7.6/10
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Brother's Keeper (1992)

This documentary by Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky details the murder trial of Delbert Ward. Delbert's of a family of 4 brothers (the other 3 being Roscoe, Lyman and William - Bill, for ... See full summary »
10 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Delbert Ward Delbert Ward ... Himself
Roscoe Ward Roscoe Ward ... Himself
Lyman Ward Lyman Ward ... Himself
Walt Geisler Walt Geisler ... Himself - Ward Supporter
Ken Elmer Ken Elmer ... Himself - Neighbor
John Teeple John Teeple ... Himself - Neighbor
Dave Goff Dave Goff ... Himself - Cousin
Joseph F. Loszynski Joseph F. Loszynski ... Himself - Bureau of Criminal Investigation, New York State Police (as Captain Joseph F. Loszynski)
Harry Thurston Harry Thurston ... Himself - Friend
Ralph A. Cognetti Ralph A. Cognetti ... Himself - Defense Attorney
Maynard A. Cosnett Maynard A. Cosnett ... Himself - Bureau of Criminal Investigation, New York State Police (as Investigator Maynard A. Cosnett)
John W. Graham John W. Graham ... Himself - Bureau of Criminal Investigation, New York State Police (as Investigator John W. Graham)
Robert J. Killough Robert J. Killough ... Himself - Bureau of Criminal Investigation, New York State Police (as Investigator Robert J. Killough)
Donald F. Cerio Donald F. Cerio ... Himself - Madison County District Attorney
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Storyline

This documentary by Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky details the murder trial of Delbert Ward. Delbert's of a family of 4 brothers (the other 3 being Roscoe, Lyman and William - Bill, for short), working as semi-literate farmers, and living together in isolation in a ramshackle shack, until William's death. The subsequent police investigation and medical examiner's autopsy suggested Bill may not have died from natural causes, and Delbert was arrested on charges of second-degree murder. Under questioning by police, Delbert appears to have waived his rights and signed a confession, but, it seems he might not have been competent, and was coerced into doing so. The film explores possible motives for the crime, from mercy-killing (Bill was ill at the time), to progressively more outré hypotheses. It also shows how residents of the rural community of Munnsville, NY rallied to the support of one of their own (residents previously considered the Wards as social outcasts), against what they ... Written by Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence. | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 September 1992 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Meines Bruders Hüter See more »

Filming Locations:

Munnsville, New York, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,758, 13 September 1992

Gross USA:

$1,305,915

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,305,915
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Picked by Entertainment Weekly magazine as one of the "50 Greatest Independent Films" in a special supplement devoted to independent films that was only distributed to subscribers in October 1997. See more »

Crazy Credits

Dedicated to the memory of David C. Maysles (1932-1987) For your inspiration See more »

Connections

References Matlock (1986) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Am I my brothers keeper?
15 September 1999 | by TuckMNSee all my reviews

From the opening quote from the Book of Genesis about Cain rising up and smiting Abel to the very end sequence, this is not an easy film to watch.

The story of the Ward Brothers in rural New York received national media attention.

Adelbert (Delbert) Ward was accused of murdering his brother William. Questions of euthanasia, incest and just being tired of William's needs are brought up.

But the question arises: Was he railroaded by a legal system looking for an easy answer and a prosecuting attorney up for re-election?

The abject terror of Lymon Ward when he was on the stand is sickening and horrifying to watch.

The townspeople that rally around Delbert and raise the money for his bail in about 20 minutes, even though they have little to spare themselves and don't really know the reclusive Ward brothers is more than just heartwarming -- it is astounding.

The "Boys" (as the townspeople call the Ward brothers)are not really particularly liked by the townspeople who see them as strange, dirty and retarded.

But, whatever they may be they are THEIR strange, dirty and retarded fellow townspeople.

It is not fair to tell you how this movie ends -- you will simply have to see it for yourself.


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