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The Man Who Fell To Earth

The Man Who Fell To Earth“Quirky, 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 ripples…

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