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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.

Director:

Ridley Scott

Writers:

Dan O'Bannon (story), Ronald Shusett (story) | 1 more credit »
Popularity
292 ( 77)
Top Rated Movies #52 | Won 1 Oscar. Another 16 wins & 20 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:

In space no one can hear you scream. 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, 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 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

Dallas' pursuit of the Alien down the ventilator shafts, and the intercut scenes of the rest of the crew urging him on, were shot in one day. See more »

Goofs

While attempting to remove the face hugger from Kane, the creature's acid blood burns a hole in the floor. This hole looks to have disappeared during the scene where Dallas, Ripley and Ash are searching for the dead face hugger, but can actually be seen to have been covered by a medical tray. 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 laserdisc release features a separate section with the scenes not included in the theatrical release. This is the new material:
  • After being awakened from hypersleep, Kane wanders out to the kitchen to prepare breakfast, he says "Rise and shine Lambert".
  • The crew gathers on the bridge and listens to the signal coming from the derelict craft.
  • Lambert confronts Ripley about Ripley's reluctance to let them back on the ship with Kane and the facehugger. Lambert tells Ripley, Parker and Brett how the face hugger got on Kane.
  • Ripley radios down to Parker and Brett to see how they're progressing on the repairs, Parker and Ripley exchange tense words over the radio.
  • After the face hugger's acid eats through a few floors, the crew returns to the med lab to check up on Kane's condition. Ripley sees an X-Ray of Kane's chest and asks Ash, "What is that dark stain on Kane's lung?" The rest of the crew starts asking if Kane's going to live, Dallas tells everyone to go back to work.
  • After Kane's death, the crew gathers around at the meal table to discuss what they're going to do with the escaped alien. Brett announces the cattle-prod idea and suggests "catching" the alien in a net.
  • Longer version of Brett's death. This scene had Brett frozen with fear as the alien grabs his head, he yells "Parker!" and then blood poors from beneath his cap. The alien lifts him up into the landing gear and Ripley and Parker come rushing in. Parker stands where Brett once was and looks up; blood drips on his shirt and then Brett's cattle prod falls to Parker's feet.
  • Part of a scene that involves Parker, Ripley and Lambert trying to flush the alien out of the air lock. As they are about to succeed, an alarm is triggered and the alien rushes out of the airlock (getting its tail caught in the closing door, and spilling acid that causes a hull breach). Parker falls unconciously to the floor, Ripley does the same and Lambert and Ash come to their rescue. Ripley vocalizes her suspicions about Ash by accusing him of setting the alarm off.
  • After Dallas's disappearance, Ripley (being suspicious of Ash) asks Lambert if she's ever slept with him.
  • The build-up to Lambert's death is much longer. (Watch the alien's shadow on the wall, it walks in, crouches down, then immediately gets up) A scene where we see the alien enter, crouch down and wait until Lambert notices its presence was cut. When Lambert sees the alien, it uncoils its tail and walks (like a crab) over to Lambert.
  • After Ripley discovers the remains of Parker and Lambert, she makes another discovery. Ripley enters the landing gear area of the Nostromo (where Brett got killed) and discovers a cocooned Dallas and Brett mutating into an egg. Dallas pleads, "Kill me". Ripley flames Dallas and the Brett-egg and then runs to set the ship on self-destruct.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Pinheads: Charlie Is Pregnant (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Classic horror
16 October 2001 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

The further we go in special effects, the more movies show us and ignore the unseen, the more people will return to dark horrors like this one.

It's hard to look at this film without considering the sequels and knowing the alien itself, however when made the alien was mostly unseen and a mystery. It's difficult to forget what you've seen, but it's important to approach this film first if possible rather than joining the series late.

It's amazing that this is over 20 years old - apart from the actors looking so young, the film doesn't feel dated at all. The sci-fi visions here are still bleak and futuristic as they were then - this is not the Star Trek vision of the future. The foreboding exists long before John Hurt spills his secret, Scott's direction is excellent throughout. Once the alien is "born" the tension is cranked up and the characters dispatched one by one (a formula we know oh-so well now!)

However here the characters are not merely alien-food but have some dimension to them. Weaver is excellent, while the support cast is full of great support actors (Stanton, Kotto, Hurt, Skerritt, Holm), but of course the real star is the one we see least of.

We barely see the alien in full detail, most of the time it is set in shadows, moving with deadly intent.The alien here is not simply a killing machine as seen in later films but is cruel with it. Witness the alien trap a female crew member and slowly rub up her leg, moving with slow seductive movements before moving with terrifying speed to kill another crew member sneaking up behind it. The slow movements betray the alien's pure cruelty.

The film is a study in terror. It may not be as action packed as the other films in the series but it brings the claustrophobia of being hunted to a new level.


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