the 25th anniversary of john carpenter’s “starman”

WOW!! Can’t believe it has been 25 years ago that I saw this one!!!  December 14th, 1984 marks the big day for the release of John Carpenter’s romantic space drama STARMAN.  I saw this one opening night with my way back in time girlfriend Kim Cunningham (Whose birthday is also the 14th).  We made the long trip to Meteor Crater right after seeing the movie, and the shots from the film and pictures don’t do this place justice!  It was an awesome movie, and it was great that John made a date movie so I didn’t have to go alone or with my Sci Fi Geek buddies!!!  HAAA!

I have always been a huge Carpenter fan, and he never fails to deliver one favorite movie after another!!!  This one comes on the heels of “The Thing” and “Christine” and showed another side of John’s talents and his love for Science Fiction.  This one has it all!!!  It’s one very sweet love story wrapped around a brilliant tale of intergalactic drama…and lots of helicopters, and a good portion was filmed in my home state of ARIZONA, OOOW-WAAHH!!!!

Jack Nitzsche created a beautiful electronic score that added a magical voice to the story, ILM created some awesome VFX and the roles played by Jeff Bridges, Karen Allen, Charles Martin Smith and Richard Jaekel were perfectly cast.  Dick Smith and some nutty guy named DOUG DREXLER provided some of his make up and creature expertise to the film during a transformation sequence, and Donald Morgan’s lighting is brilliant with his use of color and rich atmosphere!!  This is one great show, and be sure to look for John Carpenter’s cameo as one of the helicopter pilots.  Happy 25th, “Starman” and H.B. Kim!!!  Below are some links to the film that make for some good reading!!



Just like in Star Trek, the Voyager satellite gets picked up by an alien craft.

a beauty shot of the Voyager inside the mother-ship, very reminiscent image of ILM's work on Star Trek 2 and Poltergeist

the alien ship launches a ship of their own to investigate the planet Earth

Despite the friendly message from Voyager, we shoot down the craft as a good way to say Howdy!

down she comes

remember in the old movies the space craft would crash behind the tree line and a puff of smoke would rise above??? well not here, this crash sequence is brilliant

continued shot

wow and that was the end of the hundred acre wood

out of the crash another entity arises.

Dick Smith's transformation sequence is awesome. I don't know for sure but it looks like Doug Drexler as a baby...not as muscular but this lil guy is very Doug-ish!!

Jeff Bridges received an Oscar nomination for his performance as Scott

the lovely and talented Karen Allen

lots of Hueys and Rangers

awesome ariel sequences

Charles Martin Smith

the arival

this entire sequence was beautiful, especially with that Nitzsche score playing out

Goodbye Jenny Hayden!

30 Responses to “the 25th anniversary of john carpenter’s “starman””

  1. December 14, 2009 at 12:05 am

    I had no idea this came out on my 14 birthday that’s crazy. 😀 As much as I’m a fan of The Thing, Halloween, Escape From New York and Big Trouble In Little China. I consider Starman to be his finest movie and the best thing Jeff Bridges has ever done. Karen Allen is unbelievable good looking in this movie. Rick Baker and some guy named Doug Drexler was involved with the make up as well. I know Baker became huge but whatever happened to this Drexler character. 😀 Strange thing is I was just trying to replicate the scene of the giant ship over the desert. Didn’t really work though. The music is outstanding. This was also the first Blu-Ray I ever bought. And helicopters are cool.

  2. 3 Freak
    December 14, 2009 at 5:28 am

    This is a great movie. one of my fav’s.
    There are not to many romanice/Sci-fi films and this has to be be the best of all of them.

    It a shame they don’t show this one to often. but when they do I always make sure that I can sit down and watch it.

    This has to be one of Jeff Bridges best performances todate. I like most of his films and can’t wait for Tron Legacy.

    Karen Allen is just stunning in this film.

  3. 5 JNG
    December 14, 2009 at 5:35 am

    I’ve…never seen it! That shot of the baby-thing kind of puts me off, too. But as am I a loyal blog reader, let the call for the Blu-Ray go forth immediately. It HAS to be Blu-Ray sos I can count Karen Allen’s freckles.

  4. December 14, 2009 at 8:34 am

    Red light stop, green light go, yellow light go very fast.

    Funny, I was just watching a Doc on the Meteor crater in Arizona.

  5. 9 deg
    December 14, 2009 at 8:42 am

    Own it, love it, gotta watch it again, eh. Such a great film.

    Fav line: Yellow: Go very fast.

    Thanks for the anniversary heads-up, John! 🙂


    • December 14, 2009 at 8:45 am

      Can’t believed we tooled around ALL OVER the Desert Southwest and never made it to the GMC, eh. I gotta get out there and see that hole in the ground with C.


    • 11 johneaves
      December 14, 2009 at 7:42 pm

      Hey Bro another fav we have in common!! we are related!!

      • December 15, 2009 at 9:30 am

        HA! No surprise there, bro! I stopped being surprised as I just realized God musta cut us from the same cloth that year, eh. 😉

        And yeah, HADDA watch it on its 25th anniversary! Reminded me why I LOVE this film sO much. It’s such a beautiful film, and the gift of the baby that The Starman gives Jenny, it’s sO beyond beautiful. Very touching peice of writing.

        Makes me even forgive that fact John shows two F-106 Delta Darts being scrambled/taking off, and then the ship is shot down by the bird you have posted up top. It looks familiar, but I can’t place its name… Shark comes to mind somehow.

