This is by far the most unusual movie I have ever seen. I am a die hard Sci-Fi buff and found myself wondering why no one has released a movie like this before. I was totally engrossed... the story pulled me in like a Black Hole, I found myself wanting more and more.
This film is tantalizing, not to your eyes, not to your ears, but rather where it counts the most...your brain. What a breath of fresh air, I felt satisfied in the end and invigorated. If I had paid 50 dollars to see this film I would not have been disappointed.
For anyone who has an intellect, is open minded and ready for an adventure born of thought, Ideas and possibilities, make absolutely certain you do not miss this film.
I cannot speak about the depth and art put forth in this film without giving away details that will rob enjoyment from you if you have not seen this film. Suffice it to say that I highly recommend this film for anyone who enjoys a film that reaches to the stars and does not depend on CGI.
This is a film without pretense or smoke and mirrors.
It is so nice to see a film that depends solely on story and dialogue. I highly recommend this to SF readers before viewers.
A true masterpiece.
A true shame this film never got any publicity to speak of. All though it did not cost tens of millions to put to film, it is a winner in any category.
A seriously engaging film with a small twist at the end. Lots of small inputs of educational facts and figures but stay alert as they come quick and fast. I thought the mix of characters was excellent and the tale outstanding, but that is down to Bixby the writer. The acting was a little wooden but the story-line was fast enough (after a slightly slow start) to save dwelling on this. A sci-fi film with absolutely no special effects, relying solely on the story and a room-full of actors.
A highly recommended film that needs some concentration and thought to fully appreciate, and that might even cause a tear if you become fully immersed. A nice change from the usual no-brainer special effects charged tear-aways.
I, too, saw this movie at San Diego Comic-Con 2007, and was incredibly happy that I did. I would, however, in no way consider this a thriller, as another reviewer did. This is a movie to provoke deep thought and conversation and that dares to challenge mainstream beliefs. It is one of the most intensely engaging dramas that I have had the pleasure to see. Excellent ensemble performances created believably real characters, each with his or her own fallibilities, personal credo, and enthusiasms.
The movie is basically a conversation amongst college professors. So if you are looking for serial murders, chase scenes, or shoot-outs, you won't find it here. If you enjoy thought experiments and intelligent discourse, and appreciate what it means to accept your friends for who they are, see this.
Jerome Bixby's "The Man from Earth" stands proudly among the best science fiction films ever made. However, unlike "2001", "CE3K" and "Blade Runner," this little movie relies not on outstanding set design and mind-blowing visual effects, but rather on ideas; the very foundation of science fiction.
I've been a fan of Mr. Bixby's ever since "Star Trek", and I must say this equals if not surpasses "Mirror, "Mirror". I agree that some of the acting was stilted, and the music partially drowned out dialogue in one scene, but my family and I were mesmerized throughout. As to my personal beliefs regarding God and faith; "Man from Earth" in no way offended me, but rather challenged me. Challenged me with historical facts (several of which I've since checked online, and thus far, all of which appear 100% accurate.) This is a chess game of a film, forcing the viewer not only to listen and to think, but to understand.
I highly recommend "Man from Earth" to any and all who love intelligent science fiction. A friend downloaded the film, illegally no doubt. I've watched it three times thus far, and I'll be the first in line to buy the DVD (legally =) this coming Tuesday.
If not the "best" science-fiction film ever made, Jerome Bixby's Man From Earth is certainly one of the most thoughtful. This movie reminds me of Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Not with spaceships and effects, but with intelligent characters and exceptional dialogue, and that it left me with a sense of true wonder and joy, long after the credits ended. If the movie had been two hours longer I still would not have been bored, even though most of the film takes place in one small room. It's like watching a ninety minute Twilight Zone, with a perfect surprise ending. John Billingsly stands out, as does David Lee Smith, who may or may not be a caveman. The rest of the cast is good, but the script is the true star. And to anyone claiming this film is boring because we never leave the one room; Some of the very best Twilight Zones were just that. Good actors, good scripts, one or two locations. To anyone who's fed up with spaceships and explosions and Jar-Jar Binks, see this movie as a reminder of what science fiction has always been about.
