1984 / Director. John Carpenter.
Starman has a complex history in Hollywood. Released in 1984 the script had been hand-balled back and forth between studios for many years. Something like six directors had been attached to it before John Carpenter took the reigns and Steven Spielberg's Night Skies was famously abandoned by Colombia due to similarities with this film. Spielberg ultimately turned Night Skies into ET and broke box office records (suck that Colombia). Starman is essentially an adult orientated ET. Responding to Voyager II's invitation to visit Earth, a space entity crash lands in Wisconsin and clones the body of a recently diseased man. Finding himself stranded he has three days to make a rendezvous in Arizona. With the government in pursuit the star man races against time with the wife of the dead man. The strength of Starman is it's simplicity. It relies on drama, dialogue and character to tell its story and very little emphasis is given to special FX. Jeff Bridges is great as the alien attempting to master human behaviour and Karen Allen supports him nicely. Perhaps because of the subject and its era, there is a definite Spielbergian feel to the movie but John Carpenter turns a heavily handled project into a sincere and affirming tale recalling moments of The Day The Earth Stood Still with it's statement on humanity, or there lack of it. Starman is a movie I never took to when I was a kid but as an adult its appeal is great. A wonderful and understated science fiction drama from the 80s. Good stuff.