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Could not generate embed. Please try it again. To Top. Should Foley return the child to civilisation, or should he continue on his journey back home to die?

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Before the movie is over, Shawn will discover how to snare rabbits, tickle trout, climb mountains and escape wild dogs. Foley dies, and it's left to Schroder to bury him, and to begin his life afresh, having survived this rite of passage. He has learned much from his mentor about what it is to survive and develop self-reliance … while he has taught his mentor something about the human capacity for love And so Shawn can start his walk back to civilisation, armed with the tools, thanks to Foley, that will help him survive the journey But copyright in the picture was retained by the Australian distribution company involved in its production, and in that sense it was an Australian film.

Production company : copyrighted to Filmways Pictures Inc. An Earthling Associates Film.

THE EARTHLING

Presented by Samuel Z. It's likely that the budget was exaggerated a little for press reports, in the usual American way, so as not to undersell the expense of the project to potential buyers. Filmed: September-October Estimates of the schedule were as flexible as estimates of the budget, and ranged from 8 to 12 weeks. Running time: 97 mins Murray's Australian Film - a footnote suggests the film was later recut and lengthened to mins , 99 mins Cinema Papers. Orion home video version : 1'36"53 including Filmways animated logo but excluding other presentation logos.

The film was given a relatively wide release in the United States, but to mixed reviews, and largely disappeared without much trace. It would later find a natural home in the US in the s on cable TV. The film was completely overlooked in the Australian Film Institute awards, but such was the local hostility to the film - as an American invader of the domestic industry - that perhaps Filmways decided not to enter it.

The film did get a few nominations in minor awards, as for example the Third Annual Youth in Film awards, It has also been released on a variety of DVD rips which treat the film as public domain. The quality depends on the original source tape material, and any buyers should check screen caps before splashing out on some of the products doing the rounds. Some of the material is soft and with poor colours. Naturally the tape-derived images are in , with only the letterboxed end titles showing what might have been.

It is possible to find reasonably sharp VHS sources, and these can be located in the usual way on the internet.

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Arkoff are all now long gone. It's a pity no one has bothered to locate a decent widescreen format version and given it a decent digital transfer, as - apart from William Holden and Ricky Schroder devotees - the only reason to watch the film is to enjoy DOP Don McAlpine's photographic evocation of the Australian bush. Ideally and just for fun, there'd be the American version, and if it could be located, the original Australian edition.

The NFSA only has a 16mm preservation copy of the original release, here , but that's better than nothing. Indicating its status as a 'sort of' PD film, at time of writing the film was available on YouTube in ten parts. The vision was relatively poor, but acceptable enough, though it might at any point be taken down.

Part 1 began here , and part 10 was here , though it chopped off Maureen McGovern's final over credits song in mid-flight. Well it's free, but it's sad to see even a bad movie end this way.

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What a pity the rights holders are no longer policing their rights, or more to the point promoting their product, because where the film is made availabile, there are clear signs of an ongoing interest in it. The film, in terms of content and style, is in every way an American story, and could just as easily have been set in a remote US location.

Cotler was an American writer based in California, and the script was originally set in the United States. With no man-eating koalas around, he chose feral dogs. After the film's executive producer, Amercian Stephen Sharmat, decided it should be set in Australia, Cotler flew out to NSW to "fine tune" the screenplay.

Despite the change of location, he was delighted with the choice of Holden for the Foley role: "Bill is exactly the type of man I had in mind for the part. Lanny Cotler was born on the Fourth of July. Johns College, NM. He lived in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, for two prime years, then spent an energetic decade in Hollywood writing and directing feature films "The Earthling" and "Heartwood". Both of these projects brought him into contact with the people and culture of the Pueblo nation.

Filmways was a small scale Australian distribution company, and The Earthling was to be their first step into the big time of productions aimed at the US market - they had previously been involved in a number of feature films mounted by local producer Antony I. Schroder to play a ''mad'' scene after his parents are killed that might have stumped Maria Callas.

Holden stomps through the wilderness mouthing such bits of survival wisdom as ''Always sleep on soft leaves under a tall tree'' and ''Never eat berries that are red unless they're raspberries or blueberries. Holden also has to scowl a lot and treat the boy harshly, always for the boy's own good, while Mr. Schroder reacts in the manly way of little boys in movies who find themselves on such metaphoric journeys.

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They're not bad. Appearing briefly as the boy's father is Jack Thompson, the excellent Australian actor who can be seen currently in ''Breaker Morant'' and in ''Caddie. The movie's best moments are those early on, when Mr. Collinson looks at the wilderness through the eyes of the bereft child and the landscape comes alive with snakes, porcupines, lizards, rats and other creatures that appear bent on the child's destruction. Most disconcerting are the last shots in the movie when the boy, having buried his deceased benefactor, leaves the hidden valley to begin the long trek back to civilization.


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In the distance behind him we can see the traffic on what seems to be a well-traveled highway. The kid, however, walks off in the opposite direction. Vincent Canby.