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Brother's Keeper (1992)

Not Rated  |   |  Documentary, Crime, Mystery  |  9 September 1992 (USA)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 2,654 users  
Reviews: 24 user | 22 critic

This documentary by Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky details the murder trial of Delbert Ward. Delbert was a member of a family of four elderly brothers, working as semi-literate farmers ... See full summary »

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Title: Brother's Keeper (1992)

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Cast

Cast overview:
Delbert Ward ...
Himself
Roscoe Ward ...
Himself
Lyman Ward ...
Himself
Walt Geisler ...
Himself - Ward Supporter
Ken Elmer ...
Himself - Neighbor
John Teeple ...
Himself - Neighbor
Dave Goff ...
Himself - Cousin
Joseph F. Loszynski ...
Himself - Bureau of Criminal Investigation, New York State Police (as Captain Joseph F. Loszynski)
Harry Thurston ...
Himself - Friend
Ralph A. Cognetti ...
Himself - Defense Attorney
Maynard A. Cosnett ...
Himself - Bureau of Criminal Investigation, New York State Police (as Investigator Maynard A. Cosnett)
John W. Graham ...
Himself - Bureau of Criminal Investigation, New York State Police (as Investigator John W. Graham)
Robert J. Killough ...
Himself - Bureau of Criminal Investigation, New York State Police (as Investigator Robert J. Killough)
Donald F. Cerio ...
Himself - Madison County District Attorney
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Storyline

This documentary by Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky details the murder trial of Delbert Ward. Delbert was a member of a family of four elderly brothers, working as semi-literate farmers and living together in isolation from the rest of society until William's death. A police investigation and Medical Examiner's autopsy suggested that Bill may not have died from natural causes and Delbert was arrested on charges of Second-Degree Murder. Under questioning by police, Delbert appears to have waived his rights and signed a confession, but this film suggests that he may not have been competent to do so. The film explores possible motives for the crime, from 'mercy-killing' (Bill was ill at the time) to progressively more bizarre hypotheses. It also shows how residents of the rural community of Munnsville, NY rallied to the support of one of their own residents (previously considered a social outcast), against what they felt were intrusive 'big-city' police and District Attorney tactics. Written by Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>

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Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

9 September 1992 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Fylakas tou adelfou mou  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

$1,305,915 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Picked by Entertainment Weekly magazine as one of the "50 Greatest Independent Films" in a special supplement devoted to independent films that was only distributed to subscribers in October 1997. See more »

Crazy Credits

Flash, the editing room dog. See more »

Connections

References Hunter: Hunter (1984) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Quite a story...
27 August 1999 | by (Upstate New York) – See all my reviews

It's very sad to look at the Ward Boys, a trio of brothers whose simple world is brought out into the national spotlight in 1991 when one of their brothers is found dead in the morning, and one of the brothers, Delbert (who shared the bed with Bill, the dead brother), is accused of murdering/ euthanizing him. To watch them is to see a segment of the country that gets little attention, but is made king of quaintly riveting in this context. We basically see all the different characters of the town go about their daily lives (including the brothers) while the backdrop of the murder trial casts a pall over their lives. It's funny to see people who would have never normally talked to these outcast bumpkins now embrace them as if they were relatives. And the old Ward Boys, all in their 50s and 60s, don't seem too affected by it all until the trial.

This is a really enthralling watch and it gives an insider's view into a community and a world that many of us never get to see. Some of the townspeople are really fun to just listen to, and the police make themselves look pompous and suspect, which is one of the great achievements of this film... it makes us relate to people who are unlike most of us and rally around them against those most like ourselves.


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