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Alien

"In space, no one can hear you scream."

R 1979-05-25 Horror 1hr 57m

During its return to the earth, commercial spaceship Nostromo intercepts a distress signal from a distant planet. When a three-member team of the crew discovers a chamber containing thousands of eggs on the planet, a creature inside one of the eggs attacks an explorer. The entire crew is unaware of the impending nightmare set to descend upon them when the alien parasite planted inside its unfortunate host is birthed.

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Storyline

During its return to the earth, commercial spaceship Nostromo intercepts a distress signal from a distant planet. When a three-member team of the crew discovers a chamber containing thousands of eggs on the planet, a creature inside one of the eggs attacks an explorer. The entire crew is unaware of the impending nightmare set to descend upon them when the alien parasite planted inside its unfortunate host is birthed.

  • Released
    1979-05-25
  • Revenue
    $104,931,801
  • Budget
    $11,000,000
  • Runtime
    1hr 57m
  • Genre
    Horror, Science Fiction
  • Status
    Released
  • Language
    English, Español
  • imdb-logo
    8.5
  • Production
    20th Century Fox, Brandywine Productions

Crew

Ridley Scott
Director
Dan O'Bannon
Screenplay
David Giler
Producer

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Movie Reviews

Reviews for Alien
reviewer avatar

A Review by Otokichi786 8

Written by Otokichi786 on 2016-09-21

Described by Roger Ebert as a "trapped in a haunted house" movie, this movie set the bar for Horror in the Summer. The "Nostromo," like ... read more

Described by Roger Ebert as a "trapped in a haunted house" movie, this movie set the bar for Horror in the Summer. The "Nostromo," like "Star Wars" spacecraft, looks worn and in use, compared to the "just out of the box" look of "Star Trek" spacecraft. (And I'm a fan of the "Star Trek" universe!) The claustrophobic feel of the "Nostromo" is due to "filming inside of a tube" location shooting next seen in "Das Boot." A band of "space truckers" are awakened from hibernation, and are shocked to find that they are only half way home. The Company orders them to investigate an Alien transmission, which sets up a descent into Hell as the crew finds themselves being stalked by an opportunistic "Exomorph." As the crew is picked off one by one, the true nature of the beast and the odd attitude of the Science officer, Ash, raise the anxiety level over 100%. What sets this tale apart from other "space monster" films is the character of Third officer Ripley, who raises uncomfortable questions to Capt. Dallas about company policy in general and Science officer Ash in particular. After Capt. Dallas disappears, take-charge-female-Ripley discovers Ash's true intentions and leads her diminished crew to action. The level of violence has been described as "near pornographic," which is helped along by H.R. Giger's "worst nightmare" mature Alien. This is the first of a memorable franchise, featuring a strong female leader that continues into the "Prometheus" prequel.(?)

reviewer avatar

A Review by John Chard 10

Written by John Chard on 2019-05-12

There is a clause in the contract which specifically states any systematized transmission indicating a possible intelligent origin must be i... read more

There is a clause in the contract which specifically states any systematized transmission indicating a possible intelligent origin must be investigated... Alien is directed by Ridley Scott and written by Ronald Shusett and Dan O'Bannon. It stars Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Cartwright, John Hurt, Yaphet Kotto, Ian Holm and Harry Dean Stanton. Music is by Jerry Goldsmith and cinematography by Derek Vanlint. The space merchant vessel Nostromo receives an unknown transmission as a distress call and land on the moon where the call had come from. Bad idea... Back on release it was one of the most talked about movies of 1979, backed by a terrifically tantalising trailer - which itself was backed by one of the greatest tag-lines of them all, the weight of expectation of a genre blending classic was colossal. This was only after all director Ridley Scott's second feature length film, could a sophomore pic really be all that? History as we now know has proven that to be the case. On plot synopsis it's standard format, where the haunted house and a killer on the loose has been replaced by a space ship in space. Yet once the pic plays its alien hand, and it becomes a battle of survival in one location, it dawns on you there is really no escape. No running into the garden and down the street, no hiding in the attic hoping the killer saunters off home, this is find and destroy or be destroyed yourself - with the future of mankind depending on the humans to succeed. Some still go into a viewing of Alien nowadays and decry it for being too much of a slow burn, yet this is one of the pic's biggest assets. Time in space is slow anyway, and lonely one would guess, so Scott wisely lets the characters be introduced, lets us understand just enough about their psychological make up before things go belly up (literally as it happens). When the pot finally boils over it's terrifying, the bar well and truly raised for horror/sci-fi hybrid conventions. With art design by H.R. Giger and Goldsmith producing eerie musical rumbles, the whole piece has a disquiet about it, notably with distressing sexual connotations and symbolism that haunts the mind as the body horror unfolds. The quiet passages are nerve shredders, Alien across the board is a visceral experience, especially for those who have ever watched it on a big screen in a darkened theatre. It made a star of Weaver, who unbeknown to those on first viewing is the main character, another masterstroke by Scott, with Ripley the character in Weaver's hands shunting women's character's in big budget films forward by some considerable margin. All the cast are on great form, there's no showy stars in here, a collection of hard working British and American actors feeding off their director for super returns. Now 40 years old, Alien shows no sign of losing its classic status, and rightly show. A seminal class act that still holds all the qualities it had back in 1979. In space no one can hear you scream - indeed! 10/10

