The Corsican Brothers is based on theDumas novel about "psychic" twins--one feels the pain and experiences the thoughts of the other. Douglas Fairbanks Jr. plays both Mario and Lucien, siblings separated at birth because of a long-standing feud between various factions of their family. One twin is raised to be evil, the other to be good. In adulthood, the brothers become bitter enemies, not only because of family and political pressures but also because they both fall in love with the beautiful Isabelle (Ruth Warrick). Eventually, however, one twin gives up his life for the sake of the other during a climactic battle with tyrannical Corsican ruler Colonna (Akim Tamiroff). Produced on a virtual shoestring by Edward Small, The Corsican Brothers cannot rely on clever optical effects to convey the idea that Douglas Fairbanks Jr. is two people (some of the process work is embarrassing); instead, Fairbanks carries the story on the strength of his acting, subtly differentiating the two characters so that the audience is seldom confused as to which is which. Incidentally, the actor doubling for Fairbanks in the two-shots, his face averted from the camera, is Peter Cushing.
by Hal Erickson synopsis