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Starman (1984)

7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 28,559 users   Metascore: 71/100
Reviews: 123 user | 52 critic | 7 from Metacritic.com

An alien takes the form of a young widow's husband and asks her to drive him from Wisconsin to Arizona. The government tries to stop them.

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Title: Starman (1984)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Robert Phalen ...
Tony Edwards ...
John Walter Davis ...
Ted White ...
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Cop #1
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Cop #2
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Hot Rodder (as Sean Faro)
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Cook (as Buck Flower)
Russ Benning ...
Ralph Cosham ...
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Storyline

Jenny Hayden never did get over the death of her husband. So when an alien life form decides to model "himself" on the husband, Jenny is understandably confused if not terrified. The alien, or Starman, as he is called, has a deadline to meet, and kidnaps Jenny in order to meet it. Written by Rob Hartill

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

alien | crater | widow | seti | military | See All (40) »

Taglines:

In 1977 Voyager II was launched into space, inviting all lifeforms in the universe to visit our planet. Get ready. Company's coming. See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 December 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

John Carpenter's Starman  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$22,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$28,700,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The role of Starman originally went to Kevin Bacon. Tom Cruise was also considered. See more »

Goofs

In a journey over several days and with no overnight bag, despite being in a human body Starman remains clean shaven throughout. See more »

Quotes

Starman: [after seeing the dead deer] Do deer eat people?
Jenny Hayden: No.
Starman: Do people eat people?
Jenny Hayden: Of course not. What do you think we are?
Starman: I think you are a very primitive species.
See more »


Soundtracks

(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction
(1965)
Written by Mick Jagger (as Michael Jagger) and Keith Richards (as Keith Richard)
Published by ABKCO Music, Inc.
Performed by The Rolling Stones
Courtesy of ABKCO Records, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
You may be shocked to read that this is one of the best science fiction movies ever made
16 November 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

John Carpenter directed "Starman" in 1984, hot off the mega-success of the landmark horror movie "Halloween" in 1978 and the cult science fiction/adventure flick "Escape from New York" in 1981. "Starman" was a significant departure and change-of-pace from all of Carpenter's earlier works.

While essentially a science fiction story involving all the essentials

  • aliens, the United States Army, government cover-ups, a countrywide


chase adventure and what's this, an intergalactic love story? - Carpenter is able to make sense of the material in such a way that it is both respectful to the sci-fi genre, the sci-fi fans, and to the audience members who may not give a crap about this sort of stuff and only want their corn popped.

The biggest surprise about "Starman" is the script by Bruce A. Evans and Raynold Gideon. They're able to strip a laughable story of all that makes it laughable and create something new, something that is intelligent, heart-warming, action-packed, and romantic. Carpenter takes his cues from the material and makes everything in this wondrous sci-fi/action piece his own. And who can forget that awesome synthesizer score by Jack Nitzsche (strange since Carpenter usually composes his own film scores)?

Evans and Gideon's script, taking its cues from "The Day the Earth Stood Still" (1951) and "E.T. the Extraterrestrial" (1982), concerns an alien who has come to Earth after answering an invitation he found on the Voyager II space probe. However, his ship is attacked by fighter jets and he manages to make it to the Wisconsin cabin of young widow Jenny Hayden (Karen Allen), still grieving the death of her husband. After sampling DNA taken from a lock of hair of her late husband, the alien grows into a human clone of him, where he is now played by the actor Jeff Bridges.

After overcoming the obvious speech barrier when he learns to speak in English, Starman then requests that Jenny Hayden drive him from Wisconsin to Arizona, where he will meet the mother ship that will take him back to his home planet. Unfortunately, they only have a few days before he'll die from what we can only guess is exposure to our atmosphere. Matters are further complicated when the military becomes involved, desperate to catch Starman at all costs, much to the horror of laboratory rat Mark Shermin (Charles Martin Smith). Along the way, Jenny grows from being fearful of this visitor from another planet, to respecting him and finally loving him, while he gets to learn about human beings and BEING human.

It's not enough to say that both Jeff Bridges and Karen Allen are this film's magical centerpiece. They certainly make for one of the most dynamic, unusual and interesting screen couples in cinematic history, certainly one of the best screen couples in the history of science fiction cinema. The real stand-out of course is Bridges. This is a role that he rightfully received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor for. We see no trace of the actor "Jeff Bridges" in there, all we see is "Starman," defined largely by his awkward mannerisms and patterns of speech, and it is a skillful, humorous, and touching performance that is the pure anti-thesis to Carpenter's earlier "The Thing" (1982).

John Carpenter, unfortunately, has not received a whole lot of recognition for this picture. Although it remains his only film to go to the Oscars, I only hope that this touching, once-in-a-lifetime science fiction/adventure-romance gets the recognition it so rightfully deserves.

10/10


27 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Incorrect Cafe' Location stated............... stevejetman
Wow, this movie really touched me StarBurns
Best scene in the movie.... neuronboy
connection to Jesus?!?! Nicely2776
Why was he there? d_m_s
Director who started up Starman? griff-24
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