50 Best Sci-Fi Movies of the 1970s

From cosmic head trips to adventures in galaxies far, far away

2. 'The Man Who Fell to Earth' (1976)

Bearing no traces of the tropes that helped tame the genre throughout the decade, Nicolas Roeg's adaptation of Walter Tevis's novel remains a breathlessly in-the-moment, sui generis creation. David Bowie is Thomas Jerome Newton, a scarlet-haired alien sent to earth to secure water for his own dehydrated planet. After he hustles a multimillion-dollar fortune out of high-tech patents, the beanpole androgyne becomes waylaid from his mission, mesmerized by serial distractions such as a comely elevator operator (Candy Clark) and the constant cacophony of American television, preferably viewed en masse. For Roeg, loneliness and ennui aren't just colors in a crayon box; they're harrowingly consequential states of mind and being. You're damn right the alien is you. EH

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