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Alien (1979)

R | | Horror, Sci-Fi | 22 June 1979 (USA)
Trailer
2:05 | Trailer
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
198 ( 4)
Top Rated Movies #53 | Won 1 Oscar. Another 16 wins & 21 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:

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

Dan O'Bannon's idea for the movie came from his experiences on two other projects. He had worked as a writer and special effects supervisor on John Carpenter's Dark Star (1974), a science fiction comedy that started out as a student project, but got turned into a feature film. Halfway during the production of the movie, O'Bannon thought the movie's premise would work much better as a horror movie, so he started work on a script called "Star Beast". Dark Star was a commercial failure, but it was seen by Chilean-French director Alejandro Jodorowsky, who had acquired the rights to Frank Herbert's "Dune". Jodorowsky invited O'Bannon to help him with the book's ambitious adaptation, so O'Bannon sold all of his belongings and moved to Paris to work on the movie. While briefly working on the ill-fated project, he encountered influential artists such as Chris Foss, Ron Cobb, Jean Giraud (a.k.a. Moebius), H.R. Giger and their unique styles. When Jodorowsky's Dune fell through due to lack of funding, O'Bannon took the creative team and worked on his Star Beast movie (titled Alien at that time), using much of the designs already created for Dune. Ridley Scott, one of the few who had also seen and liked Dark Star, agreed to direct. It has since been said that Alien became the movie that "Jodorowsky's Dune" was supposed to be. See more »

Goofs

The self-destruct instructions at the left are in English and complete. The instructions on the right - which are represented as instructions for canceling self-destruct, but they are actually a repetition of the same instructions in French, with the exception that two lines are repeated and the instructions are incomplete. 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

In April of 2019 Ridley Scott re-released Alien in 4K HDR for both the Theatrical version and the Director's Cut. The biggest changes to the film made were to the Director's Cut. The Cocoon scene with Dallas was omitted, along with various cuts and additional scenes added in for pacing purposes. For example, the new Directors cut includes the Dallas with Mother scene in which Dallas is informed of his fate which was not in the original 2003 Director's Cut.. Since the re-release of Alien in 4K it has been unclear why Scott continued to market this cut as the "2003" version when in fact it should be labeled on the cover as the "2019" Directors Cut considering the gross amount of previous scenes omitted from the '03 version and the changes made in the new cut. See more »


Soundtracks

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

User Reviews

 
"Alien" is not just the monster, it's the atmosphere and the way you feel!
6 February 2005 | by chrishnSee all my reviews

In "Alien" we follow a seven man crew en-route to earth on board the huge space freighter "Nostromo". The crew is in cryosleep, but the on board computer interrupts the journey when a foreign radio signal is picked up. It originates from an uninhabited planet and the crew lands to investigate. There they make contact with an alien life-form...

What makes Alien so great is the constant feel of uneasiness. Right from the beginning you have a feeling that something is wrong. The crew is not particularly friendly towards each other, and you truly feel all the in-group tension. The ship itself is a huge worn out industrial-style maze of halls and corridors, and it feels more like a prison than a place to live. It is as if not only the alien but also the ship itself is against the humans. The Alien itself is the scariest monster in history because it is a ruthless, soul-less parasite completely devoid of any human or civilized traits. The design of the monster is a stroke of genius. Sure it has a humanoid form, but it has no facial traits or anything else which could give away emotions or intentions. Its actions reveals no weaknesses nor civilized intelligence. The Alien is more or less the opposite of everything human and civilized, plus the creature is more well-adapted to the inhumane interior of the ship than the humans who build it. To sum up, you then have a setting where the humans are caught in a web of in-group tensions, an inhospitable ship and the perfect killer which thrives in the ships intestines. You almost get the feel that the humans are the ones who are alienated to each other and to their own ship.

Ridley Scott tells the story with a perfectly synchronized blend of visuals and sounds.

The actors do a superb job, portraying their characters in a subtle but very realistic way. The seven man crew is not a bunch of Hollywood heroes. They are ordinary people with strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes. In this way they all seem so fragile when confronted with the enemy.

As mentioned the ship is very claustrophobic and Ridley Scott adds to the eeriness by using camera movement, lights and shadows in an effective way. The living quarters are bright and should be comfortable to the crew, but there is something sterile about it all. The rest of the ship is basically a huge basement.

The music by Jerry Goldsmith underlines the eeriness so well, and the movie wouldn't have worked without his score. Combined with the sounds of the ship it all adds to the uneasiness.

This is not a story about heroic people who boldly teams up against evil. It's a story about ordinary people facing true fear, which is the fear without a face. The fear we can't understand and can't negotiate with, because its only goal is to survive on the expense of us. It's a story where some people bravely fight back whilst others are destroyed by the terror. It's a story where people a killed in a completely random way. There is no higher-order justice behind who gets to live and who dies. All seven characters are just part of a race where the fittest - not necessarily the most righteous - will prevail, and all seven characters start the race on an equal footing. None of them are true heroes, and none of them are true villains.

All the above makes Alien so great as a horror movie. The terror isn't just the Alien itself, it's the entire atmosphere which gets so effectively under your skin, that you just can't shrug it off after the end credits like you can with so many other Hollywood horror movies. The title "Alien" doesn't just refer to the monster, it is the theme of the movie and it is the feeling you have during and after the movie. 9/10


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Frequently Asked Questions

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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:

異形 See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$11,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,527,881, 28 May 1979

Gross USA:

$81,765,459

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$108,109,736
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Brandywine Productions See more »
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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