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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Brother John (1971)







Starring:

  • Sidney Poitier
  • Will Geer
  • Bradford Dillman
  • Beverly Todd
  • Paul Winfield

IMDB.com
Odd Ernest Kinoy screenplay involving a mysteriously reticent black man of very few words returning to his Southern hometown for the funeral of his sister, dating a pretty schoolteacher but also getting involved in heated racial confrontations between the black residents and the redneck law. Peculiar, offbeat to say the least, yet hardly engrossing or emotional aside from the two big confrontations (one racially-charged, the other over a woman). Will Geer gives an irritatingly obtuse, owl-like performance as the doctor who originally delivered "Brother John", and who now senses something magical about him. In the lead, Sidney Poitier holds the screen with resplendence; he still has all the charisma and inner-fire of his popular 1960s roles, and allows us to see it (or perceive it) at perfectly-timed intervals. However, this cloudy mood piece--with timely undercurrents of oppression--isn't an exciting or gripping picture. Some have lauded the film for its dreamy ambiance, others will feel this approach ultimately works against the characters. A mixed-bag, though one with a beautiful score by Quincy Jones and expressive Gerald Perry Finnerman cinematography.

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