Based on a novel by Walter Tevis, The Man Who Fell to Earth achieved cult film status for David Bowie's performance as Thomas Jerome Newton, aka "Mr. Sussex," and the imagery of director Nicholas Roeg, a former cinematographer. In this deeply allegorical science-fiction drama, Newton is an alien from a planet that is dying for lack of water, and ...Read MoreBased on a novel by Walter Tevis, The Man Who Fell to Earth achieved cult film status for David Bowie's performance as Thomas Jerome Newton, aka "Mr. Sussex," and the imagery of director Nicholas Roeg, a former cinematographer. In this deeply allegorical science-fiction drama, Newton is an alien from a planet that is dying for lack of water, and he has been sent to earth to find a way to ship some of the earth's plentiful supply to his home planet. He arrives with a human-looking disguise, his knowledge of unusual technologies, his despair, and little else. Using his knowledge, he takes out patents on "his" inventions, aided by patent lawyer Oliver Farnsworth (Buck Henry). He skillfully parlays the money from these inventions and becomes a financial/industrial tycoon. These inventions, and others like them, along with his political and financial power, should make possible the transfer of water to his planet. But instead of pressing forward with plans to save his home planet, he becomes enamored of Earth's low-down ways and of his strange, passive relationship with his elevator-operator girlfriend, Mary Lou (Candy Clark). Meanwhile, his phenomenal rise from anonymity to power, and his eccentric behavior, spark the government's interest. Chemistry professor Nathan Bryce (Rip Torn) also comes calling, fascinated by the alien's history. As gin and despair slowly cripple him, he becomes consumed by memories of life on his doomed planet. The longer (140 minutes) and sexier British version of this film was toned down for its American release. Roeg, whose work has received polarized responses, also directed such distinctively stylized movies as Walkabout (1971) and Don't Look Now (1973). Clarke Fountain, RoviRead Less
Great sellar would use them again. Thanks for having them.
Mar 16, 2010
The Movie That Climbed To Earth
TITLE: The Man Who Fell To Earth
GENRE: Near time SciFi
CAST: David Bowie, Cathy Clark, Rip Torn and Buck Henry
PLOT: An alien comes to Earth to get water for his desert-like home world. Some memory flashes indicated his preparation was based on views of Earth life from 100 years ago meaning his planet is nearby, and, he is unprepared for what those years have meant to our society. He parlays his advanced scientific technologies into big bucks which he eventually spends to have a return vessel built. Along the way to that point is the interesting journey he takes of self discovery. Being an alien, he begins as a true individual but as time passes and he is made aware that he won't get back to his family because of the nature of space travel, he becomes a member of this society, and the costs he pays in membership dues are examined.
RETURN ON INVESTMENT: 8.5 of 10; As we follow him through thirty or so years of his development, the other characters also develop (except for the driver who is static until...). The sets are well done. The animations and graphics, where applied, help the story. The cosmetics of Bowie there and here and the aging done on the other characters is exceptional (except for one bit in a liqour store which could have been left on the cutting room floor). The excentricity of the costumes help to impress the difference of his species from ours.
DVD BONUS: None to speak of
ADDED NOTES: A friend reflected that even Bowie will not claim this as one of his better efforts, but I disagree. For the scope of the story being told this film gets most of the important parts done right.