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.


Ridley Scott


Dan O'Bannon (screenplay by), Dan O'Bannon (story by) | 1 more credit »
131 ( 26)
Top Rated Movies #52 | Won 1 Oscar. Another 17 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »





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)


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


Sometimes the scariest things come from within See more »


Horror | Sci-Fi

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Extra scenes filmed but not included, due to pacing problems: The crew listens to the eerie signal from the planetoid. An additional discussion between Parker and Ripley over the comm, concerning the progress on the Nostromo's engines. A scene in which a furious Lambert hits Ripley for her earlier refusal to let her team back aboard the Nostromo. An additional conversation between Lambert and Ash, in which Lambert notices a dark patch over Kane's lungs on the scanner, foreshadowing Kane's fate. A discussion among the crew, immediately following Kane's death, on how to proceed further. Alternative death scene for Brett: Ripley and Parker witness Brett (still alive) being lifted from the ground. Ripley and Lambert discuss whether Ash has sex or not. An unfinished scene, in which Parker spots the Alien next to an airlock door. He asks Ripley and Lambert over the comm to open the airlock and flush the Alien into space. However, the alien is warned by a siren and escapes, but not before it gets injured by a door, and its blood creates a small hole, causing a short decompression. Ripley finds Dallas and Brett cocooned. Brett is dead, and covered in maggots; Dallas is alive and begs Ripley to kill him. She does so with a flamethrower. The mercy killing scene would eventually be recycled and used in Alien: Resurrection (1997) when an alien/human-hybrid clone of Ripley begs the real Ripley to kill her, to which she does so with a flamethrower. Many of these scenes were included in the Director's Cut, which Ridley Scott made at the request of many fans who had seen those scenes as bonus material on the earlier DVD release. See more »


(at around 3 mins) A moving dippy bird toy is shown in the opening scene. Dippy birds require a fluid that evaporates in order to work, creating a temperature differential between the bird's head and tail. Given the length of their hibernation, the fluid should have long ago evaporated, and the bird stopped moving. See more »


[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 slash in A and the backslash 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 present Norwegian DVD release is uncut and the first video-release from CBS/FOX video is also uncut with an 18 rating. The cinema version was cut to get an 16 rating. See more »


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

Holds up as a classic.
16 January 2020 | by Sleepin_DragonSee all my reviews

Alien remains one of the most original, terrifying movies of all time. Compare this with the lame sci fi horrors we get nowadays, 1979, and it still packs a huge punch.

Fantastically atmospheric, chilling and terrifying even now, the story holds up incredibly well. The special effects were incredible for the time, no wonder the franchise is still in demand, though sadly nowhere near the quality of this one or its amazing successor.

The music is fantastic, the direction is incredible, and as for the Alien itself, way ahead of its time. Weaver is phenomenal, but arguably she's upstaged by the creature.

You can't help but remember scenes days after watching it, it definitely has the chill factor.

A cinematic masterpiece. 10/10

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Release Date:

22 June 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Star Beast See more »


Box Office


$11,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,527,881, 28 May 1979

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Brandywine Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (2003 Director's Cut)

Sound Mix:

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



Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

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