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The Illustrated Man

PG Released Mar 26, 1969 1h 43m Sci-Fi List
40% Tomatometer 15 Reviews 39% Audience Score 500+ Ratings A young drifter is led into a world of fear when the images on the skin of a tattooed hobo come to life. Read More Read Less Watch on Fandango at Home Buy Now

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Critics Reviews

View All (15) Critics Reviews
Tom Milne Sight & Sound Miraculously, though, Jack Smight and his scriptwriter Howard Kreitsek have resisted the temptation to either simplify or betray, and their The llustrated Man (Warner-Pathe) is a new Bradbury story in all but author's credit. Apr 1, 2020 Full Review Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times It has its weaknesses -- of acting, of character -- but they are not fatal. What finally brings the movie down is its inadequate attention to the expectations of the audience. Rated: 2/4 Oct 23, 2004 Full Review Matt Brunson Film Frenzy The wraparound sequences are sturdier than the three vignettes. Rated: 2.5/4 Oct 3, 2021 Full Review Paul Schrader Los Angeles Free Press The Illustrated Man substitutes ostentatious techniques for good storytelling. Jan 24, 2020 Full Review Ken Hanke Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC) Rod Steiger does what he can to anchor this slightly dreary and depressing film version of Ray Bradbury's The Illustrated Man. Rated: 3/5 Mar 24, 2010 Full Review Pablo Villaça Cinema em Cena Uma antologia mal disfarada de unidade narrativa, o filme terrivelmente datado e conta com um ritmo irregular, desperdiando o material original de Bradbury. Rated: 2/5 Jan 27, 2007 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

