The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976)



Critic Consensus: Filled with stunning imagery, The Man Who Fell to Earth is a calm, meditative film that profoundly explores our culture's values and desires.

Movie Info

Space alien (Bowie) crash lands on Earth, seeking help for his drought-stricken planet. By securing patents to advanced technology, he becomes a fabulously wealthy industrialist. However, money and its attendant decadence ultimately exert a stronger gravitational pull. Bowie seemed perfectly cast as the space traveller, and the film further cemented director Roeg's status as one of the most unique filmmakers of the 1970's. Originally cut by 20 minutes in its 1976 US release, this anniversary … More

Rating: R
Genre: Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By: Paul Mayersberg
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jul 5, 2000
Rialto Pictures - Official Site


as Thomas Jerome Newton

as Nathan Bryce

as Mary-Lou

as Oliver Farnsworth

as Peters

as Prof. Canutti

as Jewelry Story Owner

as Receptionist

as Peter's Associate

as Himself
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for The Man Who Fell to Earth

All Critics (42) | Top Critics (13)

The Man Who Fell to Earth today plays like a movie that fell from the sky, origins unknown.

Full Review… | August 25, 2011
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic

The film is a more poignant (and infinitely bleaker) portrait of extraterrestrial homesickness than "E.T."

Full Review… | August 25, 2011
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic

Bowie's screen debut still fascinates whenever he's on-screen, and it's full of little reminders of how much has changed since the movie was made.

Full Review… | August 4, 2011
Seattle Times
Top Critic

Feels like a tedious historical artifact. It's a sci-fi "Days of Wine and Roses" for the arthouse crowd.

Full Review… | July 15, 2011
Washington Post
Top Critic

The most intellectually provocative genre film of the 1970s.

Full Review… | June 22, 2011
Time Out
Top Critic

Undeniably long, Panavision-wide, but of questionable depth.

Full Review… | June 21, 2011
Village Voice
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Man Who Fell to Earth


An alien (David Bowie) comes to earth incognito with plans to earn billions of dollars, build a spaceship and export water to his barren home planet, but finds himself unprepared to deal with human temptations and corporate politics. This melancholy story is more than a little muddled, but it has flashes of satire and moments of style.

Greg S

Super Reviewer

Sci Fi misfire that could have been much better, I really wanted to enjoy this film, but I felt that the film didn't go anywhere and ended up being more dull and boring than actually engaging. I found that the acting was very uninteresting and wooden and there were no standout performances with this film. This is a mediocre Sci Fi drama that may not appeal to every film fans and there's really nothing compelling non-screen that will pull you in to interest and entertain you from start to finish. The problem with this film is that it tries to be too ambitious in scope, and there's so much going on at the same that you lose track of the main aspect of the plot, which is scattered everywhere and really doesn't make sense in the long run. Kubrick's 2001 was far superior to this mess and better acted and better acted as well. Don't expect anything out of this film as it is pretty boring, and not really impressive. There are better Sci Fi films out there that have been released. I was very much let down by this film, and I expected much more out of this film, but as a whole it really didn't entertain me and the plot and acting were flawed and didn't stand out. Director Nicolas Roeg missed the mark with directing this film, and I didn't enjoy this one like other films in the genre. Overall this is a bland affair despite its interesting ideas and in the end there is no payoff that can truly entertain, a forgettable film that doesn't stand out among the countless Sci Fi greats.

Alex roy

Super Reviewer

Only for a cynical few, here is the opposite end of Spielberg's E.T, with a terrific (if unexpected) ensemble cast featuring Candy Clark, Rip Torn, Buck Henry and starring, in his first film (though he seems as if an old hand at the thing, so rich, nuanced), David Bowie. Don't let it pass you by.

Apeneck Fletcher

Super Reviewer

The Man Who Fell to Earth Quotes

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