Brother John

Overview

James Goldstone's Brother John (1970) was a topical movie that few people saw at the time of its release. The movie was one of a relative handful of features -- MGM's Tick, Tick, Tick and Columbia's The Liberation of L.B. Jones were others -- steeped in the racial tensions of their time. Brother John does them more than one better, however, positing the notion that the Messiah has returned, and that he's black and has chosen to return to a small town in Alabama that's a near powder keg of political and racial ...
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Overview

James Goldstone's Brother John (1970) was a topical movie that few people saw at the time of its release. The movie was one of a relative handful of features -- MGM's Tick, Tick, Tick and Columbia's The Liberation of L.B. Jones were others -- steeped in the racial tensions of their time. Brother John does them more than one better, however, positing the notion that the Messiah has returned, and that he's black and has chosen to return to a small town in Alabama that's a near powder keg of political and racial tensions. The director managed to thread a needle with this movie, striking a balance between fantasy and realism, but reality was (and is) the problem for anyone watching it, even today -- the reality of life in the 1970 rural South was just too ominous and threatening. As a result, few people ever saw Brother John at that time, and most viewers even today don't seem to know what to make of it. Over the decades, whatever following it has developed has been the result of occasional late-night showings on broadcast television and converts made literally one at a time. This DVD is its best presentation since the film's original release, preserving the movie's original non-anamorphic widescreen image (1.85:1) in an excellent transfer, full of color and detail. The film has been given an extremely generous 28 chapters and comes with three trailers: one for this movie and two for a pair of additional Sidney Poitier movies, To Sir, With Love and A Raisin in The Sun. The latter is actually quite startling, as it opens with an onscreen appearance by its producer, David Susskind, who insists on the importance and urgency of the movie. The disc opens automatically on a dual-layer menu that is easy to maneuver around in, with the "play" option in the default position.
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Special Features

Closed Caption; Digitally mastered audio and anamorphic video; Widescreen presentation; Remastered in high definition; English audio; English and French subtitles; Theatrical trailers; Interactive menus; Scene selections
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/7/2003
  • UPC: 043396077416
  • Original Release: 1970
  • Rating:

  • Source: Sony Pictures
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Theatre Wide-Screen (1.85.1)
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:35:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Michael Patrick Bell Cleve
Harry Davis Turrkey
Lynn Hamilton Sarah
John Hancock Henry's Friend
Maye Henderson
Sidney Poitier John Kane
Bradford Dillman Lloyd Thomas
Beverly Todd Louisa MacGill
Will Geer Doc Thomas
Darlene Rice Marsha
Howard Rice Jimmy
Lois Smith Neighbor
Gene Tyburn Calvin
Ramon Bieri Orly Ball
Warren Kemmerling George
Lincoln Kilpatrick Charley Gray
P. Jay Sidney Rev. MacGill
Richard Ward Frank
Paul Winfield Henry Birkhardt
Zara Cully Miss Nettie
Technical Credits
James Goldstone Director
Edward A. Biery Editor
Audrey Blasdel-Goddard Set Decoration/Design
Albert Brenner Art Director
Gerald Finnerman Cinematographer
Joel Glickman Producer
Quincy Jones Score Composer
Ernest Kinoy Screenwriter
William Randall Sound/Sound Designer
Tom Schmidt Asst. Director
Ernie Sheldon Songwriter
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Start [2:20]
2. Sarah & Dr. Thomas [2:20]
3. Sarah's Brother, John [5:44]
4. A Goddamned Powder Keg [2:45]
5. Just Passing Through [2:18]
6. Sarah's Funeral [3:53]
7. Louisa MacGill [4:15]
8. Suitcase Search [3:31]
9. John's Travel History [3:35]
10. Government Report [1:41]
11. Hannibal Returns to Carthage [2:04]
12. A Few Days to Kill [1:58]
13. "Children of Summer" [3:24]
14. Texas Fugitive Warrant [1:36]
15. Under Police Surveillance [5:45]
16. A Private Word With John [5:39]
17. Charley Gray [1:45]
18. Overwhelmed By His Charm [1:28]
19. Bedside Manner [1:24]
20. Miss Nettie [1:36]
21. A Bump in the Road [1:31]
22. A Little Discussion [2:27]
23. "Tomorrow's My Last Day." [2:40]
24. John's Journal [6:19]
25. Interrogation [4:08]
26. Charley Gray Is Dead [4:48]
27. In John's Cell [2:33]
28. The Wind Comes Again [9:57]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play Movie
   Subtitles
      English
      French/Fran├žais
      Subtitles Off
   Scene Selections
   Trailers
      Brother John
      A Raisin in the Sun
      To Sir, With Love
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