http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/roeg.htm
UK 1976

The Man Who Fell to Earth is a daring exploration of science fiction as an art form. The story of an alien on an elaborate rescue mission provides the launching pad for Nicolas Roeg’s visual tour de force, a formally adventurous examination of alienation in contemporary life. Rock legend David Bowie completely embodies the title role, while Candy Clark, Buck Henry, and Rip Torn turn in pitch-perfect supporting performances. The film’s hallucinatory vision was obscured in the American theatrical release, which deleted nearly twenty minutes of crucial scenes and details.

Posters

Theatrical Release: May 28th, 1976

Reviews    More Reviews    DVD Reviews

DVD Comparison:

 Criterion (2-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray vs. Anchor Bay (2-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC

Big thanks to Enrique C for the Anchor Bay screen caps!

1) Criterion (2-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray  - MIDDLE

3) Anchor Bay (2-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC  - RIGHT

 

DVD Box Cover

   

Distribution Criterion Collection Spine # 304 - Region 1 - NTSC Criterion Collection Spine # 304 - Region 'A' Blu-ray Anchor Bay (Special Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC
Runtime 2:18:55  2:19:14.301  2:18:35 
Video 2.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.96 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

Disc Size: 46,413,801,268 bytes

Feature Size: 37,802,821,632 bytes

Average Bitrate: 36.20 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC

2.30:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.27 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate: Criterion

Bitrate: Criterion Blu-ray

Bitrate: Anchor Bay

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0)  LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps / Dolby Surround
English (Dolby Digital 5.1 EX), English (DTS 6.1 ES), English (Dolby Digital 2.0) 
Subtitles English, None English, None None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 2.35:1

Edition Details:

• Exclusive audio commentary by Roeg and actors David Bowie and Buck Henry
• Performance, a compilation of new video interviews with actors Candy Clark and Rip Torn (24:51)
• Interview with screenwriter Paul Mayersberg (26:15)
• Audio interviews with costume designer May Routh and production designer Brian Eatwell
• Multiple stills galleries, including Routh’s costume sketches; behind-the-scenes photos; and production and publicity stills, introduced by set photographer David James
• Gallery of posters from Roeg’s films
• Trailers and television spots
• Plus: an exclusive reprint of Walter Tevis’s original novel (160 pages), courtesy of Vintage Books, and a 32-page booklet featuring a new essay on the film by critic Graham Fuller and an appreciation of Tevis by novelist Jack Matthews

DVD Release Date: September 27th, 2005

Thick Keep Case inside VHS-sized cardboard case (beside novel)
Chapters: 24

Release Information:
Studio: Criterion

Aspect Ratio:
2.35:1

Disc Size: 46,413,801,268 bytes

Feature Size: 37,802,821,632 bytes

Average Bitrate: 36.20 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC

Edition Details:

• Exclusive audio commentary by Roeg and actors David Bowie and Buck Henry
• Performance, a compilation of new video interviews with actors Candy Clark and Rip Torn (24:51)
• Interview with screenwriter Paul Mayersberg (26:15)
• Audio interviews with costume designer May Routh and production designer Brian Eatwell
• Multiple stills galleries, including Routh’s costume sketches; behind-the-scenes photos; and production and publicity stills, introduced by set photographer David James
• Gallery of posters from Roeg’s films
• Trailers and television spots 
 

Blu-ray  Release Date:  December 16th, 2008
Custom cardboard slipcase (with booklet)  
Chapters:
24 

Release Information:
Studio: Anchor Bay Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 2.30:1

Edition Details:

• Watching the Alien": an all-new 24-minute featurette

• 2 TV Spots
• Talent bios
• Poster and still gallery
• Original screenplay in DVD-ROM

DVD Release Date: February 11th, 2003

Dual Digipak that slips lengthwise into slim cardboard case
Chapters: 28

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.

 

ADDITION: Criterion Blu-ray - December 08': Utilizing the same high definition master as the standard DVD from 2005 this Blu-ray rendering, using MPEG-4 AVC, to 1080P gives dramatic improvement in both detail and colors. Skin tones lose their orange hue and everything is visually tighter and crisper. Large vista shots in the New Mexican desert still show some noise but overall the image shows vast superiority over its DVD counterpart. The larger the system this is viewed on the more noticeable the improvement. The feature takes up almost 38 Gig of space on this dual-layered Blu-ray disc with a whopping bitrate of 36 mp/s (the DVD had less than 7.0). For a 30-year old film there are some amazingly impressive visuals on this Blu-ray. For image quality I think this is well worth the upgrade from SD.