...every so often you will see a film or hear a story that will take your breath away and leave you wondering...this is one of those stories.
That said it is probably not for everyone. If you don't want your believes challenged you should probably stay away from this one. The film is all about the characters and their dialog, it is what makes or breaks the film, and I must say they did an excellent job, it kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time, wanting to hear more. All this topped with great acting makes this a film really worth seeing.
It goes to show that you can make great films these days without explosions and killings...so simple yet so effective. Great movie!
My grandfather started this when I was a little boy. All I remember at that time was my grandfather sitting in his room all day everyday. He was so creative. When he and my father (Emerson Bixby)would talk about It, I could see A glow in both their eyes and knew something special was coming. This movie represents the true art of science fiction and I believe It will surprise allot of people on how many different ways entertainment can form itself. It Is well put together and scripted. Great cast...(GREAT) cast. Directer was great and most off all. The man who made sure my grandfather's story never died, Mr Emerson Bixby who I'm positive will bring us fun and interesting films for years to come.
This is a brilliant tale and a writers triumph over the thirst of hearing a good story! At first i was not sure of what a was to expect from the movie but like the characters i was drawn into the story. As the film goes on it shorter to the end, i don't under stand why it is necessary to write ten lines about the film, i just wanted to say a few words about it. I don't think it will do very well in the cinema because most people don't appreciate a good story for just that. They want to see some action in the film, but this film does not have much of that in the physical sense,but maybe in the intellectual :) grate movie....
Hi this is my first comment on any movie but i was compelled to write this. The man from earth was the best film i have seen this year in the terms of originality. It may not be action packed but it makes up for this in intrigue,it kept me watching and is a must see for genuine movie buffs.The acting at the first couple of minutes had me a little worried but after that i thought the film flowed and it soon eased my worries i am notorious to friends for giving up on movies before they begin.I would not recommend this film for kids it would be more suited to anyone over the age of 25 but hey what do i know you can make up your own mind by watching it in the cinemas
I saw this movie when it premiered at the Rhode Island International film festival. It was the main attraction of a sci-fi block that I went to without any knowledge of what the file was about, save the IMDb plot summary. What I saw was much different than what I expected, and I must say that I was pleasantly surprised.
The film starts very simply with the main character John packing his truck, and then joined by colleagues of his who have come to wish him farewell. His colleagues, however, cannot help but express how puzzled they are about him leaving, since he has established himself very well as a professor and is well liked. Each time he is asked, John either avoids the question or gives an evasive answer. He eventually responds to them by posing a hypothetical question to the group (which by now have been established as Ph.D.s in fields including anthropology, biology, and history) about what a man would be like if he had lived since prehistoric times and had the appearance of the same age for sixteen-thousand years. This question starts an innocent discussion, but changes in tone as John implies more and more that the situation is not hypothetical. The group all have diverse reactions that become more intense as they pose questions to John regarding the story he has put forth.
One of the producers who was in attendance described the film as a science fiction Twelve Angry Men, and I found that statement to be very apropos. The focus of the story was the interaction of the people in the situation, rather than the situation itself. You will find that as an audience member you are put in a similar position as John's colleagues in thinking about the logistical aspects of living for such a long time and what you would say if a friend came to you with the same story. The writer, the late Jerome Bixby, did this well by presenting people that could analyze the finer points of the hypothetical situation by being experts in many relevant fields. I highly recommend this film if you enjoy the more human side of science fiction, or if you like pondering what-ifs.
I recently had the opportunity to view Man From Earth at the Comic-Con Film Festival, and it was amazing. The Sci-Fi thriller goes places I've never dreamed of. The movie places the viewer in the backseat for a wild ride through history connecting it to the present. I was shocked at the ideal of a Cro-Magnum surviving until present day, and even more shocked how each professional almost validated the possibilities as the story unfolded. The most unique thing about the movie is who John Oldman has met, and has been (don't want to give it away, but he's been the most well known person alive) in his centuries of living, or who he could be in the future!
This film is great for anyone who likes movies that challenges the norm! The movie bewilders the mind yet challenges the heart of our beliefs! This amazing Sci-Fi film pays great homage to the late and great Jerome Bixby! Anyone who is a fan most go see this film!
