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The Man Who Fell To Earth (2 Disc Special Edition) [DVD]

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Product details

  • Actors: David Bowie, Rip Torn, Candy Clark, Buck Henry, Bernie Casey
  • Directors: Nicolas Roeg
  • Producers: Michael Deeley, Barry Spikings
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Optimum Home Releasing
  • DVD Release Date: 29 Jan 2007
  • Run Time: 139 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000KRMZP6
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 43,563 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Nicolas Roeg directs this classic 1970s sci-fi drama in which David Bowie stars as an alien who arrives on Earth in search of water to save his own dying planet. Assuming the name Thomas Jerome Newton, he soon forms a lucrative partnership with patent attorney Farnsworth (Buck Henry) by creating revolutionary products. As their business develops into a hugely successful financial empire, Thomas plans to use the profits to build a ship that will return him to his home world. However, while he waits for his ship to be ready, he begins to fall prey to earthly pleasures and failings.


While other films directed by Nicolas Roeg have attained similar cult status (including Walkabout and Don't Look Now), none has been as hotly debated as this languid but oddly fascinating adaptation of the science fiction novel by Walter Tevis. In The Man Who Fell to Earth, David Bowie plays the alien of the title, who arrives on Earth with hopes of finding a way to save his own planet from turning into an arid wasteland. He funds this effort by capitalising on several highly lucrative inventions, and in so doing becomes the powerful leader of an international corporate conglomerate. But his success has negative consequences as well--his contact with Earth has a disintegrating effect that sends him into a tailspin of disorientation and metaphysical despair. The sexual attention of a cheerful young woman (Candy Clark) doesn't do much to change his outlook, and his introduction to liquor proves even more devastating, until, finally, it looks as though his visit to Earth may be a permanent one. The Man Who Fell to Earth is definitely not for every taste--it's a highly contemplative, primarily visual experience that Roeg directs as an abstract treatise on (among other things) the alienating effects of an over-commercialised society. Stimulating and hypnotic or frightfully dull, depending on your receptivity to its loosely knit ideas, it's at least in part about not belonging, about being disconnected from the world--about being a stranger in a strange land when there's really no place like home. --Jeff Shannon. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Vandal on 5 Oct 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
It irritated me when I had to order this, that I could find no subtitle info, so just to help others I will add that: there are no subtitles of any kind (not even english for hard of hearing) on this movie. Otherwise its a great movie and great dvd, so no need to avoid it just for that detail, but if you're a non-native speaker, you might like to know this in advance.
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48 of 50 people found the following review helpful By P. White on 3 Aug 2002
Format: DVD
I've been a long term appreciator of this film since it was regularly shown late at night on BBC2 in the 70's and 80's. Seeing it on DVD at its full aspect ratio is a revelation though, the composition of the images is wonderful and I kind of missed that on a 4:3 TV all those years ago. This is a quality movie with excellent performances from all the actors, even the bit parts. Anyone who ever claims that David Bowie cannot act should be forced to watch this and then to eat their words because he is quite frankly superb in the part of Thomas Newton. He conveys more 'other-worldliness' in a simple gesture than most actors achieve with the full Stan Winston latex treatment. Despite this being an SF film (with no major SFX, just intelligent scripting) it could just as easily be about anyone out of their environment and feeling alone and paranoid. They quite literally don't make em like this anymore. Instead we get MIB:2. Help!
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 9 Oct 2000
Format: VHS Tape
Nicolas Roegs follow up to his successfull thriller 'Don't look now', was the Science fiction themed 'The Man who fell to earth'. The role of the main chracter, that of the alien,Thomas Jerome Newton, finally found itself fullfilled by the then most alien of rock stars David Bowie.
Roeg had previously in mind PeterO'Toole and Micheal Crichton as possibles for the role of the icey alien. However, Roeg, who had used Mick Jagger successfully in his earlier film 'Perfomance' was attracted to Bowie through his sense of mime and movement on stage and also through Alan Yentob's BBC Documentary -'Cracked Actor' which was aired earlier that year. After Roeg met with Bowie in New York he felt he had found his alien and Bowie, who had been interested in acting since the sixtes and had had some minor film roles, accepted the part.