reviewer avatar

A Review by repojack 10

Written by repojack on 2020-10-28

The standard bearer of horror in space, Ridley Scott's masterpiece still thrills new generations of fans. The Giger-inspired alien induces a... read more

The standard bearer of horror in space, Ridley Scott's masterpiece still thrills new generations of fans. The Giger-inspired alien induces a claustrophobic nightmare that still carries on in sequels and prequels.

reviewer avatar

A Review by r96sk 8

Written by r96sk on 2022-02-21

<em>'Alien'</em> isn't as eventful, and as such as entertaining, as I had anticipated, though it is still an enjoyable near two hours. It... read more

<em>'Alien'</em> isn't as eventful, and as such as entertaining, as I had anticipated, though it is still an enjoyable near two hours. It's a strong cast, with newbie Sigourney Weaver putting in a great performance. Tom Skerritt, Harry Dean Stanton, Yaphet Kotto and John Hurt are good too. I wanted to see more of them, though that's normal given the tightness of the setting - there's only so much they can do, of course. Other positives include the neat set design, solid special effects and well done tension building. I can't say I was ever fully unnerved, in fairness that's more a personal thing as fiction rarely scares me, but I was locked on for the entirety. It also gets respect for setting the benchmark it did. Will check out the sequels, prequels and spin-offs/crossovers with much intrigue.

reviewer avatar

A Review by GenerationofSwine 10

Written by GenerationofSwine on 2023-01-13

Horror in Space, that's what this is. It's a space monster movie, and the thing is, if you see Aliens, or most of the other Alien related fi... read more

Horror in Space, that's what this is. It's a space monster movie, and the thing is, if you see Aliens, or most of the other Alien related films BEFORE you see this one, you're going to be expecting something completely different. But what you have is a horror movie set on a space ship with an atmosphere so thick that you could cut it with a knife. You can taste the eerie tension when you watch it...and, at least in my eyes, that makes it better than the over-the-top Space Marines that you see in the later installments. And, no questions are answered. There is no broad sweeping mythology. There is only the movie, there is only the monster, there is only the fear and tension. But that is all the movie needs. It's just science-fiction and scary. It's a brilliant merger. But, don't listen to the people making it out to be more than it is. It's really ONLY a horror movie in space and nothing more. That doesn't make it any less enjoyable, but it does make it completely confusing when you read reviews that make it out to be more than an exceptional monster movie.

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A Review by FilipeManuelNeto 9

Written by FilipeManuelNeto on 2023-04-21

**One of the great founders of modern sci-fi.** Anyone who knows me already knows that I don't really like alien-themed movies, because I... read more

**One of the great founders of modern sci-fi.** Anyone who knows me already knows that I don't really like alien-themed movies, because I don't strictly believe in intelligent life outside our planet. However, the theme has already yielded many quality horror or thriller films. “Alien” is arguably the best, best-performed, and most enshrined and culturally significant of them all. It's one of those films that has already gone beyond cinematic issues to become a piece of art and culture that we all know, even people who never took the time to see it. Thus, it is not worth wasting time explaining the plot around the “Nostromo”, a cargo ship with seven crew members who are decimated by a highly dangerous and carnivorous alien. The direction, in charge of Ridley Scott, is excellent, meticulous, attentive, and the story is intelligent, very well written and with well-developed and used characters. Contrary to what happens in other films, we see the characters trying to act as a team, and trying to solve an unexpected and dangerous situation. I never felt like they were acting in such a way as to almost purposefully put themselves in danger, which happens a lot in recent horror movies. Sigourney Weaver made an excellent dramatic career after this film, which established her as an actress and opened doors for her in the industry. A deserved reward, given that she puts in her best efforts and gives this character all the resilience, humanity and charisma she deserves and needs. Despite the general quality of the cast being quite good, there are almost no actors capable of matching Weaver. As far as the technical aspects are concerned, the film has excellent cinematography (it even looks newer than it is) and really good special effects and visuals, considering that there is no CGI and that everything is done in the old-fashioned way. Finally, a word of praise for the iconic original score composed by Jerry Goldsmith.

