8.4/10
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1,486 user 323 critic

Alien (1979)

R | | Horror, Sci-Fi | 22 June 1979 (USA)
Trailer
2:05 | Trailer
After a space merchant vessel receives an unknown transmission as a distress call, one of the crew is attacked by a mysterious life form and they soon realize that its life cycle has merely begun.

Director:

Ridley Scott

Writers:

Dan O'Bannon (screenplay by), Dan O'Bannon (story by) | 1 more credit »
Popularity
288 ( 79)
Top Rated Movies #53 | Won 1 Oscar. Another 16 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »

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Photos

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Tom Skerritt ... Dallas
Sigourney Weaver ... Ripley
Veronica Cartwright ... Lambert
Harry Dean Stanton ... Brett
John Hurt ... Kane
Ian Holm ... Ash
Yaphet Kotto ... Parker
Bolaji Badejo ... Alien
Helen Horton ... Mother (voice)
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Storyline

In the distant future, the crew of the commercial spaceship Nostromo are on their way home when they pick up a distress call from a distant moon. The crew are under obligation to investigate and the spaceship descends on the moon afterwards. After a rough landing, three crew members leave the spaceship to explore the area on the moon. At the same time as they discover a hive colony of some unknown creature, the ship's computer deciphers the message to be a warning, not a distress call. When one of the eggs is disturbed, the crew realizes that they are not alone on the spaceship and they must deal with the consequences. Written by blazesnakes9

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

In space no one can hear you scream... This Halloween in theatres, everyone will hear you scream (Re-Release) See more »

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sci-fi violence/gore and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After the key reveal scene with Ash, the three crew members then start to walk through a corridor. This low angle shot shows that the ceiling for this part of the corridor was made of the bottoms of milk bottle crates. Unintentionally, this created a science fiction cliché where some of the industrial sets are built of crate bottoms. See more »

Goofs

When Dallas is crawling around through the bowels of the Nostromo before he is taken by the alien, you can see a dolly track lining the floor. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Brett: This is the worst shit I've ever seen, man.
Parker: What you say? You got any biscuits over there?
Ripley: Here's some cornbread.
Parker: Cornbread. Yeah.
Lambert: I am cold.
Parker: Still with us, Brett?
Brett: Right.
Kane: Oh, I feel dead.
Parker: Anybody ever tell you you look dead, man?
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Crazy Credits

The title of the movie is slowly created one line at a time at the top of the screen during the opening credits, starting out with the I, then the forward slash in A and the slash in N, and then the vertical lines in L and E (so it looks like / I I I \). After that, the ensuing lines of each letter are added slowly one at a time until the title is fully visible. See more »

Alternate Versions

The laserdisc release features a separate section with the scenes not included in the theatrical release. This is the new material:
  • After being awakened from hypersleep, Kane wanders out to the kitchen to prepare breakfast, he says "Rise and shine Lambert".
  • The crew gathers on the bridge and listens to the signal coming from the derelict craft.
  • Lambert confronts Ripley about Ripley's reluctance to let them back on the ship with Kane and the facehugger. Lambert tells Ripley, Parker and Brett how the face hugger got on Kane.
  • Ripley radios down to Parker and Brett to see how they're progressing on the repairs, Parker and Ripley exchange tense words over the radio.
  • After the face hugger's acid eats through a few floors, the crew returns to the med lab to check up on Kane's condition. Ripley sees an X-Ray of Kane's chest and asks Ash, "What is that dark stain on Kane's lung?" The rest of the crew starts asking if Kane's going to live, Dallas tells everyone to go back to work.
  • After Kane's death, the crew gathers around at the meal table to discuss what they're going to do with the escaped alien. Brett announces the cattle-prod idea and suggests "catching" the alien in a net.
  • Longer version of Brett's death. This scene had Brett frozen with fear as the alien grabs his head, he yells "Parker!" and then blood poors from beneath his cap. The alien lifts him up into the landing gear and Ripley and Parker come rushing in. Parker stands where Brett once was and looks up; blood drips on his shirt and then Brett's cattle prod falls to Parker's feet.
  • Part of a scene that involves Parker, Ripley and Lambert trying to flush the alien out of the air lock. As they are about to succeed, an alarm is triggered and the alien rushes out of the airlock (getting its tail caught in the closing door, and spilling acid that causes a hull breach). Parker falls unconciously to the floor, Ripley does the same and Lambert and Ash come to their rescue. Ripley vocalizes her suspicions about Ash by accusing him of setting the alarm off.
  • After Dallas's disappearance, Ripley (being suspicious of Ash) asks Lambert if she's ever slept with him.
  • The build-up to Lambert's death is much longer. (Watch the alien's shadow on the wall, it walks in, crouches down, then immediately gets up) A scene where we see the alien enter, crouch down and wait until Lambert notices its presence was cut. When Lambert sees the alien, it uncoils its tail and walks (like a crab) over to Lambert.
  • After Ripley discovers the remains of Parker and Lambert, she makes another discovery. Ripley enters the landing gear area of the Nostromo (where Brett got killed) and discovers a cocooned Dallas and Brett mutating into an egg. Dallas pleads, "Kill me". Ripley flames Dallas and the Brett-egg and then runs to set the ship on self-destruct.
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Connections

Referenced in A Matter of Time (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Eine kleine Nachtmusik
by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (as W. A. Mozart)
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User Reviews

 
A horror classic
21 September 2018 | by Aaron_KyleSee all my reviews

What makes Alien great is it's synchronization of sound, visuals and showing great attention to detail. Not only that but Alien has an unnerving atmosphere right from the beginning. We're introduced to a crew who is not exactly too friendly to each other add to that the ship. It's huge, and with its halls and corridors, it feels almost like a maze.

Enter Alien, a ruthless parasite with humanoid form yet it lacks any civilised traits of a human. It does have humanoid form but it doesn't give a single emotion. The design of the monster is what's the most terrifying (and it still holds up despite Alien being released in 1979). The creature is also better adapted to the ship's interior making a big part of the movie feel like a sinister game of cat and mouse.

What I particularly like is how the characters are written. They are not Hollywoodized heroes, in fact, there is no hero. They're just people which makes them even more threatened. The performances are all equally realistic and do deliver. Kudos to director Ridley Scott for using crafty cinematography and combining it with shadows and lights in an eerie way. The music is unrelenting and combined with Scott's cinematography, sound and visuals it adds to the eeriness.

The plot is also not another Hollywoodized cliché. It's more like "survival of the fittest". The characters battle true terror as they race to survive or outlive each other, they're all just a part of a race to see who will prevail and who will die.

Final Rating: 10/10


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 June 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Star Beast See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$11,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,527,881, 28 May 1979

Gross USA:

$81,765,459

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$108,361,852
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Brandywine Productions See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(1979 Theatrical Version) | (2003 Director's Cut)

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby (as Dolby Stereo)| DTS (2003 Director's Cut)| DTS (5.1) (2003 Director's Cut)| DTS (5.1)

Color:

Color (Eastman Kodak)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

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