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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 4,082 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:

He's not just another out-of-towner. 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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film grossed over ten times its production cost in its first weekend of full release. 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

Mama: [checking pots on stove] Boy didn't marry her for her cooking...
Randy Sue Carter: [from next room] He didn't marry me, period.
See more »

Connections

References The Game of Death (1978) See more »

Soundtracks

You Can't Get to Heaven from Here
Sung by Ravan Dessaline
By Mason Daring
Sweet Melodies Publishing/ASCAP
From the "Return Of The Secaucus 7" soundtrack (1977)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Saw somethin' strange, watch your back, 'cause you never quite know where the M.I.B.s is at.
10 April 2013 | by (Hampshire, England) – See all my reviews

A mute, three-toed, super-sensory humanoid (a fine performance from Joe Morton) arrives on Earth, appropriately landing near Ellis Island and taking up residence in Harlem, where his African American appearance helps him to blend in with the locals. The inquisitive alien sets about exploring his strange new environment, absorbing the unique sights and sounds of '80s New York with the help of his otherworldly sense of touch and his removable eyeball, but his journey of discovery is interrupted when he finds himself being hunted by two mysterious men in black...

Although writer/director/star John Sayles' strongly suggests that Morton's character is an escaped slave and makes references to class divide, racism and America's history of slavery, he ensures that The Brother From Another Planet doesn't ram a moralistic or political message down the viewer's throat, focusing instead on examining the human condition though the use of interesting characters, quirky dialogue and intriguing situations. The film is all the better for it—a somewhat bizarre but fun sci-fi adventure on the surface, but one that can be dissected, examined and discussed on a deeper level if so desired.


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