6.7/10
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40 user 28 critic

The Brother from Another Planet (1984)

A mute alien with the appearance of a black human is chased by outer-space bounty hunters through the streets of Harlem.

Director:

John Sayles

Writer:

John Sayles
3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Joe Morton ... The Brother
Rosanna Carter Rosanna Carter ... West Indian Woman
Ray Ramirez Ray Ramirez ... Hispanic Man
Yves Rene Yves Rene ... Haitian Man
Peter Richardson Peter Richardson ... Islamic Man
Ginny Yang Ginny Yang ... Korean Shopkeeper
Daryl Edwards ... Fly
Steve James ... Odell
Leonard Jackson ... Smokey
Bill Cobbs ... Walter
Maggie Renzi Maggie Renzi ... Noreen
Olga Merediz ... Noreen's Client
Tom Wright ... Sam
Minnie Gentry Minnie Gentry ... Mrs. Brown
Renn Woods ... 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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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to "The Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy Film Review", John Sayles had signed on to write the script for Steven Spielberg's abandoned alien visitors film "Night Skies" just before this. See more »

Goofs

At the end of the credits, it is written that the story, all names, characters and incidents portrayed in the film are "ficitious." See more »

Quotes

Sam: [talking about The Brother] What am I supposed to do?
Fly: You the city, Sam. Figure out where to put him.
Sam: Men's shelter.
Smokey: Too smelly.
Sam: Okay. The Hilton. You got the tab?
Smokey: What they pay you for?
Sam: I just make phone calls. You want him out, you could call the cops.
Fly: Cops? Oh, man.
Smokey: He knew the death seat when he sat down on it.
Sam: It's not like I got to drum up more business for the city, you know?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Lab Rats: Principal from Another Planet (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Boss of the Block
Sung by Dee Dee Bridgewater
By Mason Daring
Sweet Melodies Publishing/ASCAP
See more »

User Reviews

 
Great Cult Film.
22 March 2004 | by film_aficionadoSee all my reviews

This is one of the best and most underrated movies I have ever seen. This is a brilliant black comedy with great social commentary on racism and classism. I loved it the first time I saw it, and it held up when I bought it on DVD. This is definitely worth the time it takes to watch it, and you will find yourself quoting the movie later. The "Beer . . . on the Rocks" quote is my personal favorite, but the card trick is a close second. Have fun with this little known, early John Sayles Masterpiece.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

14 September 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Brother from Another Planet See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$350,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$3,677,209

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,677,209
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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