Who Fell To Earth
compelling and ultimately
poignant, The Man Who Fell To Earth
follows the fortunes and misfortunes
of a desperate and altruistic alien
who leaves his family to come to the
planet of water to seek help for his
own dying world and is corrupted
by Earthly temptations...
LITERALLY FALLING TO EARTH with a splash, the man known as Thomas Jerome
Newton (the excellent David Bowie) begins his new life in the United States
of America, passing himself off as British. And he is to make more than a few
Thomas has a mission: he is a humanoid alien with superior intelligence visiting
Earth to help his own dying planet that has become a drought-ridden desert.
He begins to wheel and deal to make money and seeks out lawyer Oliver Farnsworth
(Buck Henry), asking him to register a number of patents he has brought with
him from his own world.
World Corporation quickly becomes outstandingly successful; Thomas's vast business
empire takes on, and beats, every major US Corporation and makes him extremely
wealthy. It also makes him the object of both welcome and unwanted attention
and leads him to swerve from his true purpose, falling foul of the earthly vices
of greed and desire.
His success has aroused the interest of college Chemistry Professor Nathan Bryce
(Rip Torn), who has a penchant for his 18-year-old students but who has a special
interest in one of Thomas's patents. Thomas offers Farnsworth a job in his company,
World Corporation, to work on his top secret project.
Corrupted by lust and alcohol, Thomas becomes obsessed with the adoring Mary-Lou
(Candy Clark) and begins to drink heavily while overloading his mind with multiple
television images, seemingly unaware that his business rivals envy him and that
the US Government is deeply suspicious of him. Life on Earth is not without
its pitfalls. From a sci-fi movie and bitter-sweet romance, The Man Who Fell
To Earth becomes not only a bitingly caustic indictment of the modern world
as Thomas falls from grace, but also a poignant commentary on the loneliness
of the outsider.
The images at the beginning of the film both echo and contrast with Thomas's
home planet a derelict mining works and a rusting locomotive and lush,
green grass and expanses of water. Thomas has an unquenchable thirst for water
and builds his home close to a lake. He will suffer the consequences of his
actions in tragic ways, but can he even/really trust the people who appear to
be his friends?
The film is quite explicit and contains sexual content along with male and female
nudity. Surprisingly this does not detract from this remarkable film and it
also seems quite reasonable that the Chemistry professor has himself succumbed
to temptation with a long line of nubile young women while Thomas becomes falls
foul of the 'sins of the flesh' and other Earthly failings. The Man Who Fell
To Earth is compulsive viewing, poignant and thought-provoking and the wonderful
David Bowie plays Thomas convincingly.
The Man Who Fell To Earth also features: Bernie Casey as Peters; Jackson
D Kane as Ricanutti; Rick Riccardo as Trevor; Tony Mascia as Arthur; Linda Hutton
as Elaine; Hilary Holland as Jill; Adrienne Larussa as Helen; Lilybelle Crawford
as Jewellery Store Owner; Richard Breeding as Receptionist; Albert Nelson as
Waiter; Peter Prouse as Peter's Associate; Captain James Lovello, Commander
of Apollo 13, as Himself; and the Preacher and Congregation of the Presbyterian
Church, Aresia NM as Themselves.
Musical Director is John Phillips; Director of Photography is Anthony Richmond,
BSC; Screenplay is by Paul Mayersberg from the cult novel by Walter Tevis; Associate
Producer is John Pevenell; Executive Producer is Si Litvinoff; Produced by Michael
Deeley and Barry Spiking; and Directed by Nicolas Roeg (Director: Walkabout;
Don't Look Now; Bad Timing).
Nic Roeg's science fiction cult classic
The Man Who Fell To Earth starring David Bowie celebrates its 35th Anniversary
in 2011 as well as being included in the BFI Nic Roeg retrospective in March.
The film is now digitally restored and will be released on Blu-ray for the first
time on 4 April 2011. Certificate: 18 | Total Running Time: Approx 148 Minutes
| Catalogue No: OPTBD0978 | RRP: £19.99.
Extras: Interview With Nic Roeg | Watching The Alien Documentary Feature | Theatrical
Trailer | Clip From Walter Trevis' Audio Interview By Don Swain | Interview
With Tony Richmond (new) | Interview With Paul Mayersberg (new) | Interview
With Candy Clark (new) | HOH Subtitles.
"The Man Who Fell To Earth is compulsive viewing, poignant and thought-provoking
and the wonderful David Bowie plays Thomas convincingly"
Maggie Woods, MotorBar