reviewer avatar

A Review by Geronimo1967 7

Written by Geronimo1967 on 2023-06-05

Back in the day before Sir John Hurt took to being little more than a highly paid cameo-man, he was a great actor and here is a prime exampl... read more

Back in the day before Sir John Hurt took to being little more than a highly paid cameo-man, he was a great actor and here is a prime example. His merchant ship is travelling through space when it receives a distress call. They stop to help and one of their number becomes infected with a... well, now you have to watch it. Sigourney Weaver is superb as the feisty, no-nonsense "Ripley" who leads the defence against a beastie that has brute strength, determination, intelligence and an astonishing ability to move at speed through the corridors and conduits of the ship. Ridley Scott allows the tension to rise gently and violently, by degree, and the clever use of sound and light; Jerry Goldsmith's tense score and excellent supporting performances from Tom Skerritt and a wonderfully seedy ian Holm make this a seminal sci-fi horror film that still makes you want to hide behind the sofa - 40 years on!

reviewer avatar

A Review by JN2012 8

Written by JN2012 on 2023-10-20

The baby xenomorph looks like a muppet.... read more

The baby xenomorph looks like a muppet.

reviewer avatar

A Review by ermozart 10

Written by ermozart on 2023-12-10

A masterpiece! Can be rewatched indefinitely!... read more

A masterpiece! Can be rewatched indefinitely!

Read Full Review (The thoughts and opinions expressed here are solely those of the reviewer.)
A Review by Patrick E. Abe

Described by Roger Ebert as a "trapped in a haunted house" movie, this movie set the bar for Horror in the Summer. The "Nostromo," like "Star Wars" spacecraft, looks worn and in use, compared to the "just out of the box" look of "Star T...

reviewer avatar

A Review by Otokichi786 8

Written by Otokichi786 on 2016-09-21

Described by Roger Ebert as a "trapped in a haunted house" movie, this movie set the bar for Horror in the Summer. The "Nostromo," like "Star Wars" spacecraft, looks worn and in use, compared to t...

read more
reviewer avatar

A Review by John Chard 10

Written by John Chard on 2019-05-12

There is a clause in the contract which specifically states any systematized transmission indicating a possible intelligent origin must be investigated... Alien is directed by Ridley Scott and wri...

read more
reviewer avatar

A Review by repojack 10

Written by repojack on 2020-10-28

The standard bearer of horror in space, Ridley Scott's masterpiece still thrills new generations of fans. The Giger-inspired alien induces a claustrophobic nightmare that still carries on in sequels a...

read more
reviewer avatar

A Review by r96sk 8

Written by r96sk on 2022-02-21

<em>'Alien'</em> isn't as eventful, and as such as entertaining, as I had anticipated, though it is still an enjoyable near two hours. It's a strong cast, with newbie Sigourney Weaver putting in a ...

read more
reviewer avatar

A Review by GenerationofSwine 10

Written by GenerationofSwine on 2023-01-13

Horror in Space, that's what this is. It's a space monster movie, and the thing is, if you see Aliens, or most of the other Alien related films BEFORE you see this one, you're going to be expecting so...

read more
reviewer avatar

A Review by FilipeManuelNeto 9

Written by FilipeManuelNeto on 2023-04-21

**One of the great founders of modern sci-fi.** Anyone who knows me already knows that I don't really like alien-themed movies, because I don't strictly believe in intelligent life outside our plan...

read more
reviewer avatar

A Review by Geronimo1967 7

Written by Geronimo1967 on 2023-06-05

Back in the day before Sir John Hurt took to being little more than a highly paid cameo-man, he was a great actor and here is a prime example. His merchant ship is travelling through space when it rec...

read more
reviewer avatar

A Review by JN2012 8

Written by JN2012 on 2023-10-20

The baby xenomorph looks like a muppet....

read more
reviewer avatar

A Review by ermozart 10

Written by ermozart on 2023-12-10

A masterpiece! Can be rewatched indefinitely!...

read more