Search - The Man Who Fell To Earth - Criterion Collection [Blu-ray] on Blu-ray

The Man Who Fell To Earth - Criterion Collection [Blu-ray]
The Man Who Fell To Earth - Criterion Collection
Actors: David Bowie, Rip Torn, Buck Henry, Candy Clark
Director: Nicholas Roeg
Genres: Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy
UR     2008     1hr 44min

The Man Who Fell to Earth is a daring exploration of science fiction as an art form. The story of an alien on an elaborate rescue mission provides the launching pad for Nicolas Roeg s visual tour de force, a formally adven...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: David Bowie, Rip Torn, Buck Henry, Candy Clark
Director: Nicholas Roeg
Genres: Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Sub-Genres: Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Studio: Criterion Collection
Format: Blu-ray - Color,Widescreen
DVD Release Date: 12/16/2008
Original Release Date: 01/01/1976
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1976
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 1hr 44min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 2
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 49
Edition: Criterion Collection
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

A great 70's Sci-Fi film from the 70's. Criterion really com
D. Stone | Sacramento, CA | 12/27/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"If you are a fan of The Criterion Collection movies, you will love their first wave of Blu-Ray titles. Once again, the quality is top notch. I have been purchasing Criterion Collection movies since laserdisk started. They are known for their " classic " titles, super clean transfers and in depth extras.

This great 70's movie directed by Nicolas Roeg is a cult classic. Filled with surreal images, this title stands the test of time in the Sci-Fi genre. If you like straight forward Sci-Fi movies like Star Wars, this may not be for you. This movie is more along the lines of 2001 A Space Odyssey.

First off, the picture quality is awesome. Super clean transfer with no artifacts or blemishes to speak of. This title has been taken well care of. It is very sharp and clean. The colors are super vivid with great landscape shots. The skintones are spot on without that waxey look. The blacks are nice and deep, the whites are super clean without blooming. Alway's in focus, with nice sharp backgrounds to give great depth. The closeups have very nice detail also. Though this film has that classic 70's look and feel, it looks very fresh. I would give this film a 4 1/2 stars out of 5 for picture quality. You simply cant ask for anything more from Criterion on this title which is over 30 years old. Although the special effects are dated, you will enjoy this movie which is not dominated by CGI.

Next...the audio is presented in 2.0 uncompressed stereo. Though the rear speakers do not get a ton of use. The sound is great. The voices are crisp and clean without any distractions of any kind. The subwoofer does not get much action either. But....this film is not Star Wars. Overall this title does the best it can with the source. Once again, awesome effort. A solid 4 to 4 1/2 stars on audio overall.

This title is presented in the 139 minute version. As it was intended.

Lots of extras on this disk: Audio commentary by Roeg, Bowie and Buck Henry. Interview with screenwriter Paul Mayersberg, video interviews with Rip Torn and Candy Clark, audio interviews, multiple galleries, costume sketches, behind the scenes photos, publicity stills, galleries of posters and lots of movie trailers. Plus a booklet with facts and photos.

Great movie...looking even better on Blu-Ray. This is a must have for the classic Sci-Fi lover. Great screenplay, great actors with very cool music to boot. Enjoy!"
Wonderful presentation, tremendously irritating content
Matthew T. Weflen | Chicago, IL | 03/29/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Criterion is known for choosing and presenting both classic and "challenging" art films from across the entire history of the medium. They continue their run with "The Man Who Fell To Earth."

First, let me get the good part out of the way - The Blu-Ray:

Criterion has presented the film in a director-approved transfer which very faithfully represents a 1970's film. It is not the sort of slick, whiz-bang HD material you may be accustomed to seeing from modern films. It's grainy. It's a bit soft in detail. But that is the way the film looked, the kind of film stock it used, etc. etc. If you let the transfer work on you, you'll notice the fine detail in things like cloth and facial lines. But the film is limited by its source materials and Criterion has thankfully left well enough alone. Instead of giving us a "DNR" slathered wax-dummy-festival, they let the film breathe. The same goes for the audio - presented in stereo, not a remastered surround sound track that didn't exist in theaters of the day.

Supplements are typically top-notch, as per usual for Criterion. Commentaries, trailers, documentaries, it's a tremendous grab bag of info for fans of this film.

Now for the bad news:

Why would you be a fan of this film? Ugh. It was terminally boring from start to finish. Now let me say - I am a fan of "challenging" material. I loved "2001," I enjoy the films of Todd Solondz, I don't think I am a mouth-breathing action junkie non-sophisticate. But this film is just a mess, especially its interminable, dragging, plodding final act.

Some of the performances are interesting, including Bowie's turn as the space man (for better Bowie, check out "The Prestige"). While Bowie's Tom Newton is easy to forgive if you find little to nothing resembling human motivation, the same can't be said for many of the other actors. About the only other bright spot is a nearly unrecognizable Rip Torn - but even that's a stretch.

I applaud experimentation. But it needs some sort of hook, something to maintain a viewer's interest - and this was lacking for me. At first, I thought I might find an interesting social commentary on 1970's America. Then, I thought I might be interested in Bowie's portrayal. But as minute after minute of nothing unspools on the screen, I just found myself checking the time remaining and hoping that something of interest would pop up. Have you ever seen an awful play written by a graduate fresh out of theater school? Have you ever watched a student film? This very ably elicits that feeling in a viewer. I don't think this is quite what director Nicholas Roeg was going for, though...

To be fair, Roeg is adept at quick-cut montages which create new, strange emotions in the viewer. Some of the sex-scene montages were interesting. However, his ham-handed handling of the special effects (such as they were) really tore me out of the scene. His inability (or unwillingness) to wring a human performance out of his actors is the gravest sin, though. To further compare it to 2001 - a movie with some wooden performances, to be sure - 2001 had spellbinding effects and one great character in HAL 9000 - enough to make up for its long, indulgent stretches and noodle-scratching logic. In its corner, "The Man Who Fell To Earth" has pasty naked Bowie.

That might be enough for some. But I found it dull, and I wish I had those 2 hours of my life back after having sat through it.


So let me say it as loudly and clearly as I can - RENT BEFORE YOU BUY! You may be a fan of this film. But you may not. It is, as best I can tell, an extremely divisive piece of work which is usually loved or hated. I don't know that I hated it, but I'm sure glad I didn't pay 25 big ones to own it (I rented it on Netflix).

Because I do think it is a vital service that Criterion is providing the public, by presenting challenging art-house fare to the public in faithful, comprehensive editions such as these, I give the whole thing 3 stars. But just as no normal person ought to like everything that's playing at a given theater, no one should assume that every Criterion release is worth the BD-ROM it's pressed upon. Caveat Emptor!
The man Who Fell To Earth {Blu-ray}
Ellen Crouch | Austin,TX USA | 05/21/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The Man Who Fell to Earth [... (DVD) ~ David Bowie

This movie is a must for any Bowie fan!! Uncut and in Blu-Ray is so fantasic. When I saw this back when released in the USA, it was so chopped up and edited !"
Good Movie, Great Example of HD
Robin C. Canfield | Cascadia | 03/28/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Don't be fooled by the horrible looking stock footage of something falling from the sky that starts the film. Immediately after that scene, the film takes off in breathtaking, stunning clarity. I didn't imagine that a film from 1976 could look so much better on Blu-ray, but it does.

The extras are done well too, but as much should be expected for a Criterion release."