The Brother From Another Planet

Director: John Sayles
Year Released: 1984
Rating: 3.0

A dark-skinned alien (Joe Morton) crash lands on Earth (Harlem in NYC, to be exact) and does not have the ability to speak but can understand human language(s) - as he struggles to survive by washing windows and fixing broken machines, two intergalactic space officers (Sayles himself and David Strathairn), claiming to be from "immigration," track him down. This low-budget gem is one of the best cult movies from the 80's, a smart allegory for the immigrant experience in America - that "the Brother" cannot speak doesn't seem to prevent him from acquiring work and places to stay, but the experience is arduous until he unites with other 'aliens' looking for comfort and community support. Whoever taught him how to woo the ladies in outer space deserves a round of applause - the Brother beds a singer without having to utter a syllable and after buying her two drinks. Women: they prefer it when you don't speak, apparently.