Review: ‘The Brother from Another Planet’

John Sayles takes a turn toward offbeat fantasy in The Brother from Another Planet, a vastly amusing but progressively erratic look at the Harlem adventures of an alien, a black E.T.

John Sayles takes a turn toward offbeat fantasy in The Brother from Another Planet, a vastly amusing but progressively erratic look at the Harlem adventures of an alien, a black E.T.

Brother begins with a tall, mute, young black fellow seeming to be dumped unceremoniously in New York harbor. Within minutes, he makes his way to Harlem, where his unusual, but not truly bizarre, behavior raises some cackles but in most respects blends into the neighborhood.

Pic is essentially a series of behavioral vignettes, and many of them are genuinely delightful and inventive. Once the Brother discovers the Harlem drug scene, however, tale takes a rather unpleasant and, ultimately, confusing turn.

The Brother from Another Planet

Production

A-Train. Director John Sayles; Producer Peggy Rajski, Maggie Renzi; Screenplay John Sayles; Camera Ernest R. Dickerson; Editor John Sayles; Music Mason Daring; Art Director Steve Lineweaver

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1984. Running time: 104 MIN.

With

Joe Morton Darryl Edwards Steve James Leonard Jackson Bill Cobbs Maggie Renzi

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