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Alien (1979)

Let's discuss the science fiction horror film Alien. The film follows the crew of the commercial space tug Nostromo, who, after coming across a mysterious derelict spaceship on an undiscovered moon, find themselves up against an aggressive and deadly extraterrestrial set loose on the tug.

Scott said he combined the two most successful films of the last two years: Star Wars and Halloween. Alien is ranked as one of the great films of all time.

Directed by Ridley Scott

Written by Dan O'Bannon

Music by Jerry Goldsmith

Starring Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerrit, John Hurt, Ian Holm, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, and YAPHET KOTTO

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by Anonymousreply 81May 27, 2024 10:42 PM

A perfect film.

by Anonymousreply 1January 16, 2023 11:07 PM

A pioneering film. The Veronica Cartwright role was the first male to female trans movie character.

"In Aliens (1986) a biography briefly flashes up on a computer screen in the background. The biography reveals that Lambert is Transgender, having altered her gender from Male to Female."

The key line in Lambert's bio reads: "Subject is Despin Convert at birth (male to female). So far no indication of suppressed trauma related to gender alteration"

Lambert also had a low "social score" which could go some way to explaining her meltdown later when confronted with the titular alien.

She probably also had difficulties going to pee.

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by Anonymousreply 2January 16, 2023 11:17 PM

Agree with R1. Perfect film.

by Anonymousreply 3January 16, 2023 11:31 PM

Great, r2 just ruined it for me.

by Anonymousreply 4January 16, 2023 11:32 PM

A masterpiece. Still terrifying. And brilliant score.

by Anonymousreply 5January 16, 2023 11:33 PM

R2 I don't believe you.

I love Veronica Cartwright losing it. She was the audience.

by Anonymousreply 6January 16, 2023 11:41 PM

The air duct scene scared the hell out of me the first time I watched it.

by Anonymousreply 7January 16, 2023 11:42 PM

Definitely one of our best modern horror films.

by Anonymousreply 8January 17, 2023 12:03 AM

That Sigourney Weaver's a cute girl, but she really shouldn't go without makeup.

by Anonymousreply 9January 17, 2023 12:19 AM

The apex of cinema. The craft deployed by everyone involved to render this world, as it were, is nothing short of astonishing.

by Anonymousreply 10January 17, 2023 12:22 AM

Dallas, Brett, Lambert, Ash, Parker, Ripley and Kane. Names that are iconic in movies. Oh, can't forget Jones and Mother.

by Anonymousreply 11January 17, 2023 12:28 AM

The takeaway is Don't have lunch with John Hurt.

by Anonymousreply 12January 17, 2023 12:30 AM

The plot was inspired by a 50s B movie.

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by Anonymousreply 13January 17, 2023 12:30 AM

R10- Also to add- the film looks TIMELESS and modern... it could have been shot in 1994. It looks that good- Its shocking to me that this film was shot in 1978/1979.

by Anonymousreply 14January 17, 2023 12:32 AM

Part of that timelessness was due to a production design that was both utilitarian (the Nostromo) and fantastical (everything Alien), and partly because the human characters were so dressed-down that there was nothing period about their look. Their looks could have fit in to almost any era in the last 100 years, even the women escape looking period-specific because they have no makeup and unfussed hair.

That's very unusual in a movie, few actors or directors can bear to shoot a single frame without attempting to glamorize things, or themselves.

by Anonymousreply 15January 17, 2023 12:38 AM

Ian Holm is the MVP for me. Watch him knowing Ash's secret and it adds so much depth.

by Anonymousreply 16January 17, 2023 12:41 AM

I suppose we should be glad that the OP didn't announce the usual "TRAGICALLY UNDERRATED" description that usually accompanies these shallow "discovery" threads, where the OP pastes a bit of something and then squats, waiting for posts from people who actually know the movie. Or not.

by Anonymousreply 17January 17, 2023 12:41 AM

One of the only movies when the cast is absolutely perfect.

The movie is also has a class commentary:

Tom Skerritt and Ian Holm are upper class

Veronica Cartwright and John Hurt are middle class

Sigourney Weaver grew up poor but worked her way up the chain

Harry Dean Stanton and Yaphet Kotto are the lower class

by Anonymousreply 18January 17, 2023 12:53 AM

1979. Flawless film. Flawless cast. Flawless premise. Timeless. Still as good today as it was when released.

Set the scene for the Sci-fi film genre. Sigourney Weaver became the first proper female action star.

