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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 4,071 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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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:

Welcome to a world of crude beauty... of danger and excitement... of wonders, legend, and imagination... Welcome to Harlem, Brother. 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:

$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  »
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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

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

Connections

References Adam-12 (1968) See more »

Soundtracks

Promised Land
Sung by Mattie Moultrie Wilson, Madeline Wilson and the Laborers in the Vineyard All Community Choir
By Mason Daring and John Sayles
Sweet Melodies Publishing/ASCAP
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Odd, quiet and very watchable.
14 February 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This is a very strange film to watch, but easy to do so despite the fact that the plot is only added to near the end of the film with the men in black. It's no masterpiece at all, not even on a low budget standard, but one thing that brings above a lot of other films is a great performance by Joe Morton as The Brother, not an easy role to do, but his mute performance is pulled off so charismatically, that we can't help but be drawn into to The Brother's adventures. The film is at times very witty, very clever and very charming. John Sayles (writer/director) did well at adding in just enough subtle comedy. Most of the way through, the film is not really a science fiction film, it just happens to contain an alien. If I were to hazard a guess at how Sayles came up with the idea of The Brother From Another Planet, I would assume he started with the idea of; what if everything was kind of new and unfamiliar to you, as if you were born again, he probably started with that and worked from there to form this delightful film. One down side is the ending, because; as I mentioned before, 80% of the film is not really science fiction like, but the ending is very much science fiction, but it doesn't spoil the picture too much.

I give this gem a firm 8/10.


12 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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