8.4/10
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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
309 ( 61)
Top Rated Movies #53 | Won 1 Oscar. Another 16 wins & 21 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:

The scariest movie ever made... just got scarier. (UK 2003 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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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 June 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Alien: The Director's Cut 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:

$108,283,202
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

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

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby (as Dolby Stereo)

Color:

Color (Eastman Kodak)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie is included on Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" list. See more »

Goofs

There are various spelling mistakes on the computer screens in the Nostromo:

(at around 9 mins) When Dallas is going through the computer login sequence to communicate with Mother, and all the green-lettered commands are flashing by, the word "ALIGNMENT" is spelled "ALLIGNMENT".

(at around 1h 19 mins) When Ripley is accessing the company's secret orders, the screen says "OVERIDE" instead of an "OVERRIDE". In the same scene it then says "PRIORITY ONE - INSURE RETURN OF ORGANISM". "Insure" is the wrong verb (suggesting that the company should take out a policy with an insurance company). The statement should be, "ENSURE return of organism." 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?
See more »

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 latest video release of Alien in Norway has been severely cut. There are no indications given on the cassette box that this has been done. Total playing time missing is about 15 minutes. Key noticeable scene cuts include Kane's apparent revival, and subsequent chest bursting scene; Ash's demise. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Forever: The Frustrating Thing About Psychopaths (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Eine kleine Nachtmusik'
by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (as W.A. Mozart)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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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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