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
205 ( 54)
Top Rated Movies #52 | Won 1 Oscar. Another 17 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:

The Scariest Movie Ever Made. Experience it only on the big screen (USA 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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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although never stated on film, the planetoid where the Nostromo lands and finds the derelict ship is named "Acheron" in several drafts of the screenplay. In Greek mythology, Acheron is the "stream of woe", a branch of the river Styx which separates the underworld from the world of the living. The screenplay of Aliens (1986) also mentioned the name "Acheron", but refers to the planetoid with the technical name LV-426 on-screen. Both names have subsequently been used in expanded-universe media such as games and comics. See more »

Goofs

The headlamps on the actors EVA helmets, shining down on their faces, is effective for dramatic images on film, but in reality the glare would make it impossible to see beyond their visors, especially into the murk of the planets atmosphere. 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 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

Effects, and Sound Effects changed in the 25th Anniversary Edition:
  • While Ripley is contacting traffic control now, the last shot of the Nostromo in space now has a star field where there was just a Black Background.
  • The Alien Transmission and the keyboard button sound effects are much different from the original deleted scene.
  • The shot of the Nostromo rolling 92 degrees to port now features a star field to the left of the planet where there was just black.
  • When parker gets drenched in Brett's blood, the sound effects of the cattle prod hitting the ground is different the original deleted scene.
  • When Ripley tries to contact Lambert and Parker through the coms after leaving Mother's chamber, static can be heard when she tries a different channel.
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Soundtracks

Incidental music from 'Symphony No. 2 ('Romantic')'
by Howard Hanson
[Played over end credits]
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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

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 »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (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
See full technical specs »

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