I'm a big fan.

by Anonymousreply 19January 17, 2023 1:04 AM

R15, you made such a fascinating post, you are so right! I never thought of this movie as timeless, but it is, and you are so spot on about the director having the strength to resist temptation!!! A lot of sci-fi/fantasy from that era even had a glam rock vibe (I’m remembering Flash Gordon and even Superman).

So the fact that not even the women are gussied up was a genius move by the director, I wonder if he was completely conscious of how well it would play decades later……? Would be quite interesting to find out his thinking process.

by Anonymousreply 20January 17, 2023 1:10 AM

Bravo R150.. I agree R20..

Thank you for explaining this so perfectly-

by Anonymousreply 21January 17, 2023 1:20 AM

[quote] Ian Holm is the MVP

Many would say Sigorney's underwear deserved that honor

by Anonymousreply 22January 17, 2023 1:31 AM

[quote] Scott said he combined the two most successful films of the last two years: Star Wars and Halloween.

Except he didn’t. Dan O’Bannon and Ron Shusett wrote the movie, then it was extensively overhauled by Walter Hill and David Giler. But much of the basic action was O’Bannon’s, such as the iconic air shaft sequence.

As to Lambert having a sex change, remember that was Cameron, not O’Bannon, Hill or Scott. And I suspect it was a humorous reference to something O’Bannon put in his early draft. He wrote an all-male script but said the characters were all unisex and interchangeable for men or women.

By the way, thank god Hill rewrote all the names. The Dallas character was originally named “Chaz Standard.” 🤦🏻‍♂️

by Anonymousreply 23January 17, 2023 1:31 AM

R15 here, and yes, the completely utilitarian life on the Notromo is one of the things that makes the movie feel so believable. Not that glaming up has no place in sci-fi, it was appropriate for the people of "Logan's Run" to wear fashionable glittery glam-rock looks! Nut not the crew of the grim and claustrophobic Noatromo.

"StarWars", also of that era, is just as timeless. And has production design that's even better.

by Anonymousreply 24January 17, 2023 1:39 AM

Jerry Goldsmith's score is ingenius

by Anonymousreply 25January 17, 2023 1:47 AM

Jerry Goldsmith's score is ingenious***

by Anonymousreply 26January 17, 2023 1:48 AM

No mention yet of the contribution of Jones, the cat.

by Anonymousreply 27January 17, 2023 2:18 AM

Even Jonesy was purrrfect

by Anonymousreply 28January 17, 2023 2:23 AM

I just wish it was the only movie in the franchise.

One perfect film, one and done.

by Anonymousreply 29January 17, 2023 2:25 AM

R29 Alien is the perfect sci-fi/horror film. Aliens is the perfect action film.

by Anonymousreply 30January 17, 2023 2:31 AM

It has such a great score, and such beautiful imagery, like the opening with the covers of the cryogenic units furling up like petals.

One of the scariest things about it was the alien kept physically changing when it through its different stages of development from egg to full-grown monster. That made it all the more mysterious and unsettling.

by Anonymousreply 31January 17, 2023 4:18 AM

It's a great 'boo' movie - pretty much a haunted house horror but with sci fi trappings. As everyone has said, the production design lets it age well - if you ignore the primitive 'future' computer systems.

by Anonymousreply 32January 17, 2023 4:38 AM

The scene when the alien is coming to get Lambert is absolutely horrifying.

She’s so scared and vulnerable and he does this dance toward her. And then Ripley can hear her screams over the walkie.

Scared the shit out of me when I first saw it.

by Anonymousreply 33January 17, 2023 5:29 AM

I read the original script years ago. I don’t remember it much but it was all men.

I liked the Alien 3 script where Ripley lands on a wooden planet populated by monks.

by Anonymousreply 34January 17, 2023 5:34 AM

1979 Bobby Wigant interview with Sigourney.

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by Anonymousreply 35January 17, 2023 6:03 AM

This was an absolutely outstanding film for its time and still holds up today. I think R15 nails a lot of why it holds up and is still so relatable for modern audiences - the gritty, grubby and very unglamorous spaceship interior was completely unlike any scifi set design that had come before. I always remember one of the initial establishing scenes of the spaceship flight deck showed lots of clutter and a dirty coffee mug just like you'd see in offices and workplaces everywhere, it was details like that that really made it so real to people.

