The Man from Earth-Jerome Bixby

My son handed me a movie that he thought I would like. The Man from Earth, screenplay by Jerome Bixby. It was Bixby’s last work before he died, completed in 1998. It’s about a man who lives for 14000 years, from caveman to present, an immortal.

My son breifly described the movie and I said “Oh I read the short story it’s based on when I was young.” But after searching a little it doesn’t seem to be based on a previous Bixby story. Odd.

I remember reading a short story in an Sci-Fi anthology about a neanderthal man who lived to the modern age. It would have been written pre-70’s I think. I thought it was called “The Old Man” but I could be wrong.

Is there a Bixby story from his early days that this is based on? If not, what story am I thinking of?

I haven’t watched the movie yet but spoil away, I know what is about. I’ll watch it tommorrow or maybe tonight after the wife is in bed, not her cup of tea.

But I can’t place the short story I am thinking of. Ideas?

We had some discussions about this:
I don’t know of a story this is based on, but it does have similarity to his Star Trek (TOS) episode “Requiem for Methuselah” (as the title would suggest).

In fact, the theme of the Long Lived Guy in SF is a pretty popular one. Fredric Brown, Poul Anderson, and L. Sprague de Camp, to my knowledge, have tackled it as well, and there are certainly others.
It’s a no effects, dialogue-driven SF movie. Thought provoking, and worth watching. Some folks will probably find it too talky.

Thank you Cal. I think that the story I was refering to must not be what Bixby was working with for this movie. I expected it to be based on one of his earlier works.

It was more along the lines of if you are going to live forever, you had better stay out of the spotlight. So it is highly unlikely that a long lived person would ever have been someone historically famous. Cause that is a good way to get killed.

I willl find the story eventually. Thanks.

Ok, I watched the movie. That wasn’t the story I was thinking of. The short story would be about an old and scarred man. A neandertal and his stories of the past to now. Must not have been Bixby.

That sounds like the Poul Anderson and the L. Sprague de Camp stories.

The name came to me today. I was thinking of “Old Man Mulligan” by P. Schuyler Miller.

It’s definitely by Jerome Bixby. Wikipedia explains:

Wonderful movie, I saw it on its release.

Had you not mentioned this, I would assume it was L. Sprague de Camp’s The Gnarly Man. It is, like you said, about a Neanderthal who has survived to modern ages (albeit with a broken leg he won’t let anyone work on, for fear of dissection).

You know, now I’m not quite sure. It may be The Gnarly Man I was thinking of. In any case I need to order up some anthologies of old Sci-fi and find out. I had quite a collection that was lost in a divorce.

This is one of thopse I referred to above, where I mentioned de Camp
s work. But Poul Anderson’s (I don’t recall the title) was about a Neanderthal who survived to the present day as well. DeCamp comments on the similarity in his collection The Best of L. Sprague de Camp.

Not to mention Mel Brooks :smiley:

Thank you again. I shall get me some de Camp too.