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Brother Sun, Sister Moon (1972)
"Fratello sole, sorella luna" (original title)

7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 2,783 users  
Reviews: 52 user | 15 critic

This is a dramatization of events in the life of St. Francis of Assisi from before his conversion experience through his audience with the pope, including his friendship with St. Clare.

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Title: Brother Sun, Sister Moon (1972)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Graham Faulkner ...
...
Leigh Lawson ...
...
Lee Montague ...
...
...
...
Nicholas Willatt ...
Giocondo
John Sharp ...
...
Consul
Francesco Guerrieri ...
Deodato
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Fortunato Arena
Rossano Attrotico
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Storyline

This is a dramatization of events in the life of St. Francis of Assisi from before his conversion experience through his audience with the pope, including his friendship with St. Clare. Written by Ed Cannon <ecannon@mail.utexas.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

cross | pope | church | merchant | illness | See more »

Taglines:

A Motion Picture That Celebrates The Timeless Joy of Original Innocence


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

2 December 1972 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Brother Sun, Sister Moon  »

Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The scene in which St. Francis renounces his birthright was filmed in the forecourt of the Church of San Rufino in a portion of Assisi across town from the Basilica of St. Francis. The church of the Porciuncula was a set built in a meadow. The interior of the Pope's church was built on a sound stage in the studio, but the massive depiction of Christ that was behind and above the Pope's throne is an actual mosaic from a church in Sicily which was matted into the shot. See more »

Goofs

Francis is shown part way down the roof line when he picks up the bird, but without walking any further, he is at the end of the roof when he lets it go. See more »

Quotes

St. Francis of Assisi: If the purpose of life is this loveless toil we fill our days with, then it is not for me.
See more »

Connections

Version of Francesco (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Fratello sole sorella luna
(Riz Ortolani-Benjamin)
Sung by Claudio Baglioni
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Beautiful, lyrical, stately
21 January 2005 | by See all my reviews

BROTHER SUN SISTER MOON

Aspect ratio: 1.75:1

Sound format: Mono

The early life of St. Francis of Assisi (Graham Faulkner), the son of a wealthy merchant who underwent a spiritual conversion following his experiences in the crusades and later renounced his worldly goods before establishing a holy order separate from traditional Church teachings.

Conceived and executed in much the same visual manner as his ultra-popular ROMEO AND JULIET (1968), Franco Zeffirelli's BROTHER SUN SISTER MOON attempts to draw parallels between the work and philosophy of St. Francis and the ideology which underpinned the worldwide hippy movement throughout the 1960's and early 70's. Hence the ragged-but-lyrical cinematography (by Ennio Guarnieri), fractured editing (by Reginald Mills), and the use of contemporary - but strangely timeless - folk songs written and performed by Donovan, all of which conjures the requisite mood of spiritual awakening whilst simultaneously dating the movie quite firmly within its period. Cynics will hate it, while others will embrace Zeffirelli's defiant romanticism. Daringly, Zeffirelli's script (co-written by Suso Cecchi d'Amico and Lina Wertmuller) contrasts Francis' piety and virtue with the bloated pomp of official Church doctrine, weighed down by internal politics and social indifference, though it's difficult to gauge if this represents a veiled attack on Christian orthodoxy or is simply a reflection of Francis' dismissal of outdated customs in favor of a return to Nature.

Lovingly crafted by Lorenzo Mongiardino (art direction) and Danilo Donati (costumes), the movie is toplined by a cast of gifted newcomers and screen veterans, including Judi Bowker (one of the most beautiful actresses of her generation), Leigh Lawson, Kenneth Cranham, Valentina Cortese and Alec Guinness. But the film derives much of its strength from Faulkner as the young, battle-scarred nobleman laid low by his wartime experiences, who emerges from the horrors of conflict with a completely new and spiritual outlook on life. Faulkner was one of a handful of young actors (including FELLINI-SATYRICON's Hiram Keller and LISA AND THE DEVIL's Alessio Orano) who emerged from European cinema in the 1970's, handsome and talented in equal measure, to burn brightly and briefly before disappearing into relative obscurity. Here, Faulkner's intense beauty and fresh-faced innocence are illuminated by Guarnieri's worshipful camera and Zeffirelli's attentive direction, which places him center-stage throughout (there's even a generous, PG-level nude scene halfway through the movie). This was Faulkner's cinematic debut, and while Zeffirelli couldn't have made a better choice for such a crucial role, the director later described him as slightly aloof from his fellow actors, which may explain his subsequent retreat from showbusiness. But here, his grace and dignity are displayed in abundance, and it's hard not to fall in love with him, every time he appears on-screen.

The alternative Italian version (FRATELLO SOLE SORELLA LUNA) runs approximately 14 minutes longer and replaces Donovan's music with a fully orchestral score by Riz Ortolani. In related events, editor Mills produced a 16mm documentary entitled FRANCO ZEFFIRELLI: A FLORENTINE ARTIST (1973), compiled from footage shot during the making of the movie, featuring a lengthy interview with the director himself.


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Cute but WAY too corny herald97
Your favorite quote(s) from the movie? marcin_kukuczka
Tre Fratelli and Graham Faulkner k-terasawa
Song in the movie ehuffman113
Similar Movies? theatrum-1
Italian FRATELLO SOLE... vs English BROTHER SUN... marcin_kukuczka
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