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The Brother from Another Planet (1984)

 -  Comedy | Sci-Fi  -  7 September 1984 (USA)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 4,210 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.

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3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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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)
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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 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

7 September 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Apo allon planiti  »

Box Office

Budget:

$350,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$3,700,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Sayles financed most of this movie himself. According to Wikipedia, "Sayles describes this movie as being about the immigrant experience of assimilation. He spent part of his MacArthur Fellows 'genius' grant on the film, which cost $350,000 to produce". See more »

Goofs

When the Brother is sitting in the bar for the first time, in shots of the boy playing the video game, a crew member's head can be seen intermittently between the back of the video game and the wall. See more »

Quotes

Fly: (about Harlem) I'd rather be a cockroach on a baseboard up here than the Emperor of Mississippi.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Simpsons: Brother from Another Series (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Yomutha
Sung by Jeff Anderson
By Jeff Southworth and Martin Brody
Sweet Melodies Publishing/ASCAP
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Typical Sayles
18 February 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

What I love about Sayles is that he never forgets that first and foremost, movies should tell stories.

This one is a real gem in the rough. It has the irreverence and SciFi conventions of Barry Sonnenfeld's MIB but with social commentary instead of a budget. Also, instead of merely clever comments on NYC life, Sayles shows his characteristic political side by highlighting little tableaux of real life. Slipping in the Harriet Tubman subplot was pure Sayles.

I especially loved his usage of music and the chemistry of the barroom regulars. That fight with the MIB was a hoot! Sayles, a Corman vet, knows that special effects shouldn't be used for the sake of having them.


7 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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