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Alien (1979)

Trailer
2:05 | Trailer
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
489 ( 15)
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 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... just got scarier. (UK 2003 re-release) See more »

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

12 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 October 1979 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

Alien - El octavo pasajero 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:

| (2004 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

According to Sir John Hurt in the DVD Documentary, he was considered at the beginning of casting to play Kane, but had already committed to another film that was set to take place in South Africa, so Jon Finch got the role instead. However, two separate incidents occurred which got Hurt the role. First, was the fact that he was banned from South Africa because the country mistook him for John Heard, who strongly opposed Apartheid (Hurt points out that he was opposed to it too, but was lucky enough not to get blacklisted) so he was unable to do the other film. Second, Finch became seriously ill from diabetes on his first day of shooting, and had to pull out. Ridley Scott immediately contacted Hurt, pitched him the script over a weekend, and Hurt arrived on the set Monday morning with little to no sleep to begin filming. See more »

Goofs

(at around 8 mins) When Dallas is first entering Mother, as he passes through the last doorway... when he is seen outside the door, one of the lights on the door-frame is burned out (on his left) but in the next shot, it is lit. 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 »

Alternate Versions

Other changes in the Director's Cut: As in the Theatrical Version, Brett stops in the the landing strut chamber to wet his face during the sequence where he is searching for Jones the cat. In the Directors Cut, we see a shot looking up at the landing strut with the Alien rather unexpectedly in the foreground, head bowed, swaying from side to side. Another change concerning Jones the cat: when Ripley encounters the Alien in the corridor having just set the self-destruct sequence, instead of the Alien looking curiously at Jones in his cat box, it gives him a brief glance before violently swatting the box aside. (This explains why in both versions of the film the cat box is flipped on its side and not where Ripley left it when she returns to collect Jones.) See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Nostalgia Critic: Man of Steel (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

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