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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 »
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456 ( 72)
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:

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:

 »
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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

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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

The spacesuits worn by Tom Skerritt, Sir John Hurt, and Veronica Cartwright were huge, bulky items lined with nylon and with no outlets for breath or condensation. As the actors and actress were working under hot studio lights in conditions in excess of one hundred degrees, they spent most of their time passing out. A nurse had to be on hand at all times, to keep supplying them with oxygen. It was only after Ridley Scott's and Cinematographer Derek Vanlint's children were used in the suits for long shots and they passed out too, that some modifications were made to the costumes. See more »

Goofs

Several shots early in the movie where the crew are at their stations the monitor images are projected onto their faces. This is impossible - they would have to look into projectors instead of monitors, so this effect just doesn't make sense. 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

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Mind-Bending Moments in Sci-Fi (2015) 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

A horror classic that has stood the test of time! Still by far the best movie in the series.
12 December 2002 | by See all my reviews

'Alien' while technically science fiction is also one of the greatest horror/suspense movies ever made. Ridley Scott is now one of the most well known and successful directors in Hollywood, but I don't think anything he's made in the last ten years is a patch on this perfect film, which is a near masterpiece in my opinion. In fact, on reflection there are only three Scott movies I genuinely like, those being his first three. The last of these 'Blade Runner' was released twenty years ago now, so to me Scott is long past his use by date. Whatever, 'Alien' itself is a brilliant piece of work, and is almost flawless. Scott's direction is superb and everything else about it is outstanding - a strong script from Dan O'Bannon et al, an evocative score from Jerry Goldsmith, brilliant design and special effects, including the amazing contributions from H.R.Giger, all add up to an amazing movie experience. I also really liked how the cast were character actors and not "stars" so there was plenty of suspense generated as to who will live and who will die. This is something very few subsequent movies have done, 'Pitch Black' being one of the exceptions. Sigourney Weaver may be an icon as Ripley now, but when the movie was first released she was virtually unknown, having had a small cameo in Woody Allen's 'Annie Hall' and not much else. The rest of the cast are equally as good. I especially enjoyed Yaphet Kotto ('Blue Collar') and the legendary Harry Dean Stanton ('Wise Blood') as the wise cracking "below deck" crew. Many people seem to prefer James Cameron's sequel 'Aliens' over this, but as I much prefer horror and suspense movies to action ones I think this is definitely the better movie, and still the strongest and most effective in the series. 'Alien' is a horror classic and an absolutely unforgettable movie that I can't recommend highly enough. If you haven't seen it before watch it immediately!


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