And fuck was it terrifying. I saw it when it come out with a good friend, it was a premiere and the joint was packed. Cue the horrifying chestburster scene, the baby alien pops out of the guys chest, and for god knows what reason I loudly said "Awwww init cute" in a dumb yokel voice, and everyone burst out laughing. Truth to tell I was just as horrified as everyone else,

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by Anonymousreply 36January 17, 2023 11:45 AM


by Anonymousreply 37January 17, 2023 1:09 PM

The first time I saw it I was so stressed out while watching it I remember at the end breathing a big sigh of relief. Best movie ever.

by Anonymousreply 38January 17, 2023 1:19 PM

If you love both Alien and video games this one is perfect. Its mostly stealthy because you cant kill the alien with any weaponry. The graphics are fantastic. We play as the daughter of Ripley out to discover what happened to the Nostromo. We end up trapped on a disintegrating space station hunted by androids, a few humans trying to survive and the Alien. You will die often because the developers designed the Alien AI to be completely unpredictable.

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by Anonymousreply 39January 17, 2023 1:27 PM

Who is your favorite character?

Mine is Ash

by Anonymousreply 40January 17, 2023 1:43 PM

[quote]Who is your favorite character?

Sigourney hands down.

by Anonymousreply 41January 17, 2023 1:48 PM

^^The alien

by Anonymousreply 42January 17, 2023 1:50 PM

Jonesy - he's the only one who really gets it.

by Anonymousreply 43January 17, 2023 2:41 PM

My favorite character is the space jockey. So chilling.

Scott totally ruined this amazing alien creature with his hack-level reboot.

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by Anonymousreply 44January 17, 2023 2:59 PM

The scene with Swoosie Kurtz and Conrad Bain is so jarring.

by Anonymousreply 45January 17, 2023 3:09 PM

Truly is a perfect and absolutely terrifying film. I’ve seen it so many times, and I’m still jolted through the chest burster and alien attack scenes. One of the reasons that sets it apart is its setting. If it was Jason, Michael or Freddy you might be able to get away from them because Earth is not an enclosed space. On a spaceship forget it.

by Anonymousreply 46January 17, 2023 3:23 PM

R45 wrote movie

by Anonymousreply 47January 17, 2023 3:35 PM

H R Giger rules!

by Anonymousreply 48January 17, 2023 5:36 PM

I remember my parents coming back from seeing it and they were freaked out.

by Anonymousreply 49January 17, 2023 5:42 PM

John Hurt interview.

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by Anonymousreply 50January 17, 2023 8:36 PM

ooh he implies Sigourney had scenes with Veronica Cartwright cut.

by Anonymousreply 51January 17, 2023 8:40 PM

R51 They were both casually banging Dallas. That was cut out of the film.

by Anonymousreply 52January 17, 2023 11:05 PM

I can never look at an avocado in the same way again.

by Anonymousreply 53January 17, 2023 11:10 PM

The trailer of the film that OP posted is outstanding.

by Anonymousreply 54January 17, 2023 11:27 PM

I don't think anyone can say anything bad about this film

by Anonymousreply 55January 17, 2023 11:31 PM

Tom Skerritt does Bobbie Wygant.

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by Anonymousreply 56January 18, 2023 12:19 AM

He offers the theory that the alien is just a dream. Haven't heard that before.

by Anonymousreply 57January 18, 2023 12:28 AM

The film is great . The trailer, even better. I still consider it the best trailer ever made

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by Anonymousreply 58January 18, 2023 1:54 AM

Yes it's fabulous R58.

by Anonymousreply 59January 18, 2023 1:56 AM

@ R57

Imo we (humanity) are really the Alien. Here on earth we are destroying the planet and driving species into extinction mercilessly. Of course seeing an 'other' Alien terrifies us.

by Anonymousreply 60January 18, 2023 3:38 AM

Yaphet Kotto on Alien.

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by Anonymousreply 61January 18, 2023 5:44 AM

I had a mad crush on Tom Skerritt back then

by Anonymousreply 62January 18, 2023 10:04 AM

[quote]R1: A perfect film.

When Ash is trying to kill Ripley, there's some problems. It starts with a bit of what appears to be milk (android's "blood") trickling down from his temple, implying that Ripley had scratched him, but the way it's edited, their altercation hadn't yet turned physical. Something was dropped in the edit.

Once Ash has knocked her out, the cameraman walks around Ian Holm and backs away. As he does, he accidentally bumps into some chimes; their tinkling momentarily breaks Holmes' concentration, as he looks at the swinging chimes. Rather than break and do another take, they decide to press forward with the scene. Perhaps they thought it could be fixed in editing, but for some reason it never was; the mistake remained in the film. (Perhaps the editor did not realize that the tinkling chimes were caused by the cameraman, or maybe there was insufficient alternative footage shot of the scene for them to illustrate what they wanted to have taken place, and necessity forced them to use it, for better or worse.)

