Bennie travels to Buenos Aires to find his long-missing older brother, a once-promising writer who is now a remnant of his former self. Bennie's discovery of his brother's near-finished play might hold the answer to understanding their shared past and renewing their bond.
A sergeant must deal with his desires to save the lives of young soldiers being sent to Vietnam. Continuously denied the chance to teach the soldiers about his experiences, he settles for trying to help the son of an old army buddy.
Francis Ford Coppola
James Earl Jones
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The week of his 18th birthday, Bennie, who's a waiter on a cruise ship, has a layover in Buenos Aires. He seeks out his older brother, Tetro, whom he hasn't seen in years. Tetro, who lives with Miranda, is a burned-out case; he's hot and cold toward his brother, introducing him as a "friend," refusing to talk about their family, telling Bennie not to tell Miranda who their father is. Thoughts of their father cast a shadow over both brothers. Who is he, and what past has Tetro left behind? Bennie finds pages of Tetro's unfinished novel, and he pushes both to know his own history and to become a part of his brother's life again. What can come of Bennie's pushing? Written by
Originally, the tutor Alone was going to be played by Javier Bardem, but upon revising the script Francis Ford Coppola decided the relationship between Alone and Tetro would be more appealing if it was between a man and a woman, so Alone became a woman played by Carmen Maura. See more »
Early in the movie Tetro stumbles into the kitchen with a broken leg and knocks over some furniture while lighting a cigarette using a burner on the stove. he ignites the burner by just turning the knob on the stove. A few minutes later Miranda must use a match to light a burner on the same stove-top. See more »
[referring to Tetro's play]
So what was it about?
You're writing the story of our father...
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"Youth is Wasted on the Youth". At a point beyond the barrier of the 40's , we all know that to be true, but the true unfairness of this fact of life is that the opposite is often also true. I for one haven't reached that other age bracket yet, but after having watched "Tetro" -and with the unfortunate reminiscence of Antonioni's "Beyond The Clouds" or on a much lesser level, Stanley Kubrick's "Eyes Wide Shut" still fresh on my mind-, I'm starting to wonder if the weight of the years and decades of very intense reflection doesn't have very nefarious consequences indeed on a talented person's ego. "Tetro" sinks under so much self-importance, as if it couldn't bear the load of wisdom that Coppola wants us to believe he has acquired over the years. Don't get me wrong, we all know Coppola will forever be the outrageously brilliant director of some of the most purely cinematic experiences since the birth of cinema; the problem is, it seems like Coppola's artistic development has been stumped -the impression he gives is that of the snake charmer that has charmed himself. The very infantile notion of "genius" and the need to be recognized as such are at the heart of this very artificial, anachronistically romantic film. I could go on ranting about the incredibly superficial vision of Buenos Aires, which drops us at Café Gran Tortoni, La Boca and Radio La Colifata as if on a sightseeing tour bus - I was surprised there was no scene of a couple dancing tango-.
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