This film is wonderfully shot and is a visual joy especially in its wide screen format. From claustraphobic interiors to wide expanding landscapes and not least the images of the wonderfully pale and angullar Bowie, who later used some of the images as album covers. A superior and unobvious sci-fi film it deals with themes familiar to the work of Roeg(And to some extent Bowie)- alienation,paranioa,memory and wierd sex! The story line concerns the alien visitor, in human form, who has visited earth in search of resources to save his dying planet. This some-what naive and cold character recieves the affections of a lonely woman,the 'down home'Mary Lou.(Well played by Candy Clark). Who in one memorable scene carries Newton from an elevator, where he has collapsed vomiting, to his hotel bedroom. Once the alien begins to trust Mary Lou he begins to reveal his true identity which culminates in one shocking scene which was edited out when the film was first shown in the U.S.
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35 of 39 people found the following review helpful By A. MCGILL on 3 Aug 2002
Format: DVD
The Man Who Fell To Earth usually gets bracketed as rock movie, a sort of feature-length video in the vein of Prince's Purple Rain or David Byrne's True Stories. And to be fair, if Bowie had tried to fashion a cinematic accompaniment to his late-seventies oeuvre, it probably wouldn't have been that dissimilar to this movie: mysterious stranger, Thomas Newton, arrives on Earth and finds himself overwhelmed, disillusioned and alienated by late-twentieth century Western society. The lines get even more blurred when you realise that one of Bowie's supposedly more autobiographical albums, Station To Station, was in fact inspired by, and written as a potential soundtrack for, the movie. And as any fan knows, the images of Bowie on both the covers of that album and its successor, Low, are actually taken from the film. So who are we looking at/listening to? Bowie or his cinematic alter-ego?
The Man Who Fell To Earth gets a lot of mileage from this duality but the auteur of this work is Nic Roeg, and the film sees him continuing an ongoing examination of identity and perception that began when the thin white duke was still a one-hit-wonder milking his 15 minutes of fame by doing Stylophone ads. As with Performance, Walkabout and Don't Look Now, a trauma forces Roeg's protagonist to undergo a transformation - though the twist is that they're not aware of it. In Performance a reclusive rock star and a gangster on the run exchange roles; in Walkabout a schoolgirl reverts to nature and enters womanhood after her father's suicide; in Don't Look Now a grieving father finds his world becoming increasingly surreal, unaware that he has developed psychic powers as a result of his loss.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Lawyeraau HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 10 Nov 2002
Format: DVD
I first saw this film when it was released in the mid nineteen seventies. I recalled how much I had enjoyed it, when I saw that it was available in DVD. I wasted no time in adding it to my personal collection.
The film itself, though somewhat abstract, is terrific, as it is not just a science fiction film with a twist. It is a film that explores themes that are timeless: desolation, alienation (no pun intended), and loneliness. At times, these themes are palpable, due to David Bowie's wondrously androgynous performance which is heartbreakingly moving at times.
The plot is fairly simple. An alien, Davie Bowie, leaves his family on his dying and arid planet in search for water. He lands on earth and begins his project to send water to his devasted planet by amassing the wealth that he needs to do this. He patents numerous lucrative inventions which eventually find him at the head of a world wide conglomerate. He joins up with a kindly, though stupid and vapid woman who drinks gin like a fish, Candy Clark, with whom he begins a liaison of sorts. Yet, he is always lonely and melancholic, and like her, begins to spiral into an alcoholic haze, sometimes sidetracking him from his purpose here.
At some point, excruciatingly sad and lonely, longing for his family, he reveals himself to her for who he truly is, shedding his earthly appearance, only to be met with absolute horror and repugnance by her at the sight of him. She ultimately tries to understand him, but it is truly beyond her ken. He is infinitely sad at this and longs all the more for home.
On the threshhold of returning to his planet and loved ones, he is kidnapped by corporate raiders who take over his holdings, and it is here that the movie begins to disintergrate somewhat.
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