcoxon) and his wife (Gloria Holden) are expecting the birth of their son and heir, but their bitter enemy Baron Colonna (Akim Tamiroff) sees the moment as the ideal time to attack. After the Countess has given birth to Siamese twins, the Colonnas storm the castle, killing everyone but the doctor (HB Warner) and a servant, Lorenzo (J Carrol Naish).
The men escape with the twins and the doctor performs an emergency operation to separate them. He entrusts one to Lorenzo and arranges for the other to be brought up in safety in Paris. When they are 21, the two brothers are reunited and told of their tragic family background. The twins, Lucien and Mario (both played by Douglas Fairbanks Jr), vow vengeance upon Baron Colonna. This isn’t the only shock they have: Lucien also discovers that he feels the exact same sensations as brother Mario. As well as sharing the same pain, Lucien also shares his brother’s passion for Countess Isabelle (Ruth Warrick). This desire will result initially in tragedy but ultimately lead to revenge for Colonna’s crimes.
USA | 111 minutes | 1941
Director: Gregory Ratoff
Writer: George Bruce, Howard Estabrook (based on the novel by Alexandre Dumas)
Douglas Fairbanks Jr. as Lucien Franchi / Mario Franchi
Ruth Warrick as Countess Isabelle Gravini
Akim Tamiroff as Baron Colonna
J. Carrol Naish as Lorenzo
H.B. Warner as Dr. Enrico Paoli
John Emery as Tomasso
Henry Wilcoxon as Count Victor Franchi
Gloria Holden as Countess Franchi
Walter Kingsford as Monsieur Dupre
Nana Bryant as Madame Dupre
Pedro de Cordoba as Count Gravini
Veda Ann Borg as Maria
William Farnum as Priest
Sarah Padden as Nurse
Manart Kippen as Martelli
Ruth Robinson as Angela
and this just in
In the Heat of the Night: King’s Ransom (S3EP10 ThisTV Sun 16 Dec 2018)
King’s Ransom: A desperate FBI agent seeks an unorthodox alliance with Chief Gillespie and the Sparta police department after an...
Berlin Station: If You Swear, You’ll Catch No Fish (S3EP4 EPIX Sun 23 Dec 2018)
If You Swear, You’ll Catch No Fish: CIA officer Daniel Miller is sent to Germany on a secret mission to...
Crikey! It’s the Irwins: Race to Save the Platypus (S1EP9 Animal Planet Sun 23 Dec 2018)
Race to Save the Platypus: A cheetah cub named Mballa arrives at the Australia Zoo from South Africa; Robert embarks...
Outlander: Wilmington (S4EP8 Starz Sun 23 Dec 2018)
Wilmington: Roger finally finds success in his search for Brianna when he discovers her in Wilmington, but their romantic union...
Hometown Holiday (UP Sun 23 Dec 2018, Bradley Hamilton, Kevin McGarry)
In Hometown Holiday Krista is starting this New Year with a new business and a resolution to be more selective...
Ray Donovan: Dream On (S6EP9 Showtime Sun 23 Dec 2018)
Dream On: Ray struggles to get the help he so desperately needs, causing Bridget to learn some hard truths about...
Dirty John: Shrapnel (S1EP4 Bravo Sun 16 Dec 2018)
Shrapnel: Debra and John have a confrontation about some recently troubling situations that she feels need to be directly addressed...
Outlander: Down the Rabbit Hole (S4EP7 Starz Sun 16 Dec 2018)
Down the Rabbit Hole: Brianna decides to follow her mother’s example and use the stones to travel back in time...
Roma (2018, Yalitza Aparicio, Marina de Tavira)
In drama Roma, set in 1970s Mexico City, two domestic workers help a mother of four while her husband is...
The Front Runner (2018, Hugh Jackman, Vera Farmiga)
In political drama The Front Runner, Senator Gary Hart (Hugh Jackman) is considered the front runner for the 1988 Democratic...
Stan and Ollie (2018, Steve Coogan, John C. Reilly)
Hollywood’s most famous comedy duo during the 1930s and 1940s, film stars Stan Laurel (Steve Coogan) and Oliver Hardy (John...