The Man Who Fell to Earth 1976

The Man Who Fell to Earth

Critics 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.

82%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 62

69%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 12,872

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Movie Info

Thomas Jerome Newton (David Bowie) is an alien who has come to Earth in search of water to save his home planet. Aided by lawyer Oliver Farnsworth (Buck Henry), Thomas uses his knowledge of advanced technology to create profitable inventions. While developing a method to transport water, Thomas meets Mary-Lou (Candy Clark), a quiet hotel clerk, and begins to fall in love with her. Just as he is ready to leave Earth, Thomas is intercepted by the U.S. government, and his entire plan is threatened.

Cast & Crew

David Bowie
Thomas Jerome Newton
Buck Henry
Oliver Farnsworth
Rip Torn
Nathan Bryce
Jackson D. Kane
Professor Canutti
Paul Mayersberg
Writer (Screenplay)
Walter Tevis
Writer (Novel)
Si Litvinoff
Executive Producer
John Phillips
Original Music
Stomu Yamashta
Original Music
Anthony B. Richmond
Cinematographer
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News & Interviews for The Man Who Fell to Earth

Critic Reviews for The Man Who Fell to Earth

All Critics (62) | Top Critics (18) | Fresh (51) | Rotten (11)

  • The real story is less about the sci-fi and more about the weirdness on Earth, a woozy dream of greed and alcohol and betrayal, as the gentle Newton is preyed upon by hucksters and the American government.

    September 9, 2016 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

    Kate Muir

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • A freaky, compelling concept album of a film.

    September 8, 2016 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
  • There are moments here that approach the sublime.

    September 5, 2016 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Roeg's exuberance and invention are compromised here by a yarn that carries dank traces of Twilight Zone.

    January 13, 2016 | Full Review…
  • One has to say this for The Man Who Fell to Earth: such a bold, imaginative work would never get made in today's fettered, cautious film industry, either here or in America. Roeg's work may have its faults - but its ambition is beyond reproach.

    January 13, 2016 | Full Review…
  • Iconic, and nearly canonic.

    June 15, 2012 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

    Phil Hoad

    Guardian
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Man Who Fell to Earth

  • Jul 08, 2018
    9/07/2018 - A badly acted, drunken and sex filled film with no plot. Go watch a Porno instead!
    Peter B Super Reviewer
  • Jan 17, 2016
    There is no way a movie as ambitious as this would ever get made today. Edgy, daring and with a definite tinge of loneliness. Also has a strong message about mankind, with our often xenophobic tendencies. Stunning visual imagery without and David Bowie is superb. I can see why this is a cult classic.
    Ian W Super Reviewer
  • Oct 08, 2015
    In "The Man Who Fell to Earth", the film itself is really 1970s America, as projected into an alien visitor. We can see what the country is by what living there does to this naive and gentle person. David Bowie and the film are uniquely suited to each other; the film has a strong essence and it is quite memorable. I have to say, though, "The Man Who Fell to Earth", is more for people that are up for a film challenging them rather than entertaining them. The US portrayed is not nice, it is garishly futuristic and dated, subtly domineering and hostile. The vibe is uneasy, desperate and despairing (and yet the grace of Bowie takes a bit of the sting off). There is a lot in it that takes a bit of questioning to figure out, the type of film you want to go into ready to exercise your wits and/or watch more than once. Recommended mainly to those interested in society and culture (and, of course, Bowie fans).
    Robert B Super Reviewer
  • Feb 27, 2013
    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

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