THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH Limited Collector’s Edition Blu-ray Review

man who fell to earth=bluray review-2017-01

[wp-review id=”71583″]

Thomas Jerome Newton is a pale, thin man with orange hair and multi-colored eyes.  He comes off as incredibly intelligent but, as it turns out, he isn’t human.  He’s from another planet, on a mission to bring water back to his home world that is dying from a drought.  To make this happen, he hires Farnsworth, a patent lawyer, to take some cutting edge inventions that he has come up with to build a company and get the resources home. Meanwhile, a professor named Dr. Nathan Bryce has some sort of connection to Newton and becomes very interested in who the man is. He is offered a position to work for Newton but Bryce doesn’t trust something about him.

THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH is directed by Nicolas Roeg and based on the book of the same name by Walter Tevis.  Roeg also directed the 1990 children’s classic THE WITCHES that is also a very imaginative film.  In the lead role as Thomas Newton is the late, great David Bowie.  This was his debut into dramatic acting and you get to see a man who loves playing characters for all of his musical releases do it for a sci-fi film. If you were to put Bowie on a timeline, you can see the evolution of his characters he used for each release.

This film has become a cult classic amongst both Bowie and sci-fi fans some small musical history tidbits peppered throughout all aspects of the production.  For example, there are several albums that feature stills from the film such as “Station to Station”; “Low”; and the B-side single: “John, I’m only Dancing”.  There are more out there but these are the ones that come to mind.  

As for the film, I love it.  I’ll be the first person to say that it’s awesome and incredibly weird.  When viewing, the film tends to mesmerize with the hyper-stylized imagery that does take a little time to get a hold of what you’re watching.  This is an unconventional sci-fi flick but they have some common elements that you might see like aliens, distant planets, sci-fi sound effects, and non-existent technology.  

David Bowie -Thomas Jerome Newton
Rip Torn -Dr. Nathan Bryce
Candy Clark -Mary-Lou
Buck Henry -Oliver V. Farnsworth
Bernie Casey -Mr. Peters
Tony Mascia -Arthur
Rick Riccardo -Trevor
Adrienne Larussa -Helen

man who fell to earth=bluray review-2017-06


The video is a 1080p AVC transfer and, in my opinion, is a lateral move from the 2008 Criterion version.  This release has been restored from the original negatives and scanned in 4k by Deluxe London.  The restoration was approved by Anthony Richmond and director Nic Roeg.  

This transfer from Lionsgate does look different but I wouldn’t use the words better.  Some of the most notable differences are in the stronger contrast in this release.  There are a lot of colorful images and they look exquisite.  The base colors such as the blues & yellows are bold.  As I mentioned in the description, Bowie’s character has bright orange hair that contrasts against his pale skin.  The skin tones are warm and natural but, in all actuality, the film as a whole is on the warmer side.  

The details look excellent and you see a lot of facial lines, clothing materials and other elements.  There are a few times where the images dabble on the softer side as well.  It doesn’t look bad or take anything away but it almost looks like the pictures goes blurry.  There is a fine grain that keeps this film looking its age and keeps the viewer remembering that this is an older film.  As for the blacks, they’re inky and deep for the most part but there are a few times where the images had to sacrifice darkness for details.  I think that the transfer on this release is a success and you can see the work that was put into it.


The audio is a DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 mix that has an excellent sound.  I don’t feel like the movie would benefit from a reworked surround mix so keeping the HD equivalent to the original sound mix that it was released with in theaters was a smart move.  The voices come through clearly and have been reproduced well.  The same can be said of the sound effects.  As for the score, it is robust enough to be nicely layered over the other elements in the mix.

man who fell to earth=bluray review-2017-15


-The Lost Soundtracks of The Man Who Fell to Earth:  This featurette examines both the original idea of the score and what actually made it into the film.   Its very interesting and worth checking out.

-David Bowie Interview for 1977 French TV: This is just Bowie having fun doing an interview after trying his hand at movies.  I really enjoyed watching him be a star.

Candy Clark
Paul Mayersberg
Tony Richmond
Nic Roeg
May Rout
David James
Sam Taylor- Johnson
Michael Deeley


Included with this release is the standard Blu-ray with 1 Blu-ray and 2 DVDs, a slipcase, 4 still images on card stock, a fold-out poster, and a collectible booklet that goes over a lot of information about the film’s production. This is an excellent collection of items to round off this superb release.

Disc Details
3-disc set w/ 1 Blu-ray and 2 DVDs
Digital copy

Running Time
139 mins

Edition Ratings
Rated R

Region Coding
Region A

Video Resolution
1080p AVC MPEG-4
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Audio Mixes
English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 (48kHz, 24-bit)

English SDH

man who fell to earth=bluray review-2017-20


Lionsgate has released something very special for THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH with not only a well-authored disc but also some nice extras included to round things off.  The audio and video are excellent with a stellar set of bonus features.  To put things in perspective, this release is only a few weeks after what would’ve been Bowie’s 70th birthday.  With all of this info in mind, this is easily worth your time to check out a piece of cinematic history, especially with David Bowie in the lead.  

Order THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH on Blu-ray from Amazon

About the author

MEDIA JOURNALIST | Michael is a fanatic about all both cinema old and new. He collects anything from 1:6 Scale, 1:12 Scale, and vinyl Collectibles plus Slipcovers and Steelbooks. He loves pop culture, writing, reviewing films & collectibles, and journalism. An avid Batman, The Joker and anything comics junkie, he will also chat it up about pretty much anything. Go ahead and ask...