I had read the summary: A college professor reveals that he is really a 14,000 year old cave man. Outlandish premise, but we are told that as this movie unfolds, we may find it is so thought provoking that it may even seem plausible. Sounds like good film-making to me.
Well, I knew within 5 minutes that this movie was in trouble. In the first scene, Cave Man's colleague offhandedly notices a signed Van Gogh painting stuffed between some boxes in the back of his truck. How convenient that he just happened to travel in the same circles as a famous historic figure. Okay, I can suspend my disbelief, surely a 14,000 year old would have had some opportunities to meet some well known characters.
You really begin to feel where this movie is heading when Cave Man's decision to reveal himself happens on the spur of the moment. One minute he's about to head out the door and the next he's telling them his secret. How do his friends react? After a few chuckles most of them become angry, even enraged. Odd, why don't they just laugh it off and leave? Apparently they're already so transfixed by his story, which he's been telling for all of two minutes, that they're almost convinced of its truth and are hoping for him to just say it ain't so and release them from this new upside-down reality! Personally, I would feel some sadness that a guy I'd known for years had come to believe in this delusion and I don't know many people that would feel different.
But the story progresses and he begins to reveal more absurdities. Not only did he know Van Gogh, he was on a first name basis with Hamurrabi. He travels to India and hey, guess who he ran into? The Buddha, whom he spends years studying under. It's so dumb you almost couldn't make this up. The more he tells the more upset his friends become, to the point where one of them even calls a psychiatrist friend in the hopes of having him committed. As if you could commit someone simply because they believed in a wild tale, not having made any threat whatsoever to themselves or others. They ask him one question after another, always trying to hit him from some new angle, demanding some shred of proof, and rather providing answers, he always counters with some "can you really prove anything?" philosophy. Deep, deep stuff here.
The big revelation towards the end is so insufferably stupid that it warrants only a pity laugh. This is not even entertaining in a B movie fashion. His explanation of how he learned, under the Buddha, to slow his metabolism to near the point of death just made me want to groan. These people sitting in the room with him, they try so hard not to believe him. These poor college professors don't need much in the way of proofs. But we're not quite done. There's still one more surprise, and it's so shocking it causes one of the characters to keel over with a heart attack. Sigh.. I wish that old cliché would die of a heart attack once and for all.
This movie is not "so bad it's good". No, it's just so bad. I truly am astonished by the high ratings given to it and I had to create an account just to write this comment. I can't help but think that anyone who finds this to be intellectual fodder is simply lacking an imagination.
All the "normal" cinematics and acting are here, of course. The usual things you would equate to a good movie. They are all here. Especially the acting. I'm glad they could afford those actors. Kudos on the acquisition. But one element of this gem, that I hold above all, is the "story/concept".
One of the things that eludes me as a writer, how do you tell a story in one location? I've been trying to come up with a story that doesn't involve epic locations and special visual effects. I have a few ideas for movies that involve the subject matter of this movie, but, since I am a low-to-no budget filmmaker, I am concerned with how to express certain topics so frugally. I realize that it has to do with the dialogue and presentation of the story. This movie shows how one can tell a "grand" story with only one location.
The subject matter is controversial. Some will hate this movie. Some will love it. But it is all based on verifiable sources. May be true... may not. However, it is good food for the mind (if one is open minded, that is).
It's hard to write a comment about such a movie of this genre that doesn't give it away and still expresses how much this movie has enthralled me! One of the main premises of the movie is "What would you believe?". If a friend of yours came to you with information that unfolded your reality, would you stick with dogma, or have an open mind with what that "friend" of yours was saying? Could you let go of dis-belief, based on scientific "fact", enough to consider what your friend said "might" be true? I am definitely adding this to my collection.
Good science fiction is supposed to entertain a fantastic notion in order to stimulate new perspectives and ideas about humanity and reality. If you are looking for that, then consider a different movie.
I watched this movie because of the reviews and ratings here on IMDb. This site doesn't usually let me down, but I have to say that there is no greater discrepancy here between rating and actual quality than there is with The Man from Earth.
