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MAN FROM EARTH, THE: DVD

SYNOPSIS:
After history Professor John Oldman (David Lee Smith) resigns unexpectedly from the University, his shocked colleagues impulsively invite themselves to his home to throw an impromptu goodbye party. Pressing him for an explanation they're stunned to learn that he is an immortal who has migrated through 140 centuries of evolution. John claims he cannot stay in one place for more than ten years without his secret being discovered. Tempers rise and emotions flow as John's fellow professors attempt to poke holes in his story, forcing these scientists and scholars to confront their own notions of history, religion and humanity, all leading to a final, shattering revelation.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Mistakenly classified as sci-fi - perhaps because it's written by sci-fi specialist Jerome Bixby of Star Trek, Twilight Zone, etc fame - The Man from Earth is really a unique blend of theology, biological fantasy and mind games. David Lee Smith plays John Oldman, just resigned after a ten year stint at a university, much to his colleague's surprise. Curious as to why he's leaving, they descend on his country cabin to farewell him - and are thrust into a story they can't believe. Nor disprove.

Is he really 14,000 years old? Was he really a caveman? Did he really meet Buddha? Was he really the man we now know as Jesus?

It's cleverly written, well researched, fascinating stuff, and of course it has to be wordy, but anyone interested in movies as a transporter of ideas and arguments about the nature of humanity, religion and history will find it riveting. Smith is wonderfully inscrutable as John, and the assembled professors deliver a hefty evening shot in real time - for maximum effect. It's as if we are party to the party (but bring your own Johnny Walker Green Label).

Published February 26, 2009



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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

MAN FROM EARTH, THE: DVD (PG)
(US, 2007)

CAST: David Lee Smith, Tony Todd, John Billingsley, Ellen Crawford, William Katt, Annika Peterson, Richard Riehle, Alexis Thorpe

PRODUCER: Richard Schenkman, Eric D. Wilkinson

DIRECTOR: Richard Schenkman

SCRIPT: Jerome Bixby

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Afshin Shahidi

EDITOR: Neil Grieve

MUSIC: Mark Hinton Stewart

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Priscilla Elliott

RUNNING TIME: 87 minutes

PRESENTATION: 16:9; DD 5.1

SPECIAL FEATURES: Audio commentary with Richard Schenkman & John Billingsley; audio commentary with Executive Producer Emerson Bixby and sci-fi scholar Gary Westfahl; behind the scenes featurette [closed captions]

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Anchor Bay

DVD RELEASE: January 1, 2009







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