IMDb > The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976)
The Man Who Fell to Earth
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The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
6.7/10   13,533 votes »
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Down 19% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Contact:
View company contact information for The Man Who Fell to Earth on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
26 May 1976 (Netherlands) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
You're only welcome if it's beneficial to us See more »
Plot:
Thomas Jerome Newton is a humanoid alien who comes to Earth to get water for his dying planet. He starts... See more » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
1 win & 3 nominations See more »
NewsDesk:
(157 articles)
Poppe, Mayersberg team on Munch biopic
 (From ScreenDaily. 19 August 2014, 9:03 AM, PDT)

Where time begins, where space ends by Anne-Katrin Titze
 (From eyeforfilm.co.uk. 6 August 2014, 12:44 PM, PDT)

Daily | Bogdanovich, Roeg, Fuller
 (From Keyframe. 6 August 2014, 11:53 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
visually a real trip. emotionally something else See more (100 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

David Bowie ... Thomas Jerome Newton

Rip Torn ... Nathan Bryce

Candy Clark ... Mary-Lou

Buck Henry ... Oliver Farnsworth

Bernie Casey ... Peters
Jackson D. Kane ... Professor Canutti
Rick Riccardo ... Trevor

Tony Mascia ... Arthur
Linda Hutton ... Elaine
Hilary Holland ... Jill
Adrienne Larussa ... Helen
Lilybelle Crawford ... Jewelery Store Owner
Richard Breeding ... Receptionist
Albert Nelson ... Waiter
Peter Prouse ... Peters' Associate

Jim Lovell ... Himself (Commander of Apollo 13) (as Captain James Lovell)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Claudia Jennings ... Peters' Wife (uncredited)

Debbie Letteau ... Professor's (Nathan Bryce's) Daughter (uncredited)
Terry Southern ... Reporter at space launch (uncredited)

Directed by
Nicolas Roeg 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Paul Mayersberg 
Walter Tevis  novel

Produced by
Michael Deeley .... producer
Si Litvinoff .... executive producer
John Peverall .... associate producer
Barry Spikings .... producer
 
Original Music by
John Phillips 
Stomu Yamashta 
 
Cinematography by
Anthony B. Richmond (director of photography) (as Anthony Richmond)
 
Film Editing by
Graeme Clifford 
 
Production Design by
Brian Eatwell 
 
Set Decoration by
Simon Wakefield (uncredited)
 
Costume Design by
May Routh 
 
Makeup Department
Ellis Burman Jr. .... special makeup effects artist
Linda DeVetta .... makeup artist
Martin Samuel .... key hair stylist
 
Production Management
Roy Stevens .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Kip Gowans .... assistant director
 
Art Department
Ron Downing .... stand-by prop
Tom Raeburn .... property master (as Tommy Raeburn)
Chris Burke .... assistant art director (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Alan Bell .... dubbing editor
Desmond Briscoe .... electronic sound effects
Richard Daniel .... sound maintenance
Robin Gregory .... sound recordist
Bob Jones .... dubbing mixer
Colin Miller .... dubbing editor
Terry Sharratt .... boom operator
Michael Ellis .... sound editor (uncredited)
 
Visual Effects by
Harrison Ellenshaw .... special photographic effects (as P.S. Ellenshaw)
 
Stunts
Richard Graydon .... stunt coordinator (as Dickie Graydon)
Matthew Norris .... stunt double: David Bowie (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Martin Evans .... gaffer
Gordon Hayman .... camera operator
Harry Jackson .... best boy
David James .... still photographer (uncredited)
Derek Suter .... electrician
Michael Thomas .... electrician
 
Casting Department
Jeanne Swain .... casting: New Mexico
Alan Swain .... extras casting (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Ola Hudson .... suits of Mr.Bowie
Mike Jarvis .... wardrobe master
Janet Tebrooke .... wardrobe mistress
 
Editorial Department
Rodney Glenn .... first assistant editor: film
Melinda Rees .... assistant editor
 
Music Department
Duncan Lamont .... composer: additional music
John Phillips .... musical director
 
