Monday, September 13, 2010

Brother Orchid (1940)

I remember being awed by Dick Tracy and giggling during the cartoon mobsters during "Who Killed Roger Rabbit". I don't know much about the history of mobs. I know I give mobs my thanks for Las Vegas.

Frankly, I would rather remain ignorantly bliss of the actual methods of mobs. I like the Hollywood version. Sits better in my consciousness.

Knowing that this movie is a gangster movie, the title was pretty compelling. "Brother Orchid"; I was envisioning those serious and silently calculating gangsters or some cold hearted mobster with a penchant for flowers. That's as far as my musings went.

The beginning of the movie led me to believe this was going to be a dry and dragged out movie. We meet with our leading mobster, Little Johnny Sarto and his mob. A long convesation commences where Sarto decides to retire the mob and travel the world. '

Great. A prequel Sopranos,lots of talk littered with lingo and macho sneering.

I changed my views with the introduction of Flo Addams. Flo is Sarto's doting girlfriend. He doesn't really think much of her as seen when he keeps insulting her intelligence. Although, a dramatic part later on in the movie has me agreeing with him wholeheartedly.

Even then, Flo's character is so likeable and sweet. She's so earnest with her love for Sarto. That earnest love that a girl has who knows she's following a dangerous man. It triggers the "Awwww...dumb love..." in me.

So Sarto goes off for five years, comes back, gets kicked out off his mob, tries to build his own, get's shot, ends up in a monastery. Which part of that doesn't belong with the others?

It is silly. Definitely every silly and cheesy. But Sarto is our hero for of all the mobsters for he has a kind heart. At the monastery , he learns compassion, forgiveness, and humility. He also deals with the inner struggles of his mobster upbringing. It can almost seem childish and and silly but I really loved how it was played out. Sarto really is such a very loveable mobster.You can definitely understand why people can become devoted to him as followers. To see him don those robes and yet still retain his "mobsterness" is sweet.

The only pit full (but it does redeem itself) is his treatment of Flo. We find out later why he treats her so and I have to give that character alot of credit. It was the basic truth and I believe he did the right thing.

This movie was not what I expected at all. I settled down to watch a movie about killing enemies and tearing lies from the mouth of snitches. Instead I throughly enjoyed a sweet movie and pretty funny movie.

Thank you, Daddy.

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