'Alien' is a great film, but it's not entirely flawless.

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by Anonymousreply 63January 19, 2023 12:20 PM

[quote] It starts with a bit of what appears to be milk (android's "blood") trickling down from his temple

I noticed that on my first viewing but interpreted it as as the Ash android beginning to malfunction under the pressure of the situation

by Anonymousreply 64January 19, 2023 4:42 PM

For a couple of decades, I thought that too, R64. But once I reconciled myself to the mistake with the chimes, I stopped trying to harmonize it and saw it for what it was: the two had already tangled, and she'd scratched him, but it had been edited out.

by Anonymousreply 65January 19, 2023 4:52 PM

French and Saunders.

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by Anonymousreply 66January 26, 2023 3:09 AM

In 1985, Cinemagic released 'Fright Show,' which featured four short films. One of them, 'Illegal Alien', the second feature, was a comedy parody of 'Alien' 1979. It starts at 12:31 on the linked video:

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by Anonymousreply 67January 26, 2023 12:34 PM

Amazing fact: Sigourney Weaver just said in an interview that she initially had been cast as Lambert and Veronica Cartwright was cast as Ripley....but on day one of filming the two actresses were switched by the director and Weaver took over Ripley.

I'm sure Cartwright was pissed....it turned Weaver into a huge star.

by Anonymousreply 68January 26, 2023 3:36 PM

The most realistic portrayal of long haul space travel portrayed. Dirty, dark, utilitarian and creepy. First time I saw it I thought "finally". The lack of make up made them look natural and real.

by Anonymousreply 69January 26, 2023 4:24 PM

What I love about the first film in particular is there’s no real backstory for the crew. No past life details of major significance revealed, no major traumas that come back to haunt and/or motivate them. Their actions are strictly grounded in the present circumstances.

by Anonymousreply 70January 26, 2023 4:36 PM

Realism R70.

by Anonymousreply 71January 26, 2023 4:38 PM

If you saw it in a theater at an impressionable age you may still be seized by irrational, mortal fear every time you experience a touch of indigestion. A powerful, perfect blend of the space-travel and horror genres, “Alien” tapped into a deep, claustrophobic anxiety and an equally primal sense of adventure, the simultaneous thrill and terror of the unknown. The sinewy resilience of Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley and the designs of the Swiss graphic artist H. R. Giger — including various horrible manifestations of the alien itself — have been etched into the pop-cultural DNA ever since.

by Anonymousreply 72January 27, 2023 4:33 AM

I don't think that is true about Veronica Cartwright and Sigourney being cast in the opposite roles.

I have a DVD with lots of extras. The casting director talks about casting Cartwright because she had kind of an extreme frightened look right for the role of Lambert.

Cartwright says she wanted Ripley but didn't get it. (she sounds a little wistful saying Sig became an action star while I was always off crying somewhere.)

by Anonymousreply 73February 1, 2023 9:07 AM

A brilliant example of making a low budget look high budget (a liberal use of spray paint, according to the documentary). They must have studied under Roger Corman.

by Anonymousreply 74February 1, 2023 10:00 AM

Being kind of kind of claustrophobic myself, you can appreciate the feeling of the walls closing in on them, how hot, sweaty & desperate everyone looks. The scariest scene is when Dallas is in the tunnels with the torch & they're trying to warn him that the alien is coming right for him. Still scares the piss out of me even though I've seen it several times.

by Anonymousreply 75February 1, 2023 10:02 AM

I still laugh when I think about the 1980 Mad magazine parody and in the chest-bursting scene, the alien is Kermit the Frog (with no explanation).

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by Anonymousreply 76February 1, 2023 10:46 AM

I remember my mom taking my brother and I to see this in the theater.

We were very young and my mom had no idea what she had taken us to see.

My brother ended up running out of the theater in terror. My mom let him go and we finished the movie. We loved it.

We found my brother in the lobby as we exited.

Great film, simpler times.

by Anonymousreply 77February 1, 2023 1:23 PM

Discovering Bolaji Badejo.

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by Anonymousreply 78February 1, 2023 1:30 PM

I remember hearing Veronica Cartwright's scream over the walkie talkie. You don't know what exactly happened to her, but DAMNNIT it was HORRIFYING

by Anonymousreply 79February 1, 2023 1:36 PM

Bumping this thread

by Anonymousreply 80May 27, 2024 10:31 PM

This movie totally freaked me out as a gayling.

Hate suspense films!

by Anonymousreply 81May 27, 2024 10:42 PM
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