John Carpenter responded to the box-office failure of his 1982 masterpiece The Thing in part by making its precise opposite. Here, Jeff Bridges’ extraterrestrial is a benign tourist who grows on (not in) Karen Allen’s earthling widow by taking on the form of her dead husband. Carpenter shot his oddball sci-fi romance on location across the western two-thirds of the United States, adding to its bravura scope. -Lee Gardner

1984 Dir. John Carpenter 2.35:1 Color DCP 115 min.