Have you ever had a professor who obviously considered himself a genius, and also considered himself funny, even though he was plainly the opposite in both cases? Prepare for dejavu if you watch this movie. The humor tries to be intellectual, but I would say it is more like Full House meets The New Yorker. The characters are all so unrealistic and, well, downright unlikable. The acting is awful, just completely bad. It feels like it was made by an atheist who considered himself enlightened, yet the message gets lost in the abysmal story.
I won't spoil anything, as if there was some way that could make the movie even worse, but the ending will either make you laugh derisively or shake your head in disbelief over how poorly done it was.
The review I read said the movie was for people who are not afraid to think, yet the ideas expressed in between the cheesy one-liners were no more profound than an AOL chatroom discussion about who is greater, pirates or ninjas. Nothing new was said, no ideas reinvented, no original thinking in the whole blathering mess.
This is a film whose appeal is perhaps confined to those brought up on a strict diet of middle-American religious fundamentalism; for other viewers, the ground covered is familiar and unremarkable. As one hapless character states, "It was a beautiful idea", but the end result is very disappointing.
While the device of the 14,000 year-old man is an interesting one, the central character, John Oldman, comes across as tiresome and humourless, and his supporting characters, who serve only to tease out the rather trite philosophical ideas discussed in the film, are lifeless caricatures. The dialogue is both predictable and unrealistic; I've never met people who are so uninterested in themselves they'll spend an entire afternoon at a party without ever talking about their own lives, but this bunch obediently behave as an attentive, if critical, audience for Oldman's story. The film is shot essentially like a stage play; most of the action is confined to one room and the actors struggle with the unidimensional roles they've been given, particularly the women, who seem primarily to act as supports for Oldman-as-prophet's rather flaccid and unconvincing claim to virility. The whole narrative unfolds like the scene in an Agatha Christie novel where Poirot gathers the suspects together and reveals the murderer, only without the suspense.
I have no doubt that this movie will appeal to some -- fans of Dan Brown and Carlos Castenada -- but viewers who want to see a movie that grapples with the real complexity of human experience, or at least entertains, be warned; this is not the movie for you.
If I could vote for a less than zero, this one would definitely deserve it. There is NO, and I mean NOT ONE, excuse for producing such a bad movie. Was it due to the low budget? I clearly doubt it. Take Christopher Nolan's "Following" for example and you see what you can get out of 70 minutes and almost "no-budget".
The story was predictable from the first moment he said that he was 14000 years old. I was kidding with a friend of mine and honestly telling him like "Yeah, wait up, in the end he's Jesus himself". I fell of my chair, when he really said that. The Characters are completely thoughtless and pseudo-intellectual. I am myself a student of psychology - and yes: there are some major dorks in that field who still believe in father-complexes and childhood dramas as reason for just EVERYTHING - but Dr. Will Gruber is just a bad sketch of a psychologist.
The same goes for every other character of this movie - one more stereotypical than the others. On top of that is the crazy Christian conservative - how could it be different - symbolized by an old mean woman. The biologist, archaeologist and Tony Todd are also just poorly sketched "intellectuals" and at times I wondered, if Bixby has ever seen a professor in his real life because the character traits are completely stereotypical and made out of thin air.
My favorite character is Alexis Thorpe as "Linda", student, hot and obviously crazy in love with her professor - who is just as nuts as everyone else with one exception: he drives a bike and looks like a real rocker! yeaaaaah! how awesome is he? At one time, at the end, when they leave the place you can see Lindas blank ass when she gets up. My favorite moment of the movie.
As for the great dialogues and memorable lines from this movie:
Dan: "I would kill anyone"
Edith (after Dr. Gruber showed his gun): "Where did he get that?" (This Movie takes place in the USA an Edith was not so surprised about the giant crossbow in John's cabin... what the heck?)
I really do not want to waste too much time on this piece of crap, but a few things need to be said.
The plot is too transparent. The scientific "facts" are clearly out of a book and are used out of any context. The pseudo-intellectual conversations just seem way too posed. The ending is hilarious. As it turns out he is not only Jesus, no, he is also the father of the psychologist, whoms wife died just yesterday, and who has an obvious father-complex (see my irony please) and therefore dies too. There are some very uncommon gap fillers, containing actions and reactions I have never ever observed at any point in my life from anyone. Another pain in the ass is, that the acting is so bad, that they really have to speak out every single feeling, emotion, whatsoever. Good acting makes the vocalization obsolete.
