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Alien (1979)

R | | Horror, Sci-Fi | 22 June 1979 (USA)
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After a space merchant vessel perceives an unknown transmission as a distress call, its landing on the source moon finds one of the crew attacked by a mysterious lifeform, and they soon realize that its life cycle has merely begun.

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(story), (story) | 1 more credit »
Popularity
453 ( 9)
Top Rated Movies #52 | Won 1 Oscar. Another 16 wins & 19 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
... Dallas
... Ripley
... Lambert
... Brett
... Kane
... Ash
... Parker
... 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:

It's Alien, the 8th passenger. See more »

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

22 June 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Alien: The Director's Cut  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$11,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,527,881, 25 May 1979, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$78,900,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$203,630,630
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (2004 Director's Cut)

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (as Dolby Stereo)

Color:

(Eastman Kodak)|

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the original script by Dan O'Bannon and Ronald Shusett, the names of the characters were Standard, Roby, Broussard, Melkonis, Hunter, and Faust (there was no Ash character). Walter Hill and David Giler hated the names, and changed them multiple times during revisions. They finally settled on Dallas, Ripley, Kane, Lambert, Parker, and Brett, and added Ash. The script by O'Bannon and Shusett also had a clause indicating that all of the characters are "unisex", meaning they could be cast with men or women. Consequently, all of the characters are only referred to by their last name (Dallas, Kane, Ripley, Ash, Lambert, Parker, and Brett), and the few gender-specific pronouns (he or she) were corrected after casting. However, Shusett and O'Bannon never thought of casting Ripley as a female character. See more »

Goofs

When Ripley discovers that the ship has been rerouted to pick up an alien life form, the computer screen reads: "Priority one: insure return of organism". It should read "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 vertical lines in L and E, and the forward slash in A and the slash in N (so it looks like / I I I \), then the ensuing lines of each letter are added slowly one at a time until the title is fully visible. See more »

Connections

Referenced in One Step Beyond: The Making of 'Alien: Resurrection' (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Incidental music from 'Symphony No. 2 ('Romantic')
by Howard Hanson
[played over end credits]
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The mother of all movies
31 January 2005 | by See 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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