After Columbia's 1951 biopic Valentino laid an egg, leading man Anthony Dexter was persona non grata at the studio. Still, Columbia couldn't very well pay Dexter his weekly salary for doing nothing, and that's why The Brigand was born. Dexter does his best in the dual role of King Lorenzo, monarch of a mythical Latino country, and adventurer Carlos DeLargo. When Lorenzo is seriously wounded in an assassination attempt, DeLargo is coerced into posing as the ailing King. Scheming would-be usurper Prince Ramon (Anthony Quinn), sensing that something's fishy, plots to do in both the King and his look-alike. Meanwhile, DeLargo discovers the fringe benefits of royal life as he woos the King's betrothed Princess Teresa (Jody Lawrance) and Lorenzo's mistress Countess Flora (Gale Robbins). The story is supposedly based on an Alexandre Dumas novel, though it more closely resembles Prisoner of Zenda. It is fun to watch Anthony Quinn, clearly contemptuous of his role, pulling all sorts of thespic tricks to add variety to the proceedings: during one dungeon scene, Quinn delivers all his lines with a cigar clenched firmly between his teeth!