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The Brother From Another Planet


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Product Details

  • Actors: Joe Morton, Daryl Edwards, Rosanna Carter, Ray Ramirez, Yves Rene
  • Directors: John Sayles
  • Writers: John Sayles
  • Producers: Maggie Renzi, Peggy Rajski
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: September 16, 2003
  • Run Time: 108 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00009Y3N0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #141,727 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Brother From Another Planet" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Featurette with John Sayles and Maggie Renzi
  • Casa de los Babys trailer

Editorial Reviews

The visionary writer-director behind such films as Passion Fish, Lone Star and Sunshine State, OscarÂ(r) nominee* John Sayles has been at the forefront of independent cinema for more than twenty years. In this "vastly amusing, offbeat fantasy" (Variety), Sayles takes "a fresh look at our society" (Los Angeles Times) through the eyes of a black extraterrestrial (Joe Morton) who crash-lands on Earthin Harlemand is taken in by the regulars of a local bar. The alien changes everyone he meets on his "original and eye-opening" (The Hollywood Reporter) journey through the streets of urban America. But can his message of brotherly love resonate with the intergalactic bounty hunters trying to track him down? *1996: Original Screenplay, Lone Star; 1992: Original Screenplay, Passion Fish

Customer Reviews

Great acting and casting and plot.
el Gatto
There's, of course, the message about slavery - its ubiquitous practice even beyond earth - and the underlying passion of people to be free.
Joyce M. Hoffman
This is one of my favorite films of all time.
Johnny Na

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

56 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Mr Doug Gordon on September 24, 2002
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
NOTE: THE FOLLOWING REVIEW IS FOR THE UNITED AMERICAN VIDEO DVD RELEASE, NOT THE MGM DVD VERSION RELEASED A YEAR AFTER THIS REVIEW WAS WRITTEN - I saw this classic movie back in the mid '80s, and I must say that it is memorable. What really makes this movie is the performance of Joe Morton and the supporting cast. Joe doesn't say a word of dialogue throughout the movie, but his facial expressions and body language prove that he has an undisputed talent for acting. He plays an intergalactic slave running away from bounty hunters. Crash landing in New York City, he gets to experience what the world has to offer. The comedy in this movie is subtle, but very witty which adds to the charm of this movie. I was hesitant to buy this movie on DVD because of the reviews & the price. On the back of the keep case, there is a disclaimer stating that there are picture imperfections due to the master used. I've never seen this on a DVD before! The good things about the DVD is that it's very clear & in focus. The colour looks normal (people are not flaming pink or morbid grey looking) & the disc plays continuous & doesn't freeze after each scene. The bad things are: The master used is not even acceptable for broadcast standards. There are a lot of artifacts throughout the movie (periodic horizontal noise lines & pixelling around the 45minute mark) It looks like a worn out BETA SP master was used. This is where the price comes in, for a DVD it's really low priced, but it shows that you get what you pay for. It's unfortunate, because this movie deserves the respect of being digitally remastered and reissued on a properly produced DVD.
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45 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Mr Doug Gordon on September 24, 2003
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Having bought the UAV release of this movie and being disappointed in the playback, I was thrilled to see a major label like MGM has picked up this gem of a movie and released it rrecently on DVD. The picture is crystal clear, and the sound is great. This is how this movie should have been released on DVD in the first place. There are no noise lines or pixeling in the MGM version. There is just vibrant colour and clarity. Parts of the movie show graininess, but that is not the fault of the DVD, it's just the film used, plus this movie is from 1984, so there wasn't digital filming at that time. I am very happy to finally get this movie that has been properly transferred onto DVD. This disc features a running audio commentary from John Sayles, plus an interview with him too. If you were not happy with the UAV version of this movie, I strongly recommend picking up the MGM release, because the movie looks how it should look on DVD and that's great!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 23, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
'Brother From Another Planet' is a gem of a movie from director John Sayles. Yes, it's low-budget (typical Sayles), and yes it sounds like b-grade science-fiction at first (alien lands on Earth, pursued by other aliens), but it's so much more than that. First off, the alien (played by Joe Morton, who does not utter a word througout the movie) is black and, luckily, lands in Harlem. Slowly but surely, he finds a way to not only make a living (by fixing electronics), but also manages to help out those who live around him. No offense meant to Mr. Morton, but this is probably his best performance to date.Meanwhile, he's pursued by the two other aliens, who are white (one of whom is played by Sayles himself), and have their own interactions with the Harlem community.In this little, very underplayed film, Sayles manages to say a lot about community, race, charity and mankind itself. Endnote: Keep your eye out for the 'eye out' scene.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Michael F. Hopkins on September 3, 2004
Format: DVD
Imagine the result if someone were wise enough to adapt one
of the works of SF grandmaster Octavia E. Butler. Better yet,
imagine if there had been a grand convergence of Butler's
speculations on world development and African American
perspective, with the poetry, folklore and commentary of
Langston Hughes.
With THE BROTHER FROM ANOTHER PLANET, filmmaker John
Sayles, cinematographer Ernest R. Dickerson, and the
character acting master Joe Morton as the silent lead
all achieve this major feat of storytelling excellence.
Rarely have motion pictures captured the heart of the
Black Diaspora, let alone delve to the narrative core
of actual Science Fiction as deeply as this film does
so magnificently.
Its probing style and cutting edge satire hits with
stone irony; its humor dry to the bone, yet inviting
to the touch, and delightfully devastating to the
unprepared. 20 years later, THE BROTHER still resonates
with sharp genius. Its winding tale and participants
bring home a discerning warmth which delivers the wit
and pathos of Black perspective with breathtaking
fullness.
From the hands of a White man, THE BROTHER is a
marked study of how to do one's homework well, and
more. Certainly, Sayles' pioneering independent
filmwork here proved far more astute in addressing
-and depicting- the Black aesthetic than the lackwit
Tommery, thug-happy Jim Crow jumping, and Stephen
Fechit gesturings far too in vogue -for far too
long- as "Black Entertainment".
Read more ›
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