The Man Who Fell to Earth

Roeg's hugely ambitious and imaginative film transforms a straightforward science fiction story (novel, Walter Tevis) into a rich kaleidoscope of contemporary America. Newton (Bowie), an alien whose understanding of the world comes from monitoring TV stations, arrives on earth, builds the largest corporate empire in the States to further his mission, but becomes increasingly frustrated by human emotions. What follows is as much a love story as sci-fi: like other films of Roeg's, this explores private and public behaviour. Newton/Bowie becomes involved in an almost pulp-like romance with Candy Clark, played out to the hits of middle America, that culminates with his 'fall' from innocence. Roeg, often using a dazzling technical skill, jettisons narrative in favour of thematic juxtapositions, working best when exploring the clichés of social and cultural ritual. Less successful is the 'explicit' sex Roeg now seems obliged to offer; but visually a treat throughout.

Release details

Duration: 138 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Nicolas Roeg
Screenwriter: Paul Mayersberg
Cast: David Bowie
Rip Torn
Candy Clark
Buck Henry
Bernie Casey
Jackson D Kane
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