        Anywho, and yeah, talk about A LOT of helicopters! And CMS and his cigar! And yeah, such a nice score, esp. the theme at the end with SM saying good-bye, and the excellent end-shot of just Jenny’s face, with the light shifting across it. So touching and perfect, in lieu of say a shot of the ship going up. I loved how it ended on just her beautiful and soulful face, cut to credits, with the wonderful theme plating. Such a great film! Thanks for the reminder, bro!

        Cracks me up that I used the term “tooled around” in my last post, and then the George Fox character says in the film:

        Do you seriously expect me to tell the President that an alien has landed, assumed the identity of a dead housepainter from Madison, Wisconsin and is presently out tooling around the countryside in a hopped up orange and black 1977 Mustang?

        I did not do that on purpose, I swear. Too funny. I love when stuff like that happens. 😀

        peace } deg

  6. 15 Matt Boardman
    December 14, 2009 at 8:03 pm

    I’ve heard of Starman, but again, this was one that I never had an opportunity to see. :: heads over to Netflix :: Nice! It’s available for instant watch!! Well, I’ll add this one to the list of movies to watch! 😀

    • 16 johneaves
      December 14, 2009 at 8:35 pm

      WOW!!! Your going to love it!

    • 17 DeanneM
      December 15, 2009 at 4:57 pm

      Hey, very glad it’s available on as an instant watch! I never had a date with a guy who wanted to see a “date flick”, even if it was sci fi. *_*

      I liked it a LOT back then, but haven’t seen it in a good LONG time…netflix, here I come (with some popcorn)!

  7. 18 Richard Knapp
    December 14, 2009 at 8:25 pm

    I’m kind of embarrassed to admit that I have never seen this one. After reading your post I am definitely going to have to check this one out. Thanks John!

  8. 20 Razor
    December 14, 2009 at 9:07 pm

    One of my favorites too. Rather interesting since the first time I saw this was at christmas.

  9. December 14, 2009 at 9:16 pm

    I remember reading an interview, maybe Cinefex, with Rick Baker where he said that the whole baby puppet he made was very badly lit on set compared to tests they shot themselves, he said the whole head had a superb translucency to it allowing veins to be seen etc…, something that is wasted in the movie he said !! Not a huge fan of the film, but I still enjoyed it !!

  10. 22 Buckaroohawk
    December 14, 2009 at 9:37 pm

    This is going to sound strange, but I was actually disappointed when I saw “Starman” in the theater. I was a huge John Carpenter fan and the commercials were so mysterious; I couldn’t wait to see what surprises the (at the time) King of Shock/Horror had in store. It wasn’t a horror film, though. It wasn’t even a thriller. It was a sci-fi/adventure/love story and I have to admit I was a little miffed about that. Of course, I was only 17 at the time and to me the name John Capenter was synonomous with the words “horror” and “gory”.

    Now, of course, I have much more respect for the film. It’s probably the best film Carpenter made during his time working within the major movie studio system. The cast is incredible and Carpenter managed to make a very intimate movie with tremendous scope. I also remember reading an article in (I think) Cinefex magazine about how the group at ILM were pulling their hair out trying to achieve some of the FX, like how do you show the audience a black ship flying through the blackness of space? And how do you pull off a completely reflective sphere floating above the meteor crater? Remember, these were the days before CGI. There was no such thing as wire-mesh spheres with perfect material mapping. They had to find new practical ways to shoot the FX and, as usual, they were more than up to that task.

    Hey, does anyone remember the short-lived TV series spun off from this movie? It starred Robert Hays and Christopher Daniel Barnes.

    • December 15, 2009 at 9:44 am

      Good points on the VFX, Buckaroohawk. I definitely was thinking about them as I watched last night, and thought, wow, pretty impressive, I also like the early CGI work of the fly-in into the hair strands. Very nice. And I hear ya on being 17 with expectations of a John Carpenter film, but I liked it for its new direction from him myself. But, I’ve always beed a romantic softy, and like John, saw it with my girl-friend at the time (whom of course I was going to be with for the rest of my life, ah puppy-love…). 😀

      And yes, I do remember the series, eh. I like it. Didn’t last long sadly. I remember another like-series called The Visitor with John Corbett years later (’97-’98) that I liked as well.

      peace | deg

    • 24 DeanneM
      December 15, 2009 at 4:59 pm

      Yup, I enjoyed watching the too-short-lived series, too!

  11. May 30, 2010 at 11:36 pm

    For some reason I have never seen starman. I am going to check it out now, I love all the people involved with this movie!

  12. 26 Evelyne
    December 20, 2010 at 8:37 pm

    The movie was great! I have the movie on DVD. However, I liked the TV series of it the best. I love the bond between the Father (Starman) and his son Scott Hayden junior in the series. The episodes of it are all posted on Youtube. I hope one day they will release the series of it on DVD/s.

  13. 28 Rick Merlin
    March 26, 2011 at 8:04 am

    Does anyone know how I can get a music score to the movie? Especially the end theme. Thanks.

  14. 30 Per Kele
    March 20, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    Did anybody else besides me wait for “Starboy” to come someday? I realized of course that it always be second to ‘dad’, but just hoped it wouldn’t be too badly second. Years came… and went. No starboy. After enough time went on by, I realized it was ‘too late’ and therefore just as well— leaving us all with this wonderful memory of the perfect film with no pre-quels, sequels, or starman 7’s! ahh well,… I still did sort of hope it for a while….
    Thanks for the page here. It has been great reading everyones comments and memories.

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December 2009

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