MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 1,223 this week

The Brother from Another Planet (1984)

 -  Comedy | Sci-Fi  -  7 September 1984 (USA)
6.8
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.8/10 from 4,034 users  
Reviews: 37 user | 21 critic

A mute alien with the appearance of a black human is chased by outer-space bounty hunters through the streets of Harlem.

Director:

Writer:

0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

with Prime Instant Video + 1 more

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 39 titles
created 12 Feb 2012
 
a list of 46 titles
created 29 Feb 2012
 
a list of 47 titles
created 19 Feb 2013
 
a list of 29 titles
created 14 May 2013
 
a list of 24 titles
created 4 months ago
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Brother from Another Planet (1984)

The Brother from Another Planet (1984) on IMDb 6.8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Brother from Another Planet.

User Polls

2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Matewan (1987)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A labor union organizer comes to an embattled mining community brutally and violently dominated and harassed by the mining company.

Director: John Sayles
Stars: Chris Cooper, James Earl Jones, Mary McDonnell
City of Hope (1991)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

City of Hope is a portrait of a typical middle-sized American city of the present day. The crux of the story is an old apartment block which stands in the way of a major commercial ... See full summary »

Director: John Sayles
Stars: Vincent Spano, Tony Lo Bianco, Stephen Mendillo
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Seven former college friends, along with a few new friends, gather for a weekend reunion at a summer house in New Hampshire to reminisce about the good old days, when they got arrested on the way to a protest in Washington, DC.

Director: John Sayles
Stars: Bruce MacDonald, Maggie Renzi, Adam LeFevre
Men with Guns II (1997)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Humberto Fuentes is a wealthy doctor whose wife has recently died. In spite of the advice of his children, he takes a trip to visit his former students who now work in impoverished villages... See full summary »

Director: John Sayles
Stars: Federico Luppi, Damián Delgado, Dan Rivera González
Lianna (1983)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A happily married woman comes to realize herself of being a repressed lesbian after she has an affair with a female college professor, and then tries to come to terms with her newfound lifestyle.

Director: John Sayles
Stars: Linda Griffiths, Jane Hallaren, Jon DeVries
Passion Fish (1992)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

May-Alice Culhane was a successful soap opera star, but a car accident has left her bound to a wheelchair. She returns to her now-empty family home in the bayous of Louisiana which she had ... See full summary »

Director: John Sayles
Stars: Mary McDonnell, Alfre Woodard, Angela Bassett
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A woman and her new husband returns to her hometown roots in coastal northern Florida, and must deal with family, business, and encroaching real estate development.

Director: John Sayles
Stars: Angela Bassett, Edie Falco, Alex Lewis
Honeydripper (2007)
Crime | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

1950. Rural Alabama. Cotton harvest. It's a make-or-break weekend for the Honeydripper Lounge and its owner, piano player Tyrone "Pine Top" Purvis. Deep in debt to the liquor man, the ... See full summary »

Director: John Sayles
Stars: Danny Glover, LisaGay Hamilton, Yaya DaCosta
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Six American women who planned on travelling to South America to adopt babies are forced, by law, to live there.

Director: John Sayles
Stars: Daryl Hannah, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Mary Steenburgen
Silver City (2004)
Comedy | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

The discovery of a corpse threatens to unravel a bumbling local politician's campaign for governor of Colorado.

Director: John Sayles
Stars: Chris Cooper, Thora Birch, Maria Bello
Baby It's You (1983)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

In 1966 New Jersey, Jill Rosen, a frustrated high schooler, is intrigued by an enigmatic new student known only as the Sheik. Sheik is an Italian whose primary interests are his car, Frank ... See full summary »

Director: John Sayles
Stars: Rosanna Arquette, Vincent Spano, Joanna Merlin
Lone Star (1996)
Drama | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

When the skeleton of his murdered predecessor is found, Sheriff Sam Deeds unearths many other long-buried secrets in his Texas border town.

Director: John Sayles
Stars: Chris Cooper, Elizabeth Peña, Stephen Mendillo
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Rosanna Carter ...
West Indian Woman
Ray Ramirez ...
Hispanic Man
Yves Rene ...
Haitian Man
Peter Richardson ...
Islamic Man
Ginny Yang ...
Korean Shopkeeper
...
Fly
...
Odell
Leonard Jackson ...
Smokey
...
Walter
Maggie Renzi ...
Noreen
...
Noreen's Client
...
Sam
Minnie Gentry ...
Mrs. Brown
...
Bernice (as Ren Woods)
Edit

