7.1/10
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32 user 6 critic

The Earthling (1980)

PG | | Adventure, Drama | 24 July 1980 (USA)
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 »

Director:

Peter Collinson

Writer:

Lanny Cotler
Reviews
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
William Holden ... Patrick Foley
Ricky Schroder ... Shawn Daley
Jack Thompson ... Ross Daley
Olivia Hamnett Olivia Hamnett ... Bettina Daley
Alwyn Kurts Alwyn Kurts ... Christian Neilson
Pat Evison Pat Evison ... Meg Neilson
Redmond Phillips ... Bobby Burns
Ray Barrett ... Parnell
Tony Barry ... Red
Allan Penney Allan Penney ... Harlan
Willie Fennell Willie Fennell ... R.C
Walter Pym Walter Pym ... Uncle
Cul Cullen Cul Cullen ... Dawson
Dawn Gregg Dawn Gregg ... Dalton (as Dawn Schroder)
Maggie Blinco Maggie Blinco ... Jessica
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Storyline

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 <willy.vanhaelen@advalvas.be>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Adventure | Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Australia | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 July 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Solo contra el mundo See more »

Filming Locations:

New South Wales, Australia

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

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". See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

[first lines]
Australian Customs Agent: Next please. Now what's the purpose of your visit?
Patrick Foley: Uh - passing through.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Originally released at 97 minutes, later re-edited and lenghtened to 102 minutes. See more »

Soundtracks

Halfway Home
By David Shire and Carol Connors
Sung by Maureen McGovern
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Wise and moving (NOT cute); a film to treasure
5 February 2000 | by MoxieSee all my reviews

"Cute" he may have been, but Rick(y) Schroder -- before puberty -- was one of filmdom's most sensitive and skillful child performers. And William Holden, far from being one to "add to" a list of modern man-and-boy bonding stories, in this 1980 film virtually founded the category.

I've seen this excellent film three times -- always on late-nite TV. Leonard Maltin gives it two-and-a-half stars: "OK family drama." Yet, over half of its IMDB viewers rated it a 10. Why on earth hasn't it received wider public acclaim??!

At 62 (this was his next-to-last film), Holden looks like he really is terminally ill. The cockles of his heart never are warmed to the kid (that we can see, anyway).

He's bone-weary, making his painful way to the ruins of his long-deserted family home to die, But this squalling, spoiled, self-centered kid is stranded. The man would like to ignore him, but the boy's obvious vulnerability won't let him. And as his strength fails, he could use some help himself.

So they make their way, conjointly, to his dying-place. And on the way, he tries to teach the boy how to survive in the wilderness -- for the child will soon be utterly alone -- and reach civilization.

How and what he teaches him is fascinating -- both practical and subtle. He plunges the city-bred boy from pampered narcissism to basic verities and respect for life and Life. In turn, the child's unevadable need forces this bitter, used-up man to dredge up his humanity and, with his last energy, give it out; to do the right thing.

Both of them change and grow. And it's quietly beautiful. In a sense, this is a coming-of-age film with no age boundaries. Maybe it's a "coming-into-humanity" film. See it. And grasp again (or for the first time) the dignity and beauty that humanness can be.


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