7.0/10
39,413
146 user 95 critic

Starman (1984)

Trailer
2:02 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $3.99 on Prime Video

ON DISC
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.

Director:

John Carpenter
Reviews
Popularity
3,558 ( 999)

John Carpenter: Defining "Carpenteresque"

"Kubrickian" is in the Oxford English Dictionary, but "Carpentersque" isn't. Here's why John Carpenter's style and influence should have earned him the honor.

Travel "Through the Lens"

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

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

An unlikely partnership between a Highway Patrol Officer, two criminals and a station secretary is formed to defend a defunct Los Angeles precinct office against a siege by a bloodthirsty street gang.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Austin Stoker, Darwin Joston, Laurie Zimmer
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A research team finds a mysterious cylinder in a deserted church. If opened, it could mean the end of the world.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Donald Pleasence, Lisa Blount, Jameson Parker
Comedy | Romance | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

After a freak accident, a yuppie turns invisible and runs from a treacherous CIA official, while trying to cope with his new life.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Chevy Chase, Daryl Hannah, Sam Neill
The Fog (1980)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An unearthly fog rolls into a small coastal town exactly 100 years after a ship mysteriously sank in its waters.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Adrienne Barbeau, Jamie Lee Curtis, Janet Leigh
Christine (1983)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A nerdish boy buys a strange car with an evil mind of its own and his nature starts to change to reflect it.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Keith Gordon, John Stockwell, Alexandra Paul
Vampires (1998)
Action | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Recovering from an ambush that killed his entire team, a vengeful vampire slayer must retrieve an ancient Catholic relic that, should it be acquired by vampires, will allow them to walk in sunlight.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: James Woods, Daniel Baldwin, Sheryl Lee
Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In 1997, when the U.S. president crashes into Manhattan, now a giant maximum security prison, a convicted bank robber is sent in to rescue him.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Kurt Russell, Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A rough-and-tumble trucker helps rescue his friend's fiance from an ancient sorcerer in a supernatural battle beneath Chinatown.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Kurt Russell, Kim Cattrall, Dennis Dun
Horror | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A small town's women give birth to unfriendly alien children posing as humans.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Christopher Reeve, Kirstie Alley, Linda Kozlowski
They Live (1988)
Action | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A drifter discovers a pair of sunglasses that allow him to wake up to the fact that aliens have taken over the Earth.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Roddy Piper, Keith David, Meg Foster
Dark Star (1974)
Comedy | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

In the far reaches of space, a small crew, 20 years into their solitary mission, find things beginning to go hilariously wrong.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Dan O'Bannon, Dre Pahich, Brian Narelle
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An insurance investigator begins discovering that the impact a horror writer's books have on his fans is more than inspirational.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Sam Neill, Jürgen Prochnow, Julie Carmen
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jeff Bridges ... Starman
Karen Allen ... Jenny Hayden
Charles Martin Smith ... Mark Shermin
Richard Jaeckel ... George Fox
Robert Phalen Robert Phalen ... Major Bell
Tony Edwards ... Sergeant Lemon
John Walter Davis John Walter Davis ... Brad Heinmuller
Ted White ... Deer Hunter
Dirk Blocker ... Cop #1
M.C. Gainey ... Cop #2
Sean Stanek ... Hot Rodder (as Sean Faro)
George 'Buck' Flower ... Cook (as Buck Flower)
Russ Benning Russ Benning ... Scientist
Ralph Cosham Ralph Cosham ... Marine Lieutenant
David Wells ... Fox's Assistant
Edit

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:

panty | leg | legs | coupe | baseball cap | See All (202) »

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 »

Genres:

Romance | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 December 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

John Carpenter's Starman See more »

Filming Locations:

Manchester, Tennessee, USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$22,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$28,700,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby (35 mm prints)

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The name of the Starman's home planet is never revealed. See more »

Goofs

After Starman removes the note Jenny left on the mirror in the restroom, he gets back in the car and asks her what "kidnapped" means (he pronounces it as if it has three syllables). We know he learned his limited English from the record on board the Voyager spacecraft. But he only heard the words - he doesn't know how to read them. See more »

Quotes

Jenny Hayden: [sees Starman looking like Scott]
[drops gun]
Jenny Hayden: Scott?
Starman: [picks up gun]
Jenny Hayden: You're not Scott!
Starman: ...not... Scott...
See more »

Connections

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Jeff Bridges Performances (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Beach Number
(1953)
from From Here to Eternity (1953)
Written by George Duning
Published by Mills Music, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
You may be shocked to read that this is one of the best science fiction movies ever made
16 November 2008 | by dee.reidSee 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


61 of 72 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 146 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed