Featuring a startling and era defining lead performance from David Bowie (The Prestige, Labyrinth) in his debut feature role and based on the cult novel by Walter Tevis, Nic Roeg’s The Man Who Fell to Earth endures as not only a bitingly caustic indictment of the modern world but also a poignant commentary on the loneliness of the outsider.
Thomas Jerome Newton (David Bowie) is a humanoid alien who comes to Earth from a distant planet on a mission to take water back to his home planet in the midst of a catastrophic drought. Using the advanced technology of his home planet to patent many inventions on Earth, Newton, aided by leading patent attorney Oliver Farnsworth (Buck Henry, The Graduate, Get Smart), acquires incredible wealth as the head of a technology-based conglomerate that he intends to use to finance the construction of a space vehicle to ship water back to his planet. Newton embarks on a relationship with hotel maid Mary-Lou (Candy Clark, American Graffiti, Zodiac) and makes progress with the construction of his vehicle but soon finds his true identity at risk via his roguish colleague and confidant Dr. Nathan Bryce (Rip Torn, Men in Black, Marie Antoinette) who threatens not only his relationship with Mary-Lou, but his freedom and chances of making it home to the family he yearns for.
Director Nicolas Roeg began his career in film as a camera operator before progressing to the role of cinematographer on films including Roger Corman’s The Masque of the Red Death, François Truffaut’s Fahrenheit 451 and John Schlesinger’s Far From the Madding Crowd. Having moved to directing with 1970’s Performance, Roeg went on to helm an extraordinary run of films over the next decade that included Walkabout, Don’t Look Now and The Man Who Fell to Earth. Nicolas Roeg enjoyed a long and highly acclaimed career, inspiring many of today’s filmmakers from Danny Boyle to Ben Wheatley and picking up numerous awards and accolades including a BFI Fellowship in 1994. He died in 2018.
Based On The Cult Novel By Walter Tevis
Restored by Deluxe London, the restoration of The Man Who Fell to Earth is based on a 4K scan of the original camera negative, followed by a full 4K workflow, with the approval of cinematographer Anthony Richmond.