 

We go LPCM for the audio - still 2.0 channel - and it sounded very clean and consistent and I didn't notice any demonstrative superiority over the older DVD. the Anchor Bay boasts a 5.1 mix. Criterion still offer optional English subtitles.

 

Extras seem duplicated (see below description) keeping the interesting commentary but we do lose the 160-page Tevis novel and keep the 20-page liner notes booklet. In my viewing notes I didn't find any extras in high-definition but will look again later tonight.

 

For an upgrade - this is solely image-worthy but for a Roeg film of this magnitude - it becomes an essential for adopters of this new format - rising the film to new levels of hypnotic gentility. Recommended!

****



 

ADDITION: Anchor Bay - (SE) - October 05' - I can't really add to much more to simply viewing the screen captures in regards to image quality - the Criterion is far ahead in clarity, colors, contrast, framing etc. etc. . I also appreciate Criterion having removable subtitles - that are absent on the Anchor Bay. Which, at the time of its release, was considered quite a strong DVD production, but now in comparison it looks faded, yellow and inferior next to the stellar Criterion. Where the Anchor Bay does shine is in the audio - where a couple of strong re-mixes (5.1 + DTS) augment their Special Edition package that also includes the 2.0 track. Obviously we strongly suggest the Criterion, which may be the running for DVD of the Year!

********

Blasphemously not a Bowie fan, I admit to not particularly caring for this movie at all in my first viewing many years ago, but obviously someone at Criterion is keen (bordering on obsessive) about this particular film. Now, it has grown on me slightly in a subsequent viewing but I actually prefer the sci-fi novel by Walter Tevis (who also wrote "The Hustler"), which in an unusual surprise of DVD packaging is also included with the 2-disc DVD set! There are some other DVD editions of this film available previously, but they can't hold a candle to this Criterion offering... in any area. The Criterion image is perfect - I wouldn't relate a flaw to you even if I could find one as it would be so minute. The audio commentary is likewise top notch - fairly frank and detailed with Buck Henry's wry sense of humor folded in and historical recollections with Roeg's (sounding tired) impetus as the focus. The 2nd disc is extensively filled with extra features which I am still wading through. I immediately watched the Rip Torn-Candy Clark featurette called "Performance". It was fairly enjoyable and interesting.

In closing I can only state that anyone who is remotely keen on this film will be getting the DVD package of the year (decade?) as it is so extensive it is completeness. Some may consider this overkill and I'd be hard-pressed to argue with them. What's next to include as a supplement ? Model sets? Scripts? Action figures? - all kidding aside this is one amazing package from the greatest DVD production company in the world.

Gary W. Tooze

 


DVD Menus

 

(Criterion (2-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT vs. Anchor Bay (2-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC - RIGHT)


 

Disc 2

(Criterion (2-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT vs. Anchor Bay (2-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC - RIGHT)

 
 

 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Subtitle Sample

 

NOTE: No subtitles on the Anchor Bay and we can't yet obtain subs samples in Blu-ray captures

 

1) Criterion (2-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray  - BOTTOM

 

 


 

Screen Captures

 

1) Criterion (2-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray  - MIDDLE

3) Anchor Bay (2-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC  - BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) Criterion (2-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray  - MIDDLE

3) Anchor Bay (2-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC  - BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) Criterion (2-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray  - MIDDLE

3) Anchor Bay (2-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC  - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Criterion (2-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray  - MIDDLE

3) Anchor Bay (2-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC  - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Criterion (2-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray  - MIDDLE

3) Anchor Bay (2-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC  - BOTTOM

 

More Blu-ray Captures


DVD Box Cover

   

Distribution Criterion Collection Spine # 304 - Region 1 - NTSC Criterion Collection Spine # 304 - Region 'A' Blu-ray Anchor Bay (Special Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC

 

Report Card:

 

Image:

Criterion Blu-ray

Sound:

Anchor Bay has fake 5.1 bump / Criterion Blu-ray

Extras: Criterion/Criterion Blu-ray
Menu: -




 

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Mississauga, Ontario,

   CANADA

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