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Thomas Jerome Newton is a humanoid alien who comes to Earth to get water for his dying planet. He starts a high technology company to get the billions of dollars he needs to build a return spacecraft, and meets Mary-Lou, a girl who falls in love with him. He does not count on the greed and ruthlessness of business here on Earth, however. Written by
Gene Volovich <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Of all the movies I saw as a teenager (I am now middle aged) this is the one that has remained with me the most, more so even than the highly acclaimed "Deerhunter," which came out 2 years later in 1978. I have not seen it since 1980, so if my memory fails me, please excuse. This eerie, moody movie encapsulated for me -- an alienated kid, I'll grant you -- the perils of living in, and partaking of, the modern world. An alien falls to earth in search of water for his planet, and somehow loses his way, corrupted by materialism, sex, alcohol, the physical world.
I recall Candy Clark's cool, almost southern voice (just saw her in a cameo performance tonight, playing Christopher Walken's girlfriend in the 1986 "At Close Range, another great) purring at Bowie after he has built a little house for her at the end of a dock, "You're such a nice man," and there is something so unsettled about the cinematography -- cloudy and dark and too still -- in the scene that you know he is definitely NOT a nice man, but deeply troubled and unable to respond to human emotions. The other reviewers noted the somewhat disturbing sex scene towards the end of the movie, but for me, at least, that was not needed. I didn't need slime or removed eyeballs (although that is a great scene) to tell me the man is a freak who is human enough to lament his own inability to connect with these creatures from Earth. For the most part the movie was understated, unfolding in its own, detached time.
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