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Brother Sun, Sister Moon (1972)

Fratello sole, sorella luna (original title)
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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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »


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Credited cast:
Graham Faulkner ...
Lee Montague ...
Nicholas Willatt ...
Francesco Guerrieri ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Rossano Attrotico
Pierre Baldini ...
(as Piero Baldini)


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


A Motion Picture That Celebrates The Timeless Joy of Original Innocence


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

2 December 1972 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Brother Sun, Sister Moon  »

Box Office


$3,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Irish actor Frank Grimes was originally chosen to play St Francis ( one Francis for another ) but Zeffereli changed his mind at the last minute, and went with Faulkner instead. See more »


HH Pope Innocent III is depicted with a full beard; however, there are several contemporary portraits that show that he was clean shaven. See more »


St. Francis of Assisi: What shall we do with the money we will make out of this war? Have you thought about that?
Pietro Di Bernardone: Aah! A true son of his father, hey Pica!
See more »


Version of Francesco (1989) See more »


Fratello sole sorella luna
(Riz Ortolani-Benjamin)
Sung by Claudio Baglioni
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Some comments about the DVD, the screenplay, the actor.
21 April 2005 | by (Denver) – See all my reviews

Just a few comments to add to the many fine comments already written by people who like this movie, as I do.

The DVD is very good overall for its quality of sound and color. The subtitles include neither any Latin, nor the lyrics for any of the songs performed by someone off-screen; but the captions are nearly perfect, including all the lyrics, and lacking only the Latin. The following numbers about the shape of the screen are my own best guesses. The original movie was presented in a 1.66:1 (about 5:3 = 15:9) aspect ratio, but the DVD version is made to fit a modern 16:9 wide screen (about 1.77:1, though a previous reviewer gives 1.75:1 as the ratio for the movie). In order to do this, 1/16th (about 7%) of the vertical had to be shaved-off the original movie; some was taken from the top, and some from the bottom. This definitely hurts a few of the scenes, but overall people who like this movie should be very happy to have the DVD.

In the scene just before the meeting with the pope, a former friend of Francis chases after him and tries to convince him not to go to Rome. The former friend begins to insult Francis and his way of life. This short speech is excellent writing, as is much of the rest of the screenplay. It ends with this: "You just saunter out of your house one fine morning and pluck God out of the air, as easily as catching a butterfly. It's all too simple!" This line may not have been nominated for the AFI top 100 list this year, but it is one of the finest I've ever heard in a movie. (I don't know whether it is original with this screenplay or was borrowed from tradition.)

Some lay-order (Third Order) Franciscans told me that they object to the role of Francis being done in this movie by a gay actor. Other people object to Francis being portrayed as a flower-child. My own understanding is that indeed there is no reason to think that the real Francis was gay; and that he was probably not so pretty or so much like a 1960s flower-child as presented in the movie. But I do not agree with those above-mentioned objections: the movie does a very good job of dramatizing in a lyrical way the spirit and times of Francis.

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