View All (75) audience reviews
dave s Sometimes, the written word doesn't translate well to the big screen. Case in point: The Illustrated Man. You'd figure that a film based on Ray Bradbury's book starring Rod Steiger and Claire Bloom would have a fighting chance, but you'd be wrong. When a young man traveling across country meets a man covered in tattoos wandering through the countryside, an odd relationship develops as it is explained where the tattoos came from and the stories (in this case, three futuristic tales) that they tell. Where the movie tends to fall apart is the fact that the thread that links the three stories told over the course of the film is more interesting than the stories themselves. At the risk of offending Bradbury, it probably would have been prudent to just focus on how Steiger's character came to be so heavily tattooed. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 03/30/23 Full Review Ratwallder Tastes and Likes are highly individualized. Perhaps there is no accounting for them. This movie is not for everyone. It is not for those wanting a precise retelling of the Bradbury book. But it is a bold extension of the Bradbury theme a variation in multiverses. It is not for those who want all loose ends tied up and all questions answered. Reality does not provide final answers. It is not for quibblers, technical snobs, or nit-pickers who would lose the ethereal ambience and spirit of the film for trivialities. But is a cult classic to me. If one is willing to put aside preconceived notions and enter into a world of multi-dimensional Sci-Fi in good faith, one will be rewarded with a mysterious, haunting Sci-Fi experience. Steiger is intense and riveting Bloom subtle and seductive. Drivas is the perfect foil for Steiger, a hapless, innocent man caught up in a bizarre puzzlement. Seeing common California scenes come alive with a sense of otherworldliness amazed me. I am still searching for the exact location of the lake. Jerry Goldsmith's music beautifully compliments the haunting story. I will not say more. Watch, and enter the experience. But be careful not to stare too closely at the skin illustrations! Rated 5 out of 5 stars 09/20/22 Full Review cesar r As a child, I loved Sci Fi. I watched Science Fiction Theater and Sci Fi movies. I first watched the Illustrated Man in 1969, when it opened in theaters. My father took me to see it. The theater staff passed out promotional, temporary "tattoos." I was only 13, and had not yet read Bradbury; which was good, because the movie took artistic liberties with the stories. The movie was unlike anything I had ever seen, or have seen since. I was first taken in by the familiar, beautiful California scenery, the trees, the hills, the vegetation, and the lake. But after a few minutes of the first scene, and the haunting music, I realized there was something supernatural about the surroundings. To this day, when I look at California countryside, I feel a sense of magic. I liked Rod Steiger from the first moment I heard him speak. When he explained how he got the tattoos and how Felicia's house disappeared, maybe into the future, I was thrilled. He then explained that the tattoos were alive, the music became heavy and dark, and shooting angles changed, and I was amazed. Robert Drivas was the perfect simply boy, drawn in to the bizarre scenario. Beautiful Claire Bloom was the perfect Felicia, alluring, dangerous, and unattainable. They appear in other scenes in different roles, in sort of a multiverse of experience beyond space and time, at least, temporarily. The Illustrated Man may not be for everyone. For several reasons, this remains one of my favorite movies. I watch it every few years with the same thrill and amazement. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Audience Member I think the film is dated but good for its time. Rod steiger was a brilliant actor and starred in musicals and one of the greatest films...Dr Zhivago. He acted with such passion and if it wasn't for him the film would have been very dull. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 01/23/23 Full Review Audience Member Beyond Bird with the Crystal Plumage, there's one movie my mother has already brought up that she hated. And that would be this one. The book that these stories come from has eighteen of them, but Howard B. Kreitsek and Jack Smight picked these three for the film without ever speaking to that book's author, Ray Bradbury. The tattooed man who appears in the book's prologue and epilogue would become this film's main story and be played by Rod Steiger. The funny thing is that when Steiger takes off his glove to reveal his entire hand is tattooed, it's played off as a horrific moment. A half century after this movie was made and nearly every one of my friends has this many tattoos. Carl the tattooed man meets Willie and uses his skin illustrations to show tales throughout time. The ink came from a mysterious woman named Felicia and at the end of the film, Willie sees his death at the hands of Carl in the only bare patch of skin on the Illustrated Man. The stories that are told include "The Veldt," which takes place in the future and has children who study within a virtual version of the African veldt. Soon, the lions will solve this issue of their parents. "The Long Rain" has solar rains* that drive an entire crew to madness in space. And "The Last Night of the World" predates The Mist with parents that must decide if their children should survive the end of the world. The final story — and its bleak ending — is exactly why my mom hates this movie. The fact that she may have told me all about it when I was a kid may have given me nightmares. This movie didn't do well critically or financially. Rod Serling, who would be the expert on adapting short stories to film called it the worst movie ever made. *Their spaceship is recycled from Planet of the Apes, Beneath the Planet of the Apes and Escape from the Planet of the Apes. Rated 1.5 out of 5 stars 02/06/23 Full Review Audience Member Tastes and Likes are highly individualized. Perhaps there is no accounting for them. This movie is not for everyone. It is not for those wanting a precise retelling of the Bradbury book. But it is a bold extension of the Bradbury theme; a variation in multiverses. It is not for those who want all loose ends tied up and all questions answered. Reality does not provide final answers. It is not for quibblers, technical snobs, or nit-pickers, who would lose the etheral ambience and spirit of the film for trivialities. But it is a cult classic to me. If one is willing to put aside preconceived notions and enter into a world of multi-dimensional Sci-Fi in good faith, one will be rewarded with a mysterious, haunting Sci-Fi experience. Steiger is intense and riveting; Bloom subtle and seductive. Drivas is the perfect foil for Steiger, a hapless, innocent man caught up in a bizarre puzzlement. Seeing common California scenes come alive with a sense of otherworldliness amazed me. I am still searching for the exact location of the lake. Jerry Goldsmith's music beautifully compliments the haunting story. I will not say more. Watch, and enter the experience. But be careful not to stare too closely at the skin illustrations! Rated 5 out of 5 stars 02/06/23 Full Review Read all reviews
The Illustrated Man

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Cast & Crew

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Movie Info

Synopsis A young drifter is led into a world of fear when the images on the skin of a tattooed hobo come to life.
Director
Jack Smight
Producer
Howard B. Kreitsek, Ted Mann
Screenwriter
Ray Bradbury, Howard B. Kreitsek
Distributor
Warner Brothers/Seven Arts, Warner Home Vídeo
Production Co
SKM
Rating
PG
Genre
Sci-Fi
Original Language
English
Release Date (Theaters)
Mar 26, 1969, Wide
Release Date (Streaming)
Oct 24, 2008
Runtime
1h 43m
Sound Mix
Mono
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