In my opinion Bixby made everything wrong that one could possibly be wrong. And i DO NOT hate it just because of all the reasons the people who rate this film high are referring to, namely shortness, lack of "action", lack of location variety or "intellectual demand", because there are many many movies that i love who fulfill these characteristics.
You want a low budget film that is great: watch "Following"! You want a one location movie with intellectual demand: watch "Hard Candy" You want a brilliant movie without any "action": watch "Coffee and Cigarettes"
To all of you who are easily impressed by scientific talk, that you may or may not understand: watch the film again. keep in mind the stereotypical scientist. think one more time what these people are talking about and if in any rational way a conversation like this could be possible. if you still think: yeah, it is possible, than i truly grief for America's university-elite.
I'm sorry, this was like watching a horrible community theater production. The acting was melodramatic and "stagey" and the dialogue was atrocious. There was no chemistry or connection between the actors and they all seemed like they were desperate to "act" rather than live truthfully in the given circumstances. Acting 101 was not observed. It's possible that it was due to bad direction. I could almost hear the director saying,"You should be really angry here."... "Ok, that take was good but can you be angrier?". Really bad stuff. That said, I respect anyone who completes a project but I just think that if you're gonna do it, do it well.
I am a fan of sci-fi and indie films, and after reading the reviews of this film i figured it was definitely worth a watch, especially with an impressive average rating of around 8. However, on watching it, i felt obliged to sign up to IMDb, just to right the wrong that is this overrated film.
It's incredibly slow-paced; the actors could maybe one day aspire to star in a low budget soap with enough lessons, and it's impressive that they considered equal rights for blind people by giving no visuals other than people sat in a cabin acting badly.
The plot is pretty terrible. It manages to be incredibly boring, and yet far-fetched at the same time. I just wish of all the things for the fundamentalist Christians to attack and try and bring down they would put this film out of it's misery.
Please save your time and watch the inside of your eyelids for 2 hours
This movie doesn't have any action, CGI special effects, all it has are just a bunch of college professors sitting around a fireplace, discussing some really mind boggling ideas.
I really enjoyed watching this movie. It's rare that you can stumble upon a thinking person's movie nowadays.
What if you are as old as humanity itself, what if you have stood witness the evolution of mankind from its birth to the present day, what would you have done, which chapters in mankind's history would you have written.
The concept of immortality is as old as mankind itself, but never before have I seen this concept explored with such, thoughtfulness and philosophy.
One minor thing I did not like about the movie is the prolonged overly dramatic outright hostility towards John's confession. I don't think the incredulity is really necessary here, especially amongst a bunch of intellectuals.
The idea behind the whole thing was interesting but it was all downhill from the start.
The whole movie felt so forced, did they really have to connect the main actor to all these individuals in history? It was so cringe worthy when he told he was Jesus, talked to Buddha and so on...The only thing missing was a meeting with Hitler, a cup of tea with Napoleon and maybe a conversation with Genghis Khan before he went all ape*hit with Eurasia...
To me it felt like that scene in Equilibrium where the authorities destroy art and the painting just happens to be Mona Lisa - oh the shock value! It was also very hard to identify with any of the other characters, because the acting wasn't really that great.
Screenplay, photography, cinematography etc was just plain awful. There are plays in theater for this kind of "science-fiction" where all the actors stay in one room, listen to Beethoven and speak like they are on the juice. For an IMDb rating of 8.3 I expect more when I pay 10 bucks from my student grant (which is probably bigger than the budget of this film) and sacrifice a decent spring evening in a bad Finnish cinema! A great film (rating of 8+) to me means that there is a good story AND that the setting is also captivating. I'd rather read a book and imagine most of it myself if the movie can only offer conversation in a log cabin.
