6.8/10
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39 user 23 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
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3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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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:

This illegal alien chose the New York streets over the men in black. 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:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

8 November 1984 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

El hermano de otro planeta See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$350,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$67,867, 28 October 1984, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$3,700,000
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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Did You Know?

Trivia

The name of the planet that The Brother (Joe Morton) came from is unnamed and is never known by a specific title but just as "Another Planet". 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

Card Trickster: I have another magic trick for you. Wanna see me make all the white people disappear?
Subway Public Address Announcer: Fifty-Ninth Street, Columbus Circle; 125th Street next. This an Uptown A Express going to 207. Change for the AA local across the platform, the D, or the upper level, change for the number 1 Broadway trains.
Card Trickster: See, what'd I tell ya?
Subway Public Address Announcer: Uptown A, 125th street, next.
See more »

Connections

References 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 BA_HarrisonSee 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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