Crash-landing on Earth from his dying planet, an alien humanoid travelling by the name of Thomas Jerome Newton (a startling debut lead performance by David Bowie) is on a mission to take water back to his home.
Using advanced technology to patent many inventions on Earth, Newton – aided by leading patent attorney Oliver Farnsworth (Buck Henry, The Graduate) – acquires incredible wealth as the head of a technology-based conglomerate. He becomes prey to lust, alcohol, business rivals and the US Government in a bitingly caustic indictment of the modern world and a poignant commentary on the loneliness of the outsider.
David Bowie was originally due to record the soundtrack but Nicolas Roeg hired The Mamas & The Papas’ John Phillips instead. Rumour has it the tracks Bowie wrote for the film formed the basis of his albums Station to Station and Low, both using stills from The Man Who Fell to Earth as their covers.