Friday, March 16 - Saturday, March 17, 2012
35mm print “The starman of the title is a ball of glowing light. He, or it, has traveled to Earth in response to the invitation from Voyager, but of course the Air Force treats the spacecraft as a possible invader and shoots missiles at it. Knocked off course, the starman lands in rural Wisconsin, where it becomes the identical clone of a dead house painter. The painter’s widow (Karen Allen) is stunned when she sees this creature from beyond the grave. It is even more difficult when she realizes this is not her husband, but something infinitely different that just happens to look exactly like her husband. The visitor is very smart, but has a lot to learn, and at first it controls its human host body with a lot of awkward lurching. Meanwhile, government officials led by Richard Jaeckel are seeking the extraterrestrial for “security” reasons, and scientist Charles Martin Smith hopes to get there first and record the historic moment of man’s first meeting with a race from another world.
“All of this seems like a setup for a science-fiction movie, but what’s interesting is the way the director, John Carpenter, makes a U-turn and treats STARMAN as a road movie. The visitor (played by Jeff Bridges) forces Allen to start driving in the direction of the Great Meteor Crater, where he has a rendezvous with his ride home. And as the two characters spend time together as refugees from the search parties, they begin to communicate, and the woman’s initial hostility turns into respect and finally into love. This is a wonderfully sweet process, especially as Allen and Bridges go about it.
“STARMAN contains the potential to be a very silly movie, but the two actors have so much sympathy for their characters that the movie, advertised as space fiction, turns into one of 1984’s more touching love stories.” – Roger Ebert
- Country USA
- Rating PG
- Year 1984
- Running Time 115 minutes
- Director John Carpenter
IFC Center does not generally provide advisories about subject matter or potentially triggering content in films, as sensitivities vary from person to person. In addition to the synopses, trailers and other links on our website, further information about content and age-appropriateness for specific films can be found on Common Sense Media, IMDb and DoesTheDogDie.com as well as through general internet searches.