It's been a really long time since I saw a movie that captured me, mind and soul, that much. Even since the very beginning, when the whole concept of the movie (a 14,000 old man?) seems too fictional, you can sense the difference in the atmosphere, the escalating emotions, and the question keeps pop into your mind: "could it be actually true?" And the fact that everything is taking place in a small living room in front of a fire place among a small group of people -like in the theatre- makes it even more special. It is certainly one of the movies that will provoke endless discussions. Some may hate it due to the controversial issues that it is dealing with, but if you watch it with an open mind, you cannot but admit that "everything is possible". After all what is history and religion other than our current knowledge of what happened thousand of years ago and how it was captured through the eyes and hands of other people. Even the science that we know today is just a way to interpret the natural phenomena with the knowledge that we currently hold, knowing pretty well that if the situations change or new discoveries will be made then we will have to discard the old knowledge and adopt the new one. Overall I believe the movie is truly ingenious and mind challenging and I strongly recommend it to those who keep seeking alternative answers to long standing questions that are dealing with history, religion, science!
I really didn't like this movie. It is very poorly made which partly owes to its low budget but then Primer had a low budget and managed to seem much more professional than this.
The scientific basis of the movie is inherently flawed as it says that his genes have happened to evolve such that they no longer have flaws when copying(mutations). But this is like saying that if you built a car perfectly you could reduce its chance of having an accident to zero when in fact the probability of the car having an accident is not a function solely of the car, it also depends upon the environment. In the same way, the chance of mutation is dependent upon the environment such as ionising radiation and mutagens and thus the mutations could not be entirely stopped by his genome.
However, many sci-fi films have shaky scientific basis so we may excuse this. Then there is the fact that he doesn't scar, which would have to be unrelated to the previous genome modification but again we can excuse this as it isn't a major issue.
The part that really irritated me was when it continued to peddle such misconceptions like that people still thought the Earth was flat at the time of Columbus even though that hadn't been a serious viewpoint since at least the days of Eratosthenes some one thousand years before. At one point he also attributes his fortuitous luck in not succumbing to disease to the idea that the 'Water and food were so much purer back then' (meaning neolithic times) when this is just patently false and plays to the prejudices of the New Age pseudo-intellectuals that seem to worship this film. We are much better off today in the age of quality control and water treatment than we were then even if there is the occasional gripe about HFCS or food intolerances.
The final straw that proved just how crappy the film really is came when he reveals that he is in fact Jesus and spent time with the Buddha etc. by which point I was seriously wondering whether all the positive reviews of this movie were in fact the work of a Moriarty of trolls.
In conclusion, the movie had some promise but was wrecked by poor acting and a host of basic scientific and historical mistakes. The movie seems to be popular only because it plays on New Age notions of the 'pure' neolithic times and the apparent simplicity of religion. If you want a good, cerebral experience then read a book, there must be dozens of sci-fi stories which explore similar themes but in greater depth and without the patronising attitude. Even some non-fiction works touch on similar themes, I would strongly recommend those by Carl Sagan for example.
The Man From Earth appeals to science fiction enthusiasts, like me, who dream about long life and like to debate the philosophy of being human.
Unfortunately, The Man From Earth takes a premise and is pretty much all premise. We don't get to see the protagonist interact with the world. Have you ever heard the phrase "show, don't tell"? It's a writer's maxim that it's better to be direct rather than indirect with your plot line.
Eight people sitting in a house talking is too much "tell". The story could easily just be two people talking, as in K-PAX, which is far better.
The dialogue is awful (I thought it was the acting originally but that was wrong). There's no story arc (nothing is at stake). This would be boring even as a theatre production (where having a single location is more accepted).
It's not enough for a story to be intellectually interesting. It has also be a story. The Man From Earth is not. It is all premise and very much reflects the goofy overly simplistic Sci-Fi days of the 1960s. And guess what, that's where the film's writer Jerome Bixby comes from. Click on his film history and you'll see he hasn't worked creatively in film since 1969.
Because you will be talking about it afterwards. Such great performances as well. Especially from David Lee Smith.Plus it's always a pleasure seeing William Katt and Tony Todd! :) I have never seen any of his previous roles, but i look forward to future ones. It kept me interested the entire time,even tho it all takes place in 1 room of a house! It is a shame that the writer is not alive to see this this great film. R.I.P. Mr. Bixby. It makes you really think about the meaning of life. What do we really know about ourselves? About God? I love this film because it makes you question your beliefs. I can't say it enough---buy this movie! :)