The Man Who Fell to Earth is a 1976 British satirical psychological science fiction film directed by Nicolas Roeg and written by Paul Mayersberg, based on Walter Tevis’ 1963 novel of the same name, about an extraterrestrial who crash lands on Earth seeking a way to ship water to his planet, which is suffering from a severe drought.
The film maintains a strong cult following for its use of surreal imagery and the performance by David Bowie (in his first starring film role) as the alien Thomas Jerome Newton; the film also stars Candy Clark, Buck Henry, and Hollywood veteran Rip Torn. The same novel was later remade as a less successful 1987 television adaptation.
The film was produced by Michael Deeley and Barry Spikings, who reunited two years later to work on The Deer Hunter. Despite a mixed critical response upon release, the film is now considered an important work of science fiction cinema and one of the best films of Roeg’s career.