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Noirvember 2018, Episode 18: The Brothers Rico (1957)

The Brothers Rico (1957)

Directed by Phil Karlson

Produced by William Goetz, Lewis J. Rachmil

Screenplay by Lewis Meltzer, Ben Perry, Dalton Trumbo

Story by Georges Simenon

Cinematography by Burnett Guffey

William Goetz Productions

Distributed by Columbia Pictures

(1:32) New to me - borrowed from a friend

After leaving the mob three years earlier, Eddie Rico (Richard Conte) is happily married, has a thriving laundry business in Florida, and couldn’t be happier. Then Eddie’s brother Gino (Paul Picerni) calls to tell him he’s in trouble: he needs to leave the country; there’s a hit man after him.


Eddie goes to straighten things out with the only mob connection he trusts, boss Sid Kubik (Larry Gates), who tells Eddie things are even worse: Eddie’s other brother Johnny (James Darren) might be talking to the DA about the mob’s activities. Nothing is as it seems and Eddie’s life of domestic bliss is about to come to an abrupt end.

Director Phil Karlson (one of my favorites) succeeds with The Brothers Rico in making a transition from classic 1940s film noir into Hollywood’s transformation of the gangster movie. The Brothers Rico contains enough realism and authenticity to provide audiences for the move to films like The Godfather several years later. Perhaps because it’s something of a “transition” film accounts for its being talked about so infrequently, but The Brothers Rico is a movie that should be seen and discussed more. And Richard Conte is always worth watching.

Next time: Why not? More Richard Conte!

Photos: DVD Beaver, Le Blog du West, Cinematheque

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