Director: Nicolas Roeg. UK, 1976. 139 mins.
Nic Roeg’s sci-fi classic starring David Bowie, Rip Torn and Candy Clark in an adaptation of Walter Tevis’ novel about an alien who comes to Earth seeking a solution to his home planet’s woes, only to find himself lost in an unfamiliar, corrupt and sometimes hostile society.
Based on a novel by Walter Tevis, The Man Who Fell to Earth achieved cult film status for David Bowie’s performance as Thomas Jerome Newton, aka “Mr. Sussex”. In this deeply allegorical science-fiction drama, Newton is an alien from a planet that is dying from a lack of water, who has been sent to earth to find a way to ship some of the earth’s plentiful supply to his home planet. He arrives with a human-looking disguise, his knowledge of unusual technologies, his despair, and little else. Using his knowledge, he takes out patents on “his” inventions and becomes a financial/industrial tycoon. But instead of pressing forward with plans to save his home planet, he becomes enamored of the decadence which accompanies vast wealth and of his strange, passive relationship with his elevator-operator girlfriend, Mary Lou (Candy Clark). As gin and despair slowly cripple him, he becomes consumed by memories of life on his doomed planet.
We are delighted to be joined after the screening by director Nic Roeg, considered one of the UK’ s leading visionary filmmakers, known for classic films such as Performance (1970) and Don’t Look Now (1973).
Director – Nicolas Roeg
Writer – Paul Mayersberg
Director of Photography – Anthony B. Richmond
Producer – Michael Deeley, Barry Spikings
Cast – David Bowie, Rip Torn, Candy Clark
Print Source – Independent Cinema Office
Release date – 18 March, 1976