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The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976)

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An alien must pose as a human to save his dying planet, but a woman and greed of other men create complications.

Director:

Nicolas Roeg

Writers:

Paul Mayersberg (screenplay), Walter Tevis (from the novel by)
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Popularity
4,343 ( 1,848)
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
David Bowie ... Thomas Jerome Newton
Rip Torn ... Nathan Bryce
Candy Clark ... Mary-Lou
Buck Henry ... Oliver Farnsworth
Bernie Casey ... Peters
Jackson D. Kane Jackson D. Kane ... Professor Canutti
Rick Riccardo Rick Riccardo ... Trevor
Tony Mascia ... Arthur
Linda Hutton Linda Hutton ... Elaine
Hilary Holland Hilary Holland ... Jill
Adrienne Larussa ... Helen
Lilybelle Crawford Lilybelle Crawford ... Jewelery Store Owner
Richard Breeding Richard Breeding ... Receptionist
Albert Nelson Albert Nelson ... Waiter
Peter Prouse Peter Prouse ... Peters' Associate
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Storyline

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 <volovich@netcom.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

There, now I'll never get them off. See more »

Genres:

Sci-Fi | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 April 1976 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Der Mann, der vom Himmel fiel See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,343, 15 July 2011, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$100,072
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

First starring film role in a dramatic major motion picture for singer David Bowie. See more »

Goofs

The blanks that Newton and Mary-Lou fire at each other for fun, don't seem to have any effect. In reality, blanks can cause serious injury, especially when fired at such close range. (In the making of the film, they probably used a special theatre gun, which doesn't emit anything at all. Or the gun was unloaded and the sound and smoke were added later. Anyway, in the story, it's a real gun loaded with blanks.) See more »

Quotes

Thomas Jerome Newton: What is this music Farnsworth keeps sending me? I don't like it.
Mary-Lou: Some big named composer.
Thomas Jerome Newton: I don't want it. I want something with singing on it.
See more »

Alternate Versions

In the original U.S. theatrical release, the "Hello Mary Lou" sequence with the gun was missing. It was restored when the movie was broadcast on pay cable. See more »

Connections

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Human with Alien Hookups (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Devil's On the Loose
(instrumental)
Written by John Phillips
Song is used as the "Nathan Bryce" theme when his character is first introduced on a college campus.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Bowie as prophet and martyr
26 April 2005 | by gershomgaleSee all my reviews

Several things about this film make it worth watching... beginning with the premise that Earth's abundant water is what makes it rare in the galaxy.

But more intriguing is how the alien visitor, landing with absolutely nothing but the clothes on his back and a gold wedding ring, and knowing absolutely nothing about Earth culture, "gets up to speed" with astonishing, ruthless, clear-sighted rapidity...within days raising the $10,000 he offers a patent attorney for one hour of the latter's time. In that hour, Bowie's character outlines three basic patents -- including two which we can recognize today as digital cameras and music.

A particularly fascinating scene has our newly rich and already bored alien watching about 20 TV sets at once, while holding a small, battery-powered propeller. Repeated viewings will reveal that the disparate programs (presumably actual images of television shows) occasionally "come together" to form coherent messages... at which time our hero spins the propeller.


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