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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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Cast

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

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A Motion Picture That Celebrates The Timeless Joy of Original Innocence


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

2 December 1972 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Brother Sun, Sister Moon  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The dye stains on his clothes (red and blue) are linked to the city colours of Assisi. The flags on the soldiers show a red/blue vertical split. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

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!
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Connections

Version of Francesco, giullare di Dio (1950) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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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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