Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

The Man Who Fell To Earth (1976, UK)

In Nicolas Roeg's impressionistic, hallucinatory, disjointed, non-literal sci-fi film and parable:

  • the scene of pale, ethereal humanoid alien visitor Thomas "Tommy" Jerome Newton's (rock star David Bowie in his feature film debut) arrival on Earth by splashing into a Southwestern lake in New Mexico
  • his first unsettling contact with society, but soon he acquired wealth as a tycoon, heading up a technological firm using advanced inventions from his home planet
  • "Tommy's" bored, crippling and addicted habit of watching a dozen televisions at once (and his screams of "Get out of my mind, all of you! Stay where you belong! Go away! Go back where you came from")
  • Thomas' memories/visions of his Anthean family suffering and dying on his drought-stricken home planet
  • the frequent and often unusual playful encounters between Tommy and Mary-Lou, including the scene in which he drunkenly threatened Mary-Lou with a pistol: ("I think you know, you know too much about me... I can do anything, now, you know? I can kill you right here on this bed. Then I could phone room service. And they'd - they'd take your body away, and then I'd have them send up another girl"); she begged for her life: ("Oh, Tommy. Tommy. I just want it to be like it was. Me, the two of us. You. You. The way you were"); however, he was fooling her - it was only a blank-firing fake gun
Threatening Mary-Lou With a Mock Pistol - and Love-Making
  • in an exploratory and explicit sex scene involving the mock pistol, Tommy dipped the gun's barrel into a glass of wine, licked it and drank from the glass, and then had a frenzied and loveless encounter with Mary-Lou
  • the startling revelation of his true Anthean form - androgynous, cat-eyed and hairless - to naive and lonely New Mexico hotel cleaning lady/girlfriend Mary-Lou (Candy Clark) who uncontrollably peed down her leg at the horrific sight of him; before long, she had taught him about many human ways, including sex
"Tommy's" True Planet Anthea Form
  • after a few decades passed, Newton eventually ended up corrupted and ravaged by alcohol and despairing depression - and unable to return to his doomed home; the final image was of a completely drained, eternally-trapped, broken, depressed and alone alcoholic Thomas - inebriated in a cafe chair (with his head bowed, and his hat facing the camera), with the film's final lines: ("I think maybe Mr. Newton has had enough, don't you?" "I think maybe he has")

Arrival of Humanoid Alien "Tommy" - Splash into Lake

A Bank of Televisions

Mary Lou: "You can come in Tommy, don't be embarrassed"


Mary-Lou Peeing in Shock

Last Image: Thomas Alone and Drunk in a Cafe Chair With Head Down


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