If you enjoy intelligent science-fiction movies, you might want to check out The Man From Earth (2007) on DVD/Blu Ray. I did not hear of the movie when it came out in 2007, so I’m guessing a lot of other people missed it too. All you probably need to know is that Jerome Bixby, whose writings were used for episodes in the original The Twilight Zone and Star Trek series, is the screenwriter for The Man from Earth. If you liked The Twilight Zone, you’ll most likely enjoy this thought-provoking movie that in many ways plays like an extended version of one of those shows.
The movie begins with friends visiting a college professor (played by David Lee Smith) at his home in the country as he plans to move out-of-town. As they sit in his home among the last boxes, they begin to inquire more into his background and why he is leaving. It is not too much of a spoiler to tell you that he reveals that he has lived for centuries and has to move on before people realize he does not age. The friends — who are experts in areas such as biology, anthropology, psychology, and religion — question his claims. What follows is a fascinating meditation on life, morality, and time. Is he playing a joke, telling the truth, or is he mentally ill?
The movie is not perfect, so I suggest you go into it with modest expectations. And if you prefer your sci-fi with high-octane action and special effects, you might want to skip this movie that has no special effects and limited action. But if you like thought-provoking movies, you’ll probably enjoy watching this one on a rainy autumn day. If it sounds interesting, I suggest you rent it immediately without learning more or even watching the trailer, which doesn’t capture the movie very well. You can’t make conversation look fun in a minute. If you want to see the trailer, though, it is here. If you subscribe to Netflix, the movie is available for instant streaming.
One final tidbit: Bixby thought up the idea for The Man From Earth in the 1960’s when he was doing his television work, and he completed the story on his death bed in 1998. The story was circulated through the Internet and gained enough attention that it was eventually made into a movie. I need to go call the Internet and thank them.
Missed Movies is our series on very good movies that many people did not see when first released.
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