The Man from Earth

Watch The Man from Earth

"From one of the acclaimed writers of Star Trek and The Twilight Zone comes a story that transcends both time and space..."
  • NR
  • 2007
  • 1 hr 29 min
  • 7.8  (198,194)

In late 2007, a small independent film called The Man from Earth was released to limited theaters and quickly garnered critical acclaim. Written by Jerome Bixby, the screenwriter who penned the celebrated "Mirror, Mirror" episode of Star Trek, and directed by Richard Schenkman, the film is a science fiction drama that centers around a mysterious man named John Oldman, played by David Lee Smith.

When the movie begins, Oldman is a college professor in the process of leaving his job and moving away. His friends and colleagues throw him a going-away party, where they begin to press him about his past, noting that there is little information about him available. After some initial reluctance, Oldman begins to share a story that he claims is true: that he is actually an immortal being who has been alive since prehistoric times.

Over the course of the film, Oldman's colleagues pry and question him, trying to uncover the truth behind his incredible story. They bring up holes in his story and challenge him on scientific and historical grounds, but Oldman remains steadfast in his claims. The movie is largely dialogue-driven, with Oldman's story unfolding slowly and deliberately over the course of the evening.

The cast of the film is made up largely of recognizable character actors in small roles. Tony Todd, best known for his roles in horror films like Candyman and Final Destination, plays Dan, a religious studies professor who is particularly skeptical of Oldman's story. John Billingsley, who played Dr. Phlox on Star Trek: Enterprise, plays Harry, a biologist who provides some scientific grounding for the discussions.

Despite its low budget and limited release, The Man from Earth was widely praised for its smart script and engaging performances. Many critics noted that the film was reminiscent of classic science fiction novels like Stranger in a Strange Land or The Time Machine, as it explored big philosophical questions about mortality and human connection.

One of the reasons the film works so well is that it subverts the typical tropes of science fiction by removing any special effects or high-concept gadgets. Instead, it focuses on the characters and their reactions to this incredible idea that one of their colleagues might be thousands of years old.

Another strength of the film is the way it balances being a character-driven drama with its more fantastical elements. Oldman's story is certainly far-fetched, but the movie avoids feeling like a silly B-movie through its grounded performances and earnest conversations.

Despite its cult status and reputation as a sleeper hit, The Man from Earth didn't receive much mainstream attention upon its release. The filmmakers have said that the film was passed over by major studios because of its lack of marketability - it didn't fit neatly into any established genre or franchise. However, the movie found a devoted following through DVD sales and word-of-mouth recommendations.

In 2018, a sequel called The Man from Earth: Holocene was released, featuring a new cast of characters and a new story. However, the film received mixed reviews, with some fans of the original feeling that it didn't live up to the strong dialogue and performances of the first movie.

Overall, The Man from Earth is a unique and thought-provoking film, one that challenges its audience to consider what it would mean to be immortal and to truly grapple with the passage of time. Through its small cast of characters and clever script, it creates a world that is both fantastical and thoroughly human, and should be remembered in the annals of science fiction as a standout of the genre.

The Man from Earth is a 2007 science fiction movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 29 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.8.

The Man from Earth
Where to Watch The Man from Earth
The Man from Earth is available to watch free on Plex, Tubi TV, Vudu Free and Kanopy. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime, FuboTV, The Roku Channel, Fandor, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent The Man from Earth for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 29 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.8  (198,194)