Storyline

The Brother is an alien who has crash-landed on Earth, in New York City. While mute, strongly empathic, and able to fix things, he resembles a Black man with strange feet. His attempt to make a place for himself in Harlem is an allegory for the immigrant experience in the United States. Meanwhile, two bounty hunters from the Brother's home planet arrive and try to capture him. Written by Reid Gagle

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

This illegal alien chose the New York streets over the men in black. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Sci-Fi

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, some drug content and brief nudity | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

7 September 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Apo allon planiti  »

Box Office

Budget:

$300,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$3,700,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The alien visitor character played by Joe Morton has no personal name and is billed in the credits only as "The Brother". See more »

Goofs

After sitting on the steps listening to the cop, The Brother walks away leaving the cop sitting there. The cop has his cap on when they're both on the steps, but in the next shot of The Brother walking away, his cap is off and he soon puts it on. See more »

Quotes

Smokey: [Men in Black have just left] White folks get stranger all the time.
See more »

Connections

Spoofs The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948) See more »

Soundtracks

Pussy I Cocky I Water
Sung by Lee 'Scratch' Perry (as Lee "Scratch" Perry)
By Lee 'Scratch' Perry (as Lee "Scratch" Perry)
Happy Valley Music/BMI
Courtesy of Heartbeat Records
From the album "Mystic Miracle Star" (1982)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A fantastic, multi-layered sci-fi parable...
25 September 2003 | by (Chapel Hill, NC, USA) – See all my reviews

*Minor spoilers*

It's great to see this odd and remarkable film finally getting a worthwhile DVD release. BROTHER FROM ANOTHER PLANET is among the few John Sayles films I've seen, and watching it again makes me want to check out what else I might have missed.

Blending sly topical humor with science fiction, BROTHER FROM... superficially resembles ALPHAVILLE or MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH as it explores various themes: assimilation, perception and identity; and technology and control; along with less abstract but equally serious issues like drug abuse and urban despair. This fantastic film is notable for its' dry humor and complex observation of urban problems, and is also notable for Joe Morton's astonishing, expressive performance in a mute role, which - though helped by Morton's theatrical training and his overall attractiveness - still has to be seen to be believed.

Crash landing his tiny space ship in Harlem, our silent hero tries to make sense of his surroundings, moving from fear and puzzlement to relative comfort. Because of his dark skin, certain assumptions are instantly made of him, even as his silence gives no one anything to hang a stereotype on. It quickly becomes apparent that 'he ain't from around here.' The edgy humor turns on this (pay attention for great spoof quotes from TERMINATOR and TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE/BLAZING SADDLES) - not so p.c. at the surface, but still broad-minded and intelligently observational, with an intriguing viewpoint - that of a very disoriented immigrant dropped into the American subculture he's expected to most easily fit into. Simultaneously, his quiet and graceful manner of dealing with the world around him implies an unquestionable conviction that every human ought to be considered with some kind of respect and dignity, even as day-to-day realities might necessarily modify this ideal (another of the key themes here).

A short subplot involving a nightclub singer touches vaguely upon Harlem's celebrated past, making apparent Sayles' belief in the contemporary value of history, and his awareness of the importance of context even in a fantastical story. Likewise, a second subplot - though a tad clumsy - deals with Harlem's more recent history - a struggle to survive and preserve identity through an avalanche of drugs, potential violence and despair.

As a runaway slave from another world, themes of technology, surveillance and control (shown in the eyeball/flashback scenes, and the great capture scene near the end) are also introduced, even as Sayles' references African-American history at unexpected moments throughout ("My people built this country. Ever heard of South Carolina?...") - implying to a degree that technology can easily be manipulated to make slaves of us all, or at least that technology hold the potential to divorce us from our history.

With all of the varied themes and subplots, BROTHER FROM... could've easily become overloaded or didactic, but Sayles' loose stylishness and light touch as a director (along with the skill of the cast) makes it all work well, even with a very modest budget and a tight shooting schedule. The cinematography throughout is remarkable - lots of long takes, with characters woven into the fabric of everyday life. The pacing is slow and methodical (Sayles is always very meticulous in developing plot and characters), but never dull.

This is a great film - below a hip and ironic surface, the covert intellect and graceful sweetness of this film links its' numerous themes into a seamless and unique fantasy/parable. This cult classic from the mid-80s deserved a wider audience at the time, and still does

  • I strongly recommend it.



27 of 29 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Lead Character Silent jbwphoto1
Card Trick Thingy Game spacecadet22
On Video On Demand killersim187
Matrix connection` antigraviton
David Babcock = David Lynch? dougo-1
Great film -- what happened to the heroin kingpin? cranfan34
Discuss The Brother from Another Planet (1984) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?