On a cold night in a remote cabin, Professor John Oldman (David Lee Smith of CSI: MIAMI) gathers his most trusted colleagues for an extraordinary announcement: He is an immortal who has migrated through 140 centuries of evolution and must now move on. Is Oldman truly Cro-Magnon or simply insane? Now one man will force these scientists and scholars to confront their own notions of history, religion and humanity, all leading to a final revelation that may shatter their world forever.
John Billingsley (STAR TREK: ENTERPRISE), William Katt (THE GREATEST AMERICAN HERO), Ellen Crawford (ER) and Tony Todd (CANDYMAN) co-star in this provocative final work by Jerome Bixby, renowned as one of the greatest science-fiction authors of all time.
Based on renowned sci-fi author Jerome Bixby's final 1998 manuscript, Man From Earth
is the long-awaited film adaptation in which Professor John Oldman (David Lee Smith) attempts to convince his fellow faculty members that he is 14,000 years old. Shot almost entirely inside Oldman's cabin as he's about to leave his friends and career, the film's dialogue consists of philosophical chatting about the possibility and ramifications of his alleged birth during the Upper Paleolithic era. As his faculty peers are all anthropology, biology, religion, and philosophy scholars, the conversation levels remain high throughout. Oldman's friend Harry (John Billingsley) is well versed in multiple religions as well as in science, while Gruber (Richard Riehle) is invited to the house mid-story to evaluate Oldman's psychological state. Edith (Ellen Crawford) is the Christian voice, considering the religious repercussions of Oldman's assertion. All the while, Oldman's love interest, Sandy (Annika Peterson), remains quietly contemplative and most capable of believing that he doesn't visually age and has seen epochs and historical eras come and go. Humorous scenes, such as when his friends discover a Van Gogh painting wedged into the back of his pick-up truck, keep the story flowing, though eventually heavy-handed conceptualism does make the film sluggish. Similar to some great episodes of The Twilight Zone
, Man From Earth
does pose enough grand questions about life and death that urge viewers to wonder if such a man could plausibly exist, and if so, what his fate would be. Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of this story is its fusion of spirituality and science by providing viewers a scenario in which proof is impossible, in a world where high value is placed on concrete evidence. Trinie Dalton