There was a film I loved as a kid; it will have come out in the early-to-mid-1980s, at a guess, set in late-Cold-War-era America.

A stereotypical family unit (mother, father, brother, sister) of human-looking aliens land in Anytown, USA. They meet a similar family of sympathetic Americans, who collude with them to keep them "safe" from the authorities. They spend most of the film trying to work out a way to get home (either fixing their crashed ship or its comms system, I would imagine, though I don't remember which) and at the end of the film...

...the sympathetic family of Earthlings help them get Social Security Numbers and integrate into human society, because they come to be comfortable with the idea of not being able to go home.

They might have had some kind of mild "superpowers", and I remember a scene involving a university athletics track. I'm pretty sure it was set in a university town, possibly somewhere in the Rockies, but my memory is very fallible, so this paragraph might be false memories.

I was in my early teens (at the latest) that I saw it (so no later than the 1980s) and we rented it on Betamax(!!) several times when I visited my grandmother, so it was the kind of film that would have been available in corner-shop video-rental stores in the UK. It didn't feel dated at the time, so I'd guess it was made after 1982ish.

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    I don't see how it can be the correct answer.. but that has an incredible amount in common with the Coneheads movie. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coneheads_%28film%29
    – K-H-W
    Commented Feb 2, 2012 at 23:54
  • No, it's definitely not Coneheads (I'd have remembered them being pointy ;o) but I should probably watch that again sometime soon. To be fair, most of the tropes I mention are hardly rare in SF, which makes this frustratingly hard to google for. Commented Feb 3, 2012 at 0:24
  • I've seen this. Amongst their super powers is invisibility as long as they hold their breath, and there's a scene involving the father and daughter aliens becoming invisible on a football field near the end of the film. I could have sworn it was titled "Space Family Robinson" was it was shown on British television in the early 1980s, but a google search doesn't bring it up with that name.
    – Jon B
    Commented Mar 19, 2018 at 9:30

2 Answers 2


I believe this is probably Earthbound.

If you remember a green orangutan-looking alien in a jumpsuit, then it's definitely Earthbound

  • Sounds like it could well be; I'll have to see if I can find a copy to check. Thank you. I don't remember a green orangutan-looking alien in a jumpsuit, but there's quite a lot I don't remember about the film, so that could just be my terrible memory. Commented Feb 4, 2012 at 16:14
  • @OwenBlacker - I found this Youtube video of a guy screening this movie. It starts at the 4:10 mark. Commented Feb 4, 2012 at 19:52
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    Ugh. Can't believe I forgot the link! youtube.com/watch?v=qVzJZs6shIo Commented Feb 5, 2012 at 7:00

Escape to Witch Mountain?

That had a family of aliens - the children were assisted by humans to get back to their spacecraft.

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    Could you provide some additional details about how this might match the question?
    – Buzz
    Commented Jan 3, 2022 at 1:26

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