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Earthbound (1981)

A family of space aliens crash lands on Earth when their spaceship conks out.


James L. Conway


Michael Fisher


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Burl Ives ... Ned Anderson
Christopher Connelly ... Zef
Meredith MacRae ... Lara
Joseph Campanella ... Conrad
Marc Gilpin Marc Gilpin ... Dalem
Todd Porter Todd Porter ... Tommy Anderson
Mindy Dow Mindy Dow ... Rosie
Elissa Leeds ... Teva
Peter Isacksen Peter Isacksen ... Willy
John Schuck ... Sheriff De Rita
Joey Forman ... Madden
Stuart Pankin ... Sweeney
H.M. Wynant ... Dave
Jesse Bennett Jesse Bennett ... Gold Rush Man #2
Daryl Bingham Daryl Bingham ... Pudge


A spaceship carrying a middle-class alien family breaks down over a small town in America, and the "space window" allowing the aliens to return home will disappear in a few hours. Parents, Zef and Lara, their children, Dalem and Teva, and their green chimpanzee hide the spaceship at the bottom of a lake while they search for the special metal necessary to repair it. However, Conrad, an agent with the Federal Space agency, enlists local Sheriff DeRita and his deputy Sweeney to find the spaceship and capture the aliens. Although their chimpanzee is green and eats light bulbs, the alien family looks human, and Ned Anderson, a kind hotel keeper, and his orphaned grandson, Tommy, offer refuge to the family. The aliens have special powers, including the ability to make themselves invisible, which allows them to outwit their pursuers and help Anderson and Tommy with their problems. Written by Larry B.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A very spacey comedy


Family | Sci-Fi | Comedy


PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

30 January 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Endstation Planet Erde See more »

Filming Locations:

Salt Lake City, Utah, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Produced as a made-for-TV pilot for a proposed TV series, but after network interest fell through, it was released theatrically as a feature film. See more »

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User Reviews

Burl Ives Conquers the Martians....
15 August 1999 | by Mister-6See all my reviews

No, actually, this isn't as bad a film as most people let on. Surprisingly, since this was released by the same people who brought us "Hangar 18" and "In Search of Noah's Ark".

Not exactly a good omen.

But with this tale of a stranded alien family, complete with a chimpanzee spray-painted green (ah, the sacrifices of art), trying to adapt to Earthling ways with the help of kindly old Burl Ives, it's actually a kind of meat-headed feel-good movie geared for the younger crowd. And it works well in that regard.

At least it knows when to go for the laughs. This is the only kind of movie in this genre I know of that ends with the line, "A green monkey ate my light bulb!"

Gotta love it.

Seven stars.

If the rental place is out of "ET", try "Earthbound".

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