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The Earthling (1980) Poster

(1980)

Trivia

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This film's executive producer Stephen W. Sharmat once announced a series of seven Australian-American movies to be filmed in Australia with plans to raise $45 million in finance from investors in Australia and overseas. The Earthling (1980) was the first of these pictures and was the only one that actually got made.
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According to the book 'The Films of William Holden' by Lawrence J. Quirk, director Peter Collinson was allegedly very tough on then child actor Ricky Schroder during filming to the point that co-star William Holden intervened. The two formed a close relationship and Schroeder about twelves years later in life, in 1992, named his son Holden Schroder after him.
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Final film of director Peter Collinson.
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Publicity for this film in 1980 stated that this movie was the most expensive film ever made in Australia. Reportedly, this picture had a budget of $5 million (Australian).
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Famous as a child star, this movie is one of the four theatrically released films starring Ricky Schroder that are synonymous with his era as a child star when Schroeder came to prominence around 1979-1980. The other movies were The Champ (1979), The Last Flight of Noah's Ark (1980) and Little Lord Fauntleroy (1980).
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Stephen W. Sharmat, this picture's executive producer, once said in 1980 of film production in Australia: "[In 1979] I discovered what a good place Australia was for movies . . . It's as good as Los Angeles, but it's far, far away, and hasn't the facilities of Hollywood. The answer to that is money - by which you can bring in filmmakers from America and Britain to produce pictures which will cross other countries' borders".
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A number of Australian actors who appeared in this movie, including Jack Thompson, had their voices dubbed for the film's American release in the USA.
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This movie was filmed during September and October of 1979.
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This was the first film featuring Australian actor Jack Thompson that was theatrically released after Thompson won the Cannes Film Festival Best Supporting Actor award for Breaker Morant (1980).
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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.
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Though Americans took the two above-the-title lead roles in this movie which was completely filmed in Australia, quite a number of well-known Australian actors were actually seen in all the supporting roles in this picture. They included Alwyn Kurts, Ray Barrett, Tony Barry, Pat Evison, Jack Thompson, Walter Pym, Willie Fennell, and British born Aussie local Olivia Hamnett.
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Dawn Gregg, the older sister of this film's leading co-star Ricky Schroder, appears in this film with him as Dalton. This is the only ever theatrically released film where the brother and sister both appear.
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Stephen W. Sharmat said around the time of this film's 1980 theatrical release that Australia was "the world's best hidden movie secret . . . The Australian movie industry has been growing rapidly over the last few years, and it's now ready to handle Hollywood style productions".
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

William Holden's character in this film is dying of cancer. Sadly, this film's director, Peter Collinson, died of cancer about five months after this film was released.
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This movie was one of two 1980 Australian films that had a male lead character dying of cancer. The other was Blood Money (1980).
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