The Earthling (1980)

PG  |   |  Adventure, Drama  |  24 July 1980 (USA)
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Patrick Foley has been on the move all his life. Tired of drifting, he wants to spend his last days in an isolated Australian valley where he grew up. On his difficult journey he meets ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ross Daley
Olivia Hamnett ...
Bettina Daley
Alwyn Kurts ...
Christian Neilson
Pat Evison ...
Meg Neilson
Redmond Phillips ...
Bobby Burns
Tony Barry ...
Allan Penney ...
Willie Fennell ...
Walter Pym ...
Cul Cullen ...
Dawn Schroder ...
Maggie Blinco ...


Patrick Foley has been on the move all his life. Tired of drifting, he wants to spend his last days in an isolated Australian valley where he grew up. On his difficult journey he meets Shawn, a little desperate city-boy whose parents were killed in an accident in this remote inhospitable territory. Being unable to accompany the boy back to the civilized world he reluctantly takes him with him on his trip to that valley and teaches him in a rugged way how to survive ... Written by Willy Vanhaelen <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Adventure | Drama


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

24 July 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A völgylakó  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


According to this film's American executive producer Stephen W. Sharmat, this American-Australian co-production filmed in Australia actually utilized only six American personnel compared to one hundred and twenty Australian cast and crew. See more »


When the camper smashes into the bottom of the ravine, it impacts on its side and the chassis is cleaved in two. In the next (close up) shot, where the boy has descended the cliff to sit by the rear bumper, the vehicle is simply pancaked upside down with an intact chassis. See more »


[first lines]
Australian Customs Agent: Next please. Now what's the purpose of your visit?
Patrick Foley: Uh - passing through.
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Halfway Home
By David Shire and Carol Connors
Sung by Maureen McGovern
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User Reviews

Becoming self-reliant in the Australian outback
30 June 2005 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

Australia's outback has never looked as beautiful and rugged as in this 1980 film directed by Peter Conlinson. This Australian-American co-production shows the country as perhaps we have never seen it before. We are given a luxury tour of some of what appears to be an extremely wild area that hasn't been spoiled by man yet.

The story centers around Patrick Foley, a man that is dying. He has returned to the land where his parents settled, perhaps to die there as well. Of course, we don't have a clue about this until almost the last sequence, although we get hints about what's wrong with Patrick throughout the film.

We also are introduced to the Daleys that are seen vacationing in Australia. We see them crossing paths with Foley, only briefly, at a country store. When a freaky accident takes the lives of Shawn's parents, he is left alone to find his way back to civilization. Little does Shawn know that Foley has observed the accident, but he wants to stay away from the young boy. After all, he has his own problems, why bother to take on another?

Shawn decides to follow Foley, who shows him how to do things he normally wouldn't have even dreamed of doing. In the process, the young boy becomes attached to the mysterious man. The long trek both take makes a man out of Shawn, as we realize he will be all right and will live to a productive life.

The surprise of the movie is William Holden, an actor at the end of his career. Mr. Holden gives an extraordinary effortless performance. Rick Shroder, then a young child actor makes a valuable contribution holding his own against the more experienced Mr. Holden.

"The Earthling" is a film that should be seen by young people, as they can learn how to face the reality that Shawn went through in his quest for survival a beautiful land that presented so many challenges to overcome.

14 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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The dad when he drove the camper off the cliff Thindy_Brady
I had only vague recollections of seeing this movie as a child... matthewcravey
something I just dont quite understand!! hgohari73
This movie should be on DVD jsmc-3
I want a copy! azelgato
Rick Schroder talks about The Earthling peter241
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