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The Boys from Syracuse

The Boys from Syracuse(1940)

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In ancient Greece, Ephesus has just defeated Syracuse at war, and Antipholus of Ephesus or "Eph," a Grecian general, has persuaded the Duke of Ephesus to pass a law that any Syracusean found in Ephesus shall be beheaded. Eph is married to the beautiful Adriana, and his slave Dromio or "Dro" is married to Luce, Adriana's slave. The first Syracusean to be sentenced to death is Aegon, a father of twin sons who in turn had twin slaves. Both sets of twins had become separated during a storm years before, and since then, Aegon has been searching for his lost sons. His search has brought him to Ephesus, where the Duke pleads that Aegon's life should be spared, while Eph insists that the law be upheld. While Eph and Dro visit their tailors' shop, Antipholus of Syracuse or "Sy," who unknowingly is the twin brother of Eph, and Dromio or "Mio" of Syracuse, the twin brother of Dro, arrive in Ephesus searching for Aegon. A mix-up of the two sets of twins, who do not meet, is highly confusing to the tailors, Pinch and Angelo. Sy goes to seek lodging and he sees Phyllis, Adriana's beautiful sister, and begins to flirt with her. Believing that Sy is her brother-in-law, Phyllis becomes outraged and leaves. Sy then rejoins Mio on the street, where Adriana and Luce drive up in their chariot and Adriana mistakes Sy for Eph, while Luce believes Mio to be Dro. The amazed Syracuseans are taken to Adriana's home, and there they are wined and dined. Sy discovers the answer to the situation when he visits Eph's room and learns that he is in the home of his twin brother. Sy then tells Phyllis the whole story and swears his love for her. In response, she declares her love for him and warns him that his father Aegon is to be executed. Together they devise a plan to save the old man. On the day of the execution, which is the same day as the Festival of Athena, Sy poses as Eph and releases Aegon. As a result, the bewildered Eph and Dro are imprisoned by the Duke, but they overpower their jailers and escape. Meanwhile, Sy, Mio, Phyllis and Aegon try to escape by chariot, but are overtaken and returned to the festival, where the twins meet for the first time. As a result of the mix-up, the populace of Ephesus decides to set aside the laws dictating the execution of Syracuseans, thus freeing Sy to marry Phyllis.