the man who fell to earth

Every time I see this movie, I understand it less.

Are there any generally accepted meanings attributed to this film???

“Anything is peaceful from one thousand, three hundred and fifty-three feet.”

An alien from a water-poor planet comes to Earth. He uses his planet’s technology to develop inventions and sell them to buy water for his homeworld. Unfortunately, big business and the government want the inventions now, for free, so they kill his business partner, kidnap him, and perform experiments on him. The results are that his human disguise, which was once removable, becomes permanently attached to him.

That’s the plot line. If you want to know about subtext and so forth, we can discuss that too (e.g., Earth=hell, alien’s planet=Heaven, and so on).

Yes Guy, please provide any insights into “meanings” of the film’s plot and imagery.


It’s been a long time since I saw it, but hey, anything for a fellow SDer.

Obviously the central theme is one of a fall from grace. We see many images of falling (POV when Bowie’s craft lands, Buck Henry thrown out of the window, etc.) representing a descent into corruption. As Bowie spends more time on Earth, he not only becomes more human (finally being able to make love to a woman), but he becomes more debased (ending up an alcoholic).

Read the book, by Walter Tevis. It’s lots better than the movie. Hell, read anything by Walter Tevis.

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