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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
213 ( 16)
Top Rated Movies #52 | Won 1 Oscar. Another 16 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »

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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:

Sometimes the scariest things come from within 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

(at around 56 mins) Blood squib visible during chest-bursting scene. 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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Soundtracks

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

 
The mother of all movies
31 January 2005 | by PatuquitosSee all my reviews

Back in early 20th century, Lumière brothers didn't have a clue of what they were playing with. I'm freaking sure that if somebody could have magically told them that thanks to their work, a movie like 'Alien' would have been made in the future, they both would have died of a sudden, shocked by the consequences of their labor, like an honest scientist would if he was shown an evil use of his research. In that sense, but in the best way imaginable, 'Alien' is the atomic bomb.

In my opinion, 'Alien' is the only perfect movie in the history of cinema. Of course, this could be debatable, but of all the films I've watched since I was born, this is the only one in which I haven't been able to find the slightest flaw. It gets a golden ten out of ten. Bright, solid and massive.

I could go on with a panegyric, but I'll try to be short and accurate:

The direction is just perfect. Every shot is marvellous, every movement of the camera is breathtaking. There is absolutely nothing you could add or subtract. Touch it, and you spoil it. Seriously.

The acting is splendid. The performances build a credible world centuries away. I don't know about you, but this take on the future was unveliabably acceptable. Sigourney Weaver is more than a revelation, John Hurt is a master, and the rest are nothing short of marvellous.

The script is a work of art, the story is mesmerizing, well-constructed, well-developed, and free of absurd twists. Its simplicity and efectiveness are yet, 25 years after, to be matched.

The atmosphere is pure genius. Gothic, claustrophobic and sometimes baroque. The use of light and dark is beyond description, the use of sound is as creepy as it gets.

The FX are the best possible for 1979. In the time of the release, some scenes were stomach churning.

The score. Jerry Goldsmith's work matches the images so perfectly it seems to bleed from them. It is and will be the best soundtrack for a sci-fi flick in space ever.

The tagline. "In space, no one can hear you scream". THIS is a tagline.

And, of course... the alien. The only alive creature that can steal Weaver the movie. Its design is the most innovative I've seen. It has spawned dozens of disgraceful imitations. This is the real deal. Not only the look, but the complete design of a life form, including biological features. Acid instead of blood. Jaws inside jaws. What more could you possibly want? This is how a movie is done.

A very good sign of a movie that has gone down in history is the amount of collectively well remembered scenes. Well, 'Alien' has so many that I won't go into it. This movie contains so many iconic scenes that has become an icon itself.

So, what else? I urge all young directors to watch this movie a zillion times, as I've already done, and take notes all along. But not in order to rip off from it, as many others have done, but to learn, learn, learn, learn and learn how a movie should be done. 'Casablanca'? You must be joking.

Oh, I almost forget! There's a lovable cat in it.

RATING: 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:

$81,900,459

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$106,285,522
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 Stereo | DTS (2003 Director's Cut)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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