Starman ---BONUS Sci-Fi Double Bill ---
1984. Columbia Pictures, Columbia/Tristar Home Video, Color, Aspect Ratio 2.20 : 1, 115 minutes, Rated PG
Release Date: December 14, 1984
Starman is available at Amazon.com on DVD, Blue Ray, and VHS.
Movie Synopsis: A spaceship crash lands in rural Minnesota, the alien who was aboard transforms himself into the image of a young womans recently desceased husband, and they embark on a cross country trek to meet up with the Mothership that is coming to retrieve him from planet Earth. ~Jean
Cast: Jeff Bridges, Karen Allen, Charles Martin Smith, Richard Jaeckel
Director: John Carpenter
Thoughts on the Movie:
This is a film that is really close to my heart. I saw it at a time when I needed to see something like this: something sweet, something endearing, and something that had me wishing that maybe something like this could be true. (Eeek... thats five somethings, sorry about that.) Ive always been a Sci-Fi freak, but this movie took that whole genre to a new level, and it had a lot to do with Jeff Bridges remarkable performance as Starman. Why the hell he didnt win the Oscar for this is beyond me. He was robbed. Its beyond all doubt that no one else could have brought this alien to life in such a warm and memorable way.
This movie is just about perfect. Its the kind of thing you can see over and over and never get tired of it. I always find myself wanting to be Jenny Hayden, whos lucky enough to be driving across the country with a handsome space creature, who also happens to kind of be Mr. Perfect in comparison to the majority of the male species of planet Earth... but maybe thats just me. Yet I think that kind of reaction is an absolute requirement for a good, satisfying fantasy of any kind, and Starman surely fits that description. I dont know how guys feel about this movie. They probably think Starman is a chick flick. Good. Were happy to claim it. ~Jean
Meteor Crater, near Winslow, Arizona (see Map)
This is the location where Starman. met his mothership in order to return to his home planet/world. Many action scenes with helicopters were shot here, and the romantic and heartbreaking goodbye scenes with Starman and Jenny were depicted as taking place in the crater. Meteor Crater is located off I-40 at exit 233, 20 miles west of Winslow (35° 1 38 N, 111° 1 21 W).
Right: An aerial view of spectacular Meteor Crater, which is located in the Arizona desert, just miles from the town of Winslow.
Nearly 50,000 years ago, a relatively small meteorite collided with the Earth in the Arizona desert. Only seriously studied since 1891, Meteor Crater first attracted the attention of astronomers when Daniel Barringer, a local mine owner who happened to a have a degree in geology from Harvard, first suggested its extraterrestrial orgins. The crater is sometimes referred to as Barringer Crater and his family still owns the land on which the crater rests.
Walking down into the crater is forbidden, but there are viewing points behind the Visitors Center where you can look down on the floor of the crater, and a trail leading in both directions around the rim allows visitors to get a good look. The view is most impressive by walking away from the road and buildings and looking across the crater to the flat desert beyond. Do not underestimate the impact of visiting Meteor Crater. It is truly an unforgettable experience.
About Winslow, Arizona:
Winslow, Arizona (population 9,931, elevation 4,850 feet; 35° 1 43 N, 110° 42 3 W) is located in the east-central part of the state on I-40 (and old Route 66). In the early 1970s, the country-rock band, The Eagles, made Winslow world famous by mentioning it in their song Take It Easy. Standin On The Corner Park features murals depicting the famous Girl (my Lord) in a flatbed Ford. Winslow also has an annual Standin On The Corner street festival, traditionally held the last week of September.
Right: A cool, classic Mustang sits in front of a building in the town of Winslow, Arizona, the closest community to Meteor Crater.
The Painted Desert and the Petrified Forest are about 60 miles east of Winslow. The Little Painted Desert is located 18 miles north of Winslow. These are marvelous sites, offering some of the most beautiful and unusual scenery in Arizona... definitely worth the time for a trek in that direction. Allow a full afternoon if you plan to visit both.
Lodging & Dining:
La Posada Hotel. 303 E. 2nd Street (Route 66), Winslow, Arizona
La Posada Hotel, the last great railroad hotel, offers a unique cultural experience for Southwest travelers. Built in 1929 for the Santa Fe Railway, La Posada is truly one of Americas treasures. La Posadas story weaves together two extraordinary visions. It begins with Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter and Fred Harvey, who hired Colter to design the hotel. It embodied her vision, from its architecture down to its finely crafted details. But La Posada closed in 1957; for the next 40 years, its future remained tenuous. Enter Allan Affeldt and his wife, Tina Mion. Affeldt heard about the hotel and purchased it in 1997, after much negotiation, bringing with him a strong vision and commitment for returning La Posada to Colters original concept.
Jeff Bridges was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actor.
Jeff Bridges was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion PictureDrama.
Jeff Bridges won the Saturn Award for Best Actor.
Right: The stars of "Starman," Karen Allen and Jeff Bridges, pose for a publicity shot for the movie.
Producer Michael Douglas considered several directors, including Mark Rydell, Adrian Lyne, John Badham and Tony Scott, before settling on John Carpenter.
When Jeff Bridges walks outside the house naked and uses the marble to communicate with his fellow aliens, his hair seems to stand on end. This effect was actually created by shooting Bridges hanging upside-down and then matting the shot onto the background the right way up to give him a surreal look.
As of 2000, the building and sign for Bowdark's Bus Stop, that was used for the scene with the revival of the deer, was long abandoned, but still standing at an exit on I-24 between Chattanooga and Nashville, Tennessee.
Right: Through the magic of special effects, Starmans mothership appears to hover over Meteor Crater, which is located near Winslow, Arizona.
Character Quote: Red light stop, green light go, yellow light go very fast. ~Starman (Jeff Bridges)