‘The Man Who Fell To Earth’ cinematographer: ‘It was David Bowie’s defining role’

Digitally restored version of cult sci-fi classic is in UK cinemas now

Tony Richmond, the cinematographer behind David Bowie‘s cult 1976 movie The Man Who Fell To Earth, said it was the late singer’s “defining” film role.

A digitally restored version of the sci-fi film is currently being screened in UK cinemas as part of a 40th anniversary celebration.

Directed by Nicolas Roeg, the film stars Bowie as Thomas Jerome Newton, an alien who crash lands on Earth.


“It was so different, from both a style and directing point of view,” Richmond told The Hollywood Reporter. “And it was so different in the way Bowie played it. I can’t imagine any other actor in that role. It wasn’t just his defining role, but it was the role for him. He kind of glided through it like an alien, and with his face with that white, pasty skin, he was just absolutely perfect.”

The Man Who Fell To Earth (Nicfit Trailer) from Nicfits & Chill on Vimeo.

“It’s so wonderful to see it again,” he said of the new 4K version. “They did a fabulous job.”

Studiocanal are releasing the film on DVD and Blu-ray on October 24 with a special collector’s edition to follow. Before that the soundtrack will be re-released on September 23.

First available in 1976, the soundtrack features specially composed music by Japanese prog-rock musician Stomu Yamash’ta and John Philips, who was the main songwriter for ‘60s pop band The Mamas And The Papas.


However, the master tapes were lost, meaning that the soundtrack has been unavailable since its original release. The tapes were recently uncovered, meaning the soundtrack was able to be reissued.