The Man From Earth is an extraordinary science-fiction film. Though it might be a disappointing disaster for regular science-fiction fans who love to see a lot of action, I loved it. It doesn’t have any parallel-universes, aliens or space shuttles flying around; but it has a marvelous script. It was the last work of screenwriter Jerome Bixby and what a great work indeed! His swan song is the most unusually original idea for a science fiction I have ever seen!
It must be a very low-budget film-shot almost entirely within a single room. No mazes, no big guns, no special effects and yet such an engrossing film. It reminds me of one of the greatest courtroom-drama ever, the 1957 film, Twelve Angry Men. That movie had brilliant dialogues and acting; similarly this movie has amazing pace, intrigue and grip. It flows smoothly and never gets boring.
This film has elements of history, religion, science and mystery presented before audience in an uncanny manner. I truly enjoyed watching this movie and since I wanted to keep this short note unspoiled I would not go into the details of script discussing elements which touched me the most.
In a way, this film is one of the most no-nonsense science fiction films I have ever seen. Amazing, entertaining, simple and brilliant–a must watch for all mystery and sci-fi buffs.
Bill Thompson in his review has pointed out the weaknesses like poor acting by most of the actors and lack of a powerfully synchronized sound track. Still he finds the movie interesting.
In a way Jerome Bixby’s swan song would become a classic like Heath Ledger’s performance in The Dark Knight; I don’t know if it happens frequently but somehow it’s so magical that others living and kicking cannot go around repeating it.