The Brotherhood


Crime / Drama

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 60%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 25%
IMDb Rating 6.1 10 976

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Uploaded By: FREEMAN
May 18, 2022 at 11:39 AM



Alex Cord as Vince Ginetta
Kirk Douglas as Frank Ginetta
Paul Reubens as Wedding Guest
Hal Holbrook as Man at table
882.88 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 36 min
P/S counting...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by bkoganbing 6 / 10

Keep Your Friends Close And Your Enemies Closer

The Brotherhood as a title has a double meaning. It's not just about that Italian fraternal order of criminals that so many films and books have been made and written about. It's about two brothers also, the Ginettas, Frank and Vince.

Kirk Douglas is Frank Ginetta a made man, high up in the councils and his younger brother Vince played by Alex Cord who's just back from the Army like Michael Corleone was. But Michael married an outsider while Vince Ginetta is marrying the daughter of another Mafia capo, Luther Adler.

Though he's younger than Adler, Douglas is a guy who likes to do things the old fashioned way, the way his dad who was a button man back in the day did them. He also loves hanging around with the ancient survivors of the old Mafia wars among them Eduardo Ciannelli. Adler and Douglas get to be at loggerheads over Cord and the role he should take in the business.

The old guys learn something and give Douglas a contract that's going to cause him considerable problems, personal and organizational. What's a good Mafia guy to do when you get a contract. Then Alex Cord is given a contract to make his bones so to speak.

The main difference between the Godfather films and this is that the Brotherhood is set in the present, whereas the Godfather films are rooted in the past. By 1968 organized crime at the highest levels was hardly an Italian only concern. You don't see hardly any non-Italians in the first Godfather film and in the second the alliance is pretty wary. The non-Italians dominate the high councils in New York, Val Avery, Alan Hewitt and Murray Hamilton together with Luther Adler outvote Douglas all the time.

Martin Ritt shot a whole lot of this film in New York and many of the sites are recognizable to a native New Yorker. Still it's not one of his better films and it took Francis Ford Coppola to do the modern gangster film right.

One thing though, Douglas certainly did NOT heed Vito Corleone's advice about keeping your friends close and your enemies closer. Not that the higher ups wouldn't have found out at some point anyway, but when you watch The Brotherhood you'll know that Douglas was the obvious suspect when he makes that fateful hit.

Reviewed by AlsExGal 7 / 10

Kirk Douglas is oddly cast yet believable as a Mafia king pin

This is a Mafia drama about, among other things, conflict between some heads of the organization wanting to behave on the surface like a respectable modern business, as opposed to another who is ready to resort on occasion to "the old ways" of brutality and violence with opponents.

This film died a quick death at the 1968 box office, becoming enough of a concern that some Paramount executives were worried about spending the big bucks on a film adaption of Puzo's The Godfather a few years later. The Francis Ford Coppola film, of course, was a huge hit which has gone on to become a film legend, while The Brotherhood is pretty much forgotten today.

But this earlier Martin Ritt directed Mafia exploration, while lacking the drama and epic quality of the Coppola film, still has some things to recommend it. Kirk Douglas is solid as one of the heads of a Mafia syndicate in conflict with other heads of that organization as to how to deal with "finks," as Douglas calls them. The other heads want to stay out of the headlines as much as possible. They also want to expand the business in ways that the more cautious Douglas doesn't like.

The Brotherhood precedes The Godfather by having a big marriage sequence in which all members of the family and old members of the Mafia gather for a festive occasion. Douglas plays the gracious host, and is full of ebullience and charm. At one point, though, he takes a few seconds to talk to two torpedoes who have just returned from having Douglas that is the highlight of the production. For reasons of plot giveaways I can't reveal the contents of this tense sequence. Suffice it to say, if the film had had one or two other scenes as potent as this one The Brotherhood might be better remembered today.

A minor crime drama, in the final analysis, one distinguished by some good performances, and that gripping scene between Douglas and Adler. made a hit for him. Reassured from them that all went well, Douglas is immediately back to the smiles and charm as party host.

Cast in the role of Douglas's younger brother who wants into the organization is Alex Cord. I'm tempted to call him Alex Cord of Wood because that would best sum up his performance. If ever there was a contrast in what is and is not charismatic on screen it would be a comparison between Cord and Douglas.

Irene Papas, playing Douglas's wife, is largely wasted in the film, I'm sorry to say. However, playing an old time Mafioso big boss that Douglas respects is Hollywood veteran Eduardo Ciannelli, and Ciannelli is terrific in his part, with one scene that is quite riveting. It's nice to see the character actor with an opportunity to still strut his stuff in a role that was ideal casting for him (you might regard it as the character that he had played in 1937's Marked Woman thirty years before).

Also impressive in this drama is Luther Adler as one of the heads of the Mafia. Luther will play a very strong scene in this film with Douglas that is the highlight of the production. For reasons of plot giveaways I can't reveal the contents of this tense sequence. Suffice it to say, if the film had had one or two other scenes as potent as this one The Brotherhood might be better remembered today.

In the final analysis, this is a minor crime drama, one distinguished by some good performances, and that gripping scene between Douglas and Adler.

Reviewed by Hollywoodcanteen1945 10 / 10

Before It's Time.....Outstanding

The Brotherhood was made 4 years before the legendary blockbuster classic, The Godfather. However, it's amazing how much of this earlier film about the "brotherhood" is so similar to the Godfather. Alex Cord is the younger brother of mob boss Kirk Douglas. There's a wedding scene (sound familiar?), as Cord returns from the war (Viet-Nam), and gets married in his army uniform. Godfather begins with a wedding; Al Pacino arrives back from the war(WWII), wearing his marine corp uniform. The Brotherhood is a story of tradition, as well-as the desire for power, power that's stronger than family ties. Two brothers in conflict. The Godfather has similar scenes and themes. I'm giving the ending away (sorry), but Alex Cord gives his brother Frank(Kirk Douglas) the "Kiss of Death" and kills him with a shot-gun to avenge the family's honor. Godfather II is similar with Al Pacino's character ordering the murder of his older brother Fredo.

The Brotherhood is well acted. Kirk Douglas is out-standing in one of his better "later" roles. Alex Cord gives his best on-screen performance. Veteran actor Luther Adler is out-standing as well as the traitor. The scene in which Adler is hog-tied and strangled is one of the most brutal and graphic in screen history. This is a non-romanticized looked at the Brotherhood. There are no heroes, or big shoot-outs. It's raw, brutal, edgy, and realistic. An out-standing work, even some 37 years later.

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