Other crew
David Cammell .... initial development
Gregg Champion .... production assistant
Terence Churcher .... location manager
Marilyn Clarke .... production coordinator
Ronald Cook .... production accountant
Susanna Merry .... continuity (as Sue Merry)
Samai Brown .... assistant to the producer (uncredited)
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
139 min | Sweden:119 min (cut version)
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The film spent roughly 9 months in the editing suite.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: Newton only touches the plate once and there's only one plate of cookies, but when they were in the air, we can see two completely different lifting moments.See more »
Quotes:
Thomas Jerome Newton:They're stuck! I'll never get them off.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Green Lantern (2011)See more »
Soundtrack:
One WaySee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
4 out of 5 people found the following review useful.
visually a real trip. emotionally something else, 21 February 2008
Author: MisterWhiplash from United States

Nicholas Roeg is a little tricky at times when it comes to narrative. Sometimes he experiments with it excellently (Bad Timing), and other times he slightly dulls the senses in an experimental kind of way (Dont Look Now). The Man Who Fell to Earth seems to be told mostly in a linear fashion, and there seems to be something of a story going on, but... I never felt it completely click. Maybe that is part of Roeg's point with the material, to create a kind of alienation that the alien, no pun intended, feels whilst gathering up the billions he needs to get supplies back to his home planet. But something just doesn't feel like it goes the way it should, even when things are fascinating in a scene, maybe even brilliant, and the actors do end up trying their best along with Roeg's knack at capturing a mood in a specific, strange but bewildering way.

It isn't totally clear where the plot could be headed, aside from the usual oblivion of the protagonist to the wretched TV, excess of alcohol, and some drugs to boot. Which is fine as a route of a plot. But it's perhaps that there doesn't seem to be a sharper satirical stabbing motion being made in the context of the story, of what Bowie's "man" is doing on Earth, except in bits and pieces. Perhaps he's a reflection of how some of us act right here on our planet, or that there's even a sorrow to the state of affairs with Thomas Newton, who is sensitive, sometimes weak, and at least a little unnerving in his detachment via the almighty dollar. Maybe there are some valid points made in connection with the suffering of a human being, in what it does to his soul the longer they're on some strange planet, by way of a horrible and dehumanizing marketplace. But the way it's presented, to once again pop up a word that gets tossed like a beach ball at a concert, in a pretentious manner.

Or, to amend that with another tired cliché: the parts are better than the sum or the whole. I did enjoy very much just looking at the Man Who Fell to Earth, with some scenes, some shots, some transitions, some jabs at "real" cinema, displaying Roeg's natural gifts as an auteur at the peak of his powers. Just seeing that New York skyline, for instance, is a minor thrill, or in the cutbacks Newton has to his old world. Hell, even the sex scenes, much lauded in some of the more negative reviews, have a certain messy charm to them. And who doesn't love seeing Rip Torn as some smart but dangerous scientist who moves on from a penchant for young students in the sack to Newton's possible rocket-ship? Seeing scenes with Bowie and Rip Torn are, indeed, exciting in their indescribable link (Bowie, of course, so fits into Newton it's hard to figure anyone else in the part). I even loved the quirky, old rock and roll/jazz type of music Roeg used, when the first assumption would be Bowie would glam-rock the whole place up.

If there's anything that keeps the Man Who Fell to Earth from being a truly spectacular cult item though, if only for this reviewer, it's a certain mood overall to the piece, an uncertainty as to what to do with everything in the book and how to make it so unusual a piece of science fiction that its own alienation could potentially affect the viewer in unexpected ways. It's got guts to go where it does, to be sure, but it's a tough journey along the way, with romance, wonderment of the unknown, mental deconstruction, and corporate fables all entwined. Whatever you have to say about it there's nothing else like it.

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One of the worst movies I've seen esakshaug
love those sparkly gold helmets!!! westsalemcongress
Just because it's weird doesn't make it art wahoodoss-1
Enough Sex? mattqatsi
One of the best sci-fi movies ever gavbrown01
Man Who Fell to Earth - reference to Lithuania pottolom
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