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The Illustrated Man (1969)

M | | Sci-Fi | 26 March 1969 (USA)
0:56 | Trailer

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The Illustrated Man is classic Bradbury, a collection of eighteen startling visions of humankind's destiny, unfolding across a canvas of decorated skin, visions as keen as the tattooist's ... See full summary »



(book), (screenplay)
1 nomination. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Jason Evers ...
Tim Weldon ...
Christine Matchett ...
Anna (as Christie Matchett)
Pogo ...


The Illustrated Man is classic Bradbury, a collection of eighteen startling visions of humankind's destiny, unfolding across a canvas of decorated skin, visions as keen as the tattooist's needle and as colorful as the inks that indelibly stain the body. The images, ideas, sounds and scents that abound in this phantasmagoric sideshow are provocative and powerful: the mournful cries of celestial travelers cast out cruelly into a vast space of stars and blackness, the sight of gray dust settling over a forgotten outpost on a road that leads nowhere, the pungent odor of Jupiter on a returning father's clothing. Here living cities take their vengeance, technology awakens the most primal natural instincts, Martian invasions are foiled by the good life and the glad hand, and dreams are carried aloft in junkyard rockets. Written by Stig Ohara

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Don't dare stare at the illustrated man.




M | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

26 March 1969 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Tätowierte  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Make-up director Gordon Bau and a team of eight assistants spent ten hours applying the temporary tattoos to Rod Steiger's torso, plus another full day tattooing his hands, legs and lower body. See more »


Just after Felicia has finished drawing the rose on Carl's hand, his hand is resting on a pillow and the rose can be seen in close-up. It is surrounded by four green leaves. Felicia then takes Carl outside to "look at it in the sunlight". Once outside, it can be seen that the rose is now surrounded by five green leaves. The leaves are also differently shaped. See more »


[first lines]
Felicia: Each person who tries to see beyond his own time must face questions to which there cannot yet be proven answers.
See more »

Crazy Credits

There is a 2-minute cold open with no logos or credits. The Warner Bros. logo comes on at the two-minute mark, followed by the opening credits. See more »


Referenced in The Simpsons: Treehouse of Horror XXIV (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

Flawed but interesting!
24 February 2003 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Even though both Rod Serling and Ray Bradbury hated this film I did not and I always appreciate thought provoking science fiction. Todays shallow and unimaginative audiences seem to hate a film that makes you think but thats what good sci-fi does. Rod Steiger has his usual commanding performance and he is a bit much at times. Hostile and violent, its hard to feel sympathy for him. Robert Drivas is very good and at times the film belongs to him but these are fleeting moments as its always impossible to upstage Steiger. Claire Bloom is enchanting but I never really bought into her "Siren" character. I did enjoy the 3 stories even though number three was a little weak. I like the fact that this film is trying to be different. Watching Drivas stare at the illustrations (Don't call them tattoo's!) and then having the film drift into the story that each design is about to tell him I found very interesting. Its not great narrative but I appreciate the effort to be original. Steiger and Bloom were married at the time and it was the last year of their ten year union. Could they're problems have spilled out on screen during they're scenes? Maybe. Not a great film and certainly it wasn't told in a great way but I do appreciate a film that is thought provoking. Something that todays science fiction films lack completely!

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