Starman Cast: 1984 American Science Fiction Romance Film Production, Music, Ratings!

Starman Cast: Starman is a 1984 American science fiction romance film directed by John Carpenter about a non-corporeal alien that comes to Earth and clones a human body (played by Jeff Bridges). In answer to an invitation found on the Voyager 2 space probe‘s gold phonograph record.

Bruce A. Evans and Raynold Gideon wrote the original screenplay, with Dean Riesner contributing uncredited rewrites. The picture earned favourable reviews but had a shaky start at the box office. In 1986, it was adapted into a short-lived television series of the same name. Bridges were nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor for his role.

Starman Cast

Starman Cast

  • Scott Hayden is Star Man Jeff Bridges
  • Jenny Hayden is played by Karen Allen.
  • Mark Shermin is played by Charles Martin Smith.
  • Richard Jaeckel in the role of George Fox
  • Major Bell is played by Robert Phalen.
  • Sergeant Lemon is played by Tony Edwards.
  • John Brad Heinmuller is played by Walter Davis.
  • Ted White in the role of Deer Hunter
  • As Cop #1, Dirk Blocker
  • Cop #2 is M. C. Gainey
  • Cook George Buck Flower (as Buck Flower)
  • Lu Leonard as a Roadhouse Waitress Ralph Cosham as a Marine Lieutenant
  • Mickey Jones in the role of a truck driver
  • Assisting Fox is David Wells.

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Jeff Bridges studied ornithology and bird behaviour to prepare for his part as an extraterrestrial in human form in this film. For his Starman character, Bridges employed birds' abrupt jerky head movements, among other details and mannerisms. Bridges reasoned that the extraterrestrial would lack human traits. As a result of being encased in a human body, would act following primordial animal instincts.

Starman Production

Starman Cast

Columbia spent five years developing Starman. The studio purchased the original script by Bruce A. Evans and Raynold Gideon at the suggestion of executive producer Michael Douglas, just before optioning Steven Spielberg's Night Skies. After director Mark Rydell departed the project owing to aesthetic differences with Douglas.

The screenwriter Dean Riesner joined the project in late 1981. Riesner worked on seven rewrites of Starman with six different directors, but he didn't get screen credit because “the Writers Guild, in their infinite wisdom, concluded I didn't contribute 50% of the screenplay,” according to him.

Edward Zwick and Diane Thomas are two other uncredited writers who collaborated on the script. Night Skies, which had a narrative similar to Starman, was shelved by Columbia. Because the former had a more Disney-like movie aimed at children, whilst Starman was aimed at a more mature audience.

Night Skies was renamed E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, which went on to become the highest-grossing film of its time, prompting Riesner to say, “Goes to show how wrong you can be in this industry.”Producers at Columbia, according to Riesner, were concerned about the initial box office returns for E.T.

Believing that Starman (on which Riesner was working on his second rewrite at the time) was too similar. Adrian Lyne worked on the project for a short time before leaving to direct Flashdance for Paramount. He was replaced by John Badham, who immediately went on to direct WarGames after seeing E.T. and agreeing that the two projects were too similar.

Riesner was tasked with keeping Starman substantially the same while yet distinguishing it from E.T.  He would collaborate with three other directors: Tony Scott, Peter Hyams, and finally John Carpenter.

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Carpenter intended to highlight the cross-country friendship that develops between the two characters, a la The Defiant Ones and The 39 Steps. In order to shed his reputation as a producer of exploitative thrillers. It Happened One Night over special effects, whereas Scott was more interested in style than narrative drive.

He wanted to cast Philip Anglim, and Hyams pushed for a more conventional science fiction approach. To comply with this, Riesner removed the “strong political overtones” from the script.  Monument Valley, Utah was used for some of the filmings.

Starman Awards and Nominations

Starman Cast

Starman is the only John Carpenter picture to get an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor, with Jeff Bridges nominated for the award. Bridges were also nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Drama and won the Saturn Award for Best Actor.

Karen Allen was also nominated for the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Films for Best Actress. The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Science Fiction Film. For his score, Jack Nitzsche was nominated for a Golden Globe.

The following lists do not include the film, which was nominated for:

  • AFI's 100 Years…100 Passions was nominated in 2002
  • AFI's Top 10 Science Fiction Films Nominated in 2008

Starman Music

On December 14, 1984, the Starman soundtrack was released. Stars Jeff Bridges and Karen Allen deliver a rendition of “All I Have to Do Is Dream” on the CD. Jack Nitzsche created all of the music (except “All I Have to Do Is Dream,” written by Felice and Boudleaux Bryant).

Starman Reviews and Ratings

Starman debuted at number 6 with a weekend gross of $2,872,022. It came out the same week as David Lynch's Dune and a week after Peter Hyams' 2010: The Year We Make Contact. The film's domestic (the US and Canada) box office took in a total of $28,744,356 dollars.

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“What initially begins as sci-fi transforms into a surprisingly sweet, offbeat drama, courtesy of John Carpenter's careful direction,” according to review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, with the consensus reading: “What initially begins as sci-fi transforms into a surprisingly sweet, offbeat drama, courtesy of John Carpenter's careful direction.”

Metacritic has given the picture a 71 per cent rating based on seven reviews.

Conclusion

Starman had the potential to be a pretty ridiculous movie,” Roger Ebert observed, “but the two performers have so much sympathy for their characters that the film Starman Cast, marketed as space fiction, evolves into one of 1984's more moving love stories.”

“If Starman doesn't make a huge difference in Jeff Bridges' career, Mr. Bridges is operating in the wrong galaxy,” Janet Maslin said in a glowing review, complimenting the film, its performers, and its director.

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