7.2/10
4,224
62 user 15 critic

Brother Sun, Sister Moon (1972)

Fratello sole, sorella luna (original title)
Dramatization of events in the life of St. Francis of Assisi from before his conversion experience through his audience with the pope, including his friendship with St. Clare.

Director:

Franco Zeffirelli
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Graham Faulkner ... St. Francis of Assisi
Judi Bowker ... Clare
Leigh Lawson ... Bernardo
Kenneth Cranham ... Paolo
Lee Montague ... Pietro Di Bernardone
Valentina Cortese ... Pica Di Bernardone
Alec Guinness ... Pope Innocent III
Michael Feast ... Silvestro
Nicholas Willatt Nicholas Willatt ... Giocondo
John Sharp ... Bishop Guido
Adolfo Celi ... Consul
Francesco Guerrieri Francesco Guerrieri ... Deodato
Peter Firth
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Robin Askwith ... Minor Role (scenes deleted)
Rossano Attrotico Rossano Attrotico
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Storyline

The beginning of the thirteenth century, the town of Assisi in Italian Umbria. The son of a rich merchant, Francesco Bernardone, comes back ill from war. In his delirium, he goes back in his memories to the days when he spent time on parties and carnal pleasures. Yet, the shadow of the cross that he sees in fever brings an end to his old life. The armor which he calls "my death mask" appears to be his final clothing of the old human. He slowly recovers, but after the illness there is not the Francesco that was known to everybody any longer. Instead of spending hours in taverns, he spends them on meadows, instead of drinking, he meditates the beauty of God's creatures. Once, he encounters a ruined little church. There, from the old cross, Christ changes his life forever. Francesco renounces the riches, his family and starts to rebuild the Church as "il Poverello - the poorest of the poor." Soon, he gathers many people who are willingly built into a powerful new Spiritual Temple. Will ... Written by Marcin Kukuczka

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Taglines:

A Motion Picture That Celebrates The Timeless Joy of Original Innocence See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sir Laurence Olivier turned down the role of Pope Innocent III. See more »

Goofs

HH Pope Innocent III is depicted with a full beard; however, there are several contemporary portraits that show that he was clean shaven. See more »

Quotes

Pietro Di Bernardone: Business is blooming, life is back to normal at last
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Alternate Versions

The Italian version runs 14 minutes longer, has a different score (no Donovan) and is totally recut, almost to the extent of being a different film. The film is not a flashback, it begins as the boys travel to an attic where they've acquired suits of Armour, then into the credits, then an extended ride through the fields with totally different dialogue. Different scenes, shots and dialogue throughout. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The South Bank Show: Sir Alec Guinness (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

Fratello sole sorella luna
(Riz Ortolani-Benjamin)
Sung by Claudio Baglioni
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User Reviews

 
This movie highly impacted me as an early college student in the 1970s.
29 October 2005 | by dfwtvman@aol.comSee all my reviews

Upon seeing this movie in my young 20s, I fell in love (metaphorically speaking) with St. Francis of Assisi and the simple message of life that he practiced. Though many of the absolute facts were stretched, like in most "historic" films, the movie was completely on the mark about his simplicity and his love of nature and mankind. In addition, it gave a very plausible and probable glimpse of the love relationship he had with St. Clare, all in contrast with the idea of love and sexuality which we have in these times.

Though the Italian version soundtrack was not by Donovan, the English language songs he sang gave the movie great focus and support. I often wondered why it was only issued on vinyl in Italy, which is how I discovered Donovan's songs were not present. The music is sensitive and wonderful.

Both young actors, Bowker & Faulkner, fill their roles with perfection. Bowker is one of the most beautiful and sensitive young actresses of that period, so it is with wonder that she was not more utilized or popular.

Yes, the film does have the allegorical connection with the hippie movement, but that does not diminish the story nor the impact. In fact, rather, it parallels our times and served to connect me with the times of Francis, if that is possible.

Finally, Zeffirelli deserves a thanks for tackling this saint with compelling zeal, passion, sensitivity, and panache. As another reviewer here noted, the scenery will blow you away. And as a child of the 50s who grew up in the late 60s, this movie offset the idea of love having to be of a sexual nature, and elevated love to a plane where it becomes transcendent and transforming. Isn't that what love is supposed to do in our lives? I have had my own 2 sons watch it with me more than once as they were growing up, and they are mid-20s now.

It will be a hard film to find, but is viewable for any age without reservations and is well worth the search. (It is now available on DVD for around $10 or less.)


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

UK | Italy

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 December 1972 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Brother Sun, Sister Moon See more »

Filming Locations:

Assisi, Italy See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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