6.6/10
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Brother John (1971)

PG-13 | | Drama, Sci-Fi | 15 August 1971 (Sweden)
A man who returns to his hometown for a funeral may have a much larger purpose in life than those around him can see.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
John Kane
...
Doc Thomas
...
Lloyd Thomas
...
Louisa MacGill
...
Orly Ball
...
George
...
Charley Gray
P. Jay Sidney ...
Rev. MacGill
Richard Ward ...
Frank
...
Henry Birkardt
...
Miss Nettie
...
Cleve
Howard Rice ...
Jimmy
Darlene Rice ...
Marsha
Harry Davis ...
Turnkey
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Storyline

John Kane (Sidney Poitier) always seems to know when there will be a death in his family, despite not being in touch with them, and returns to his hometown. He has come home again, to be at his sister's deathbed and funeral. There is a strike in the town, and the police think he is a labor agitator. His well-used passport and unusual book collection only fuel their suspicions. But the town's doctor has always noticed that John is different, and thinks he has a larger purpose in life.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Brother John just blew into town...and the town is about to blow apart!

Genres:

Drama | Sci-Fi

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements and some language | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

15 August 1971 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Kane  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Columbia Pictures was denied the use of the name Kane for this picture by a 3-man industry panel on Apr. 24, 1970. RKO claimed the moniker would be detrimental to the movie Citizen Kane (1941) which was still in reissue. Variety, May 20, 1970. See more »

Quotes

John Kane: I have seen... people. Swarming all over the world... like maggots on a rotten apple, getting ready to leap off the earth. First to the moon, and then to the stars.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in McCloud: Top of the World, Ma! (1971) See more »

Soundtracks

Children of the Summer
Music by Quincy Jones and lyrics by Ernie Sheldon
Performed by Clydie King
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Mysterious Stranger
6 February 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

First of all Vincent Canby was wrong. Poitier's character John Kane is not an angel. He is very much a living breathing earthly being capable of error as evidenced by a scene where he thoughtlessly lets slip a bit of information he should not have mentioned. Do I know exactly who or what John Kane was meant to be taken for by Ernest Kinoy the screenwriter? Definitely not. Does that at all detract from the enjoyment of this film. Absolutely not. Think of Mark Twain's The Mysterous Stranger or the sci-fi film classic "The Day The Earth Stood Still" Both of these works are scathing indictments of the pettiness and baseness of human kind. If you have any knowledge of how wisdom is communicated in the eastern religions such as Budhism you will be mesmerized by the conversation that takes place in the jail cell between the world weary Kane and Dr. Thomas. It is significant that it is a physician who more accurately than any other character understands what Kane is up to. Who else but a physician is actually trained to see man as he really is, with all pretenses and garments removed? Dr.Thomas has in his own way been performing the same task as Kane all his life making dispassionate clinical observations. The fact that none of the social issues and conflicts portrayed in the film are fleshed out or resolved in any satisfying way is not a problem for this film. They are all just symptoms of the underlying disease. In my opinion Kinoy is saying the disease itself is simply the nature of man. Perhaps the beating and humiliation of an officer of the law (even a blatantly racist and evil one)- by an African American that takes place in this film was simply too radical in 1971 for it to be aggressively promoted or to be supported by critics. Don't let this film's obscurity keep you from superb performances by Mr Poitier and Will Geer.


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