The Brother From Another Planet

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Filmmaker John Sayles' first bonafide box-office success, Brother from Another Planet centers on a black escaped slave from a faraway planet (Joe Morton) who finds himself on the mean streets Harlem. Though the locals are put off by the slave's inability to speak, they are won over by his technical wizardry. He is adopted as a brother by his new friends, who protect him from pursuing white aliens played by director Sayles and David Strathairn.~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide


  • Joe Morton
  • Rosanna Carter
  • Ray Ramirez
  • Yves Rene
  • Peter Richardson
  • Ginny Yang
  • Daryl Edwards
  • Steve James
  • Leonard Jackson
  • Bill Cobbs

Did You Know?


  • John Sayles stated that in choosing the steel drum for the music on this movie, with its unusual and technological, yet still organic, quality, he was partly influenced by the zither music from Carol Reed's The Third Man (1949).
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  • When the Brother is stealing a car, a crew member's reflection is visible in the car's window.
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    • Fly: (about Harlem) I'd rather be a cockroach on a baseboard up here than the Emperor of Mississippi.
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The movie finds countless opportunities for humorous scenes, most of them with a quiet little bite, a way of causing us to look at our society.

Metacritic review by Roger Ebert
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times