Director Ridley Scott's breakthough film, an immensely successful
blend of horror and science fiction, is a classic in both genres and spawned a
host of sequels and imitators. Starring Sigourney Weaver as warrant officer
Ellen Ripley, ALIEN focuses on the crew of the space cargo ship Nostromo, which
lands on a moribund planet in response to a faint SOS. Inside a crashed ship,
the crew members come upon strange pods, one of which spews forth a repellently
fleshy insectile creature that locks on to the face of the unlucky Kane (John
Hurt). Despite Ripley's advice, science officer Ash (Ian Holm) allows Kane to
return to the ship, where the creature finally releases its grip. Soon, however,
in one of the film's most infamous scenes, one of its offspring explodes
horribly from Kane's stomach and scurries away. Dallas (Tom Skerritt), the
vessel's captain, leads the others in a search for the rapidly growing,
acid-dripping alien before it can cut them down--one by one.
A triumph of art direction, set design, and special effects, ALIEN gains much of
its impact from the contrast between the bleak, antiseptic beauty of the space
vessel's interior and the primordial horror of the alien, a brilliantly original
fusion of insect, man, and machine designed by Swiss surrealist painter H.R.
Giger. The top-notch cast also includes Veronica Cartwright, Yaphet Kotto, and
Harry Dean Stanton.
"...ALIEN outshines all competition in the
luminous splendour of its photography..."
"...An old-fashioned scary movie set in a
highly realistic sci-fi future, made all the more believable by
the expert technical craftsmanship....[Weaver] carries it off
Theatrical Release: May 25, 1979. Theatrical
Rerelease: October 29, 2003. For ALIEN: THE DIRECTOR'S CUT, the
original negative was restored and digitally remastered. In
addition, director Ridley Scott reviewed archival footage not
included in the original and chose specific never-before-seen
footage to include in this special version of the film.
"...Ridley Scott was a force to be reckoned
"...With its cliché-confounding cast and
plotting, roughneck sensibility and star-making turn from Weaver,
ALIEN rewards repeat viewing..."
"...Scott's film still shreds nerves....At
once graphically elegant and viscerally effective, the future
conjured up by Scott was dystopian to the core..."
"...In ALIEN, you can hear lessons for the
sci-fi future in a great milestone from the recent past..."
Region 1 Keep Case Disc 1: Audio Commentary
1. Ridley Scott - Director, and Technical Crew 1979
Theatrical Version 2003 Director's Cut Introduction by
Ridley Scott Disc 2: Pre-Production STAR BEAST: Developing
the Story FIRST DRAFT OF SCREENPLAY by Dan O'Bannon THE
VISUALISTS: Direction and Design RIDLEYGRAMS: Original
Thumbnails & Notes STORYBOARD ARCHIVE ART OF ALIEN
(Cobb, Foss, Giger, Moebius) TRUCKERS IN SPACE: Casting
Sigourney Weaver's Screentest with optional Commentary by
Ridley Scott CAST PORTRAIT GALLERY Production FEAR OF THE
UNKNOWN: Shepperton Studios, 1978 PRODUCTION GALLERY THE
DARKEST REACHES: Nostromo and Alien Planet THE SETS OF
ALIEN THE EIGHTH PASSENGER: Creature Design THE
CHESTBURSTER: Creature Design Post-Production FUTURE
TENSE: Music and Editing 8 DELETED SCENES VISUAL EFFECTS
GALLERY: Photo Archive A NIGHTMARE FULFILLED: Reaction to
the Film POSTER EXPLORATIONS SPECIAL SHOOT