Combustible Celluloid
 
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With: Richard Conte, Dianne Foster, Kathryn Grant, Larry Gates, James Darren, Argentina Brunetti, Lamont Johnson, Harry Bellaver, Paul Picerni, Paul Dubov, Rudy Bond, Richard Bakalyan, William Phipps
Written by: Lewis Meltzer, Ben Perry, from a story by Georges Simenon
Directed by: Phil Karlson
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 92
Date: 08/23/1957
IMDB

The Brothers Rico (1957)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Sibling Songs

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

After a series of classic films noir, the great "B" movie filmmaker Phil Karlson (Kansas City Confidential, 99 River Street) returned with the terrific gangster picture The Brothers Rico (1957).

Richard Conte stars as the oldest Rico brother, Eddie. He runs a legitimate cleaning business, hopes to adopt a baby with his wife, and believes that his ties to the mob are a thing of the past. But his middle brother Gino (Paul Picerni) turns up and explains that he and youngest brother Johnny (James Darren) were involved in a fatal robbery and are now on the run.

Eddie's first instinct is to turn to the big boss, Sid Kubik (Larry Gates), but it's no longer clear who Eddie can trust, and who he will betray.

Based on a story by Georges Simenon (Monsieur Hire), it's a fairly complex setup, to be sure, but Karlson lays it all out very clearly, so that even the absent characters have a kind of presence. Conte must carry most of the burden himself; the script requires him to be a little bit clueless, and he can't quite pull this off. But otherwise, this is an excellent crime picture.

Dalton Trumbo may have contributed to the screenplay, without credit.

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