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The Man Who Fell to Earth

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United Kingdom · 1976
Rated R · 2h 18m
Director Nicolas Roeg
Starring David Bowie, Rip Torn, Candy Clark, Tony Mascia
Genre Drama, Science Fiction

An alien arrives on earth on a mission to bring water back to his dying planet. He receives unexpected help from a lawyer, develops an attraction to a hotel clerk, and is intercepted by the US government — threatening his planet and his species' chances for survival.

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CineVue by Daniel Green

The choice of casting Bowie as Newton is inspired - the androgynous star perfectly suiting the role of the space visitor. Bowie - in his first silver-screen appearance - excels, creating a perfectly suited sense of tragedy and melancholic ambiguity.


Time Out by Joshua Rothkopf

It may be time to stop calling Nicolas Roeg's sexed-up sci-fi film that vaguely demeaning term - a cult classic - and start addressing it as what it is: the most intellectually provocative genre film of the 1970s.


Portland Oregonian by Marc Mohan

There's an inherent contradiction at the film's core: this sexually explicit motion picture, seemingly made by and for altered consciousnesses, is all about how an innocent newcomer falls prey to gin, sex, and television.


Chicago Sun-Times by Roger Ebert

Bowie, slender, elegant, remote, evokes this alien so successfully that one could say, without irony, this was a role he was born to play.


Philadelphia Inquirer by Steven Rea

It's not just the grainy stock and bad sound - technically, we've come a long way. It's the cheesy sex, the awkward edits, the hammy symbolism, the mix of art-house aesthetics and exploitation cliché. Strange creature, this is.

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