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The Man Who Fell to Earth

2 Ratings: 4.0
A movie

Based upon a novel written by Walter Tevis.

Director: Nicolas Roeg
Genre: Sci-Fi, Drama, Fantasy
Release Date: May 28, 1976
MPAA Rating: R
1 review about The Man Who Fell to Earth

The ballad of a lonely spaceman.

  • Sep 23, 2009
  • by
The Man Who Fell to Earth was a science fiction film based upon a novel written by Walter Tevis.  David Bowie stars as T.J. Newton an alien who comes to Earth looking for water so he can bring it back to his dying planet. Stranded, he patents his alien technology with the help of a lawyer (Buck Henry) and uses the new found wealth to build a spaceship so he can go back home.  Rip Torn co-stars as a college professor/scientist Nathan Bryce who works with Newton and learns about his secret identity and Candy Clark as Mary-Lou,a simple minded woman who falls in love with Newton and learns about his true self the hard way.  Bernie Casey has a small but significant part as Peters an government man who wants to put a stop to this flood of technology and end Newton's project.

Over time Newton doesn't age whilst the rest of the people do.  Television, the one media that brought his attention to Earth has also become an addiction that drives him buggy.  His plan to save his planet fails and he slowly adapts human emotions.  During his capture and placement in a "terrarium", Newton becomes disillusioned, depressed and alone.  Humiliated by scientists and robbed of his only chance at going home, he becomes a drunk musician.  Years later an aged Nathan Bryce finds Newton and asks him what kind of music did he record on his album.  He replies, it's a goodbye to my wife.

A powerful tale from director Nicolas Roeg.  A brilliant but sad film about shattered hopes and unfulfilled dreams.  David Bowie does a remarkable job as TJ Newton, the lonely spaceman.  Rip Torn performance is the best I have seen from him.  He really breathes life into his character and Candy Clark is a absolute doll as Mary-Lou, a simple minded girl who's a lonely person like Newton and whom she shares a bond with.  I really enjoyed how they portrayed the government's squashing of Newton's project and dismantling of his corporation.  The final scene between Bryce and Newton is such a downer.  Newton forgives Bryce for what he did and tells him "We'd have probably done to you the same to you, if you come 'round to our place."  That line sums up everything.  No matter where we are in this universe, we are all the same.

Highly recommended.

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