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"You still don't understand what you're dealing with, do you? Perfect organism. Its structural perfection is matched only by its hostility."
Title: Alien
Directed by: Ridley Scott
Written by: Dan O'Bannon
Ronald Shusett
Produced by: Gordon Carroll
David Giler
Walter Hill
Ivor Powell
Ronald Shusett
Music by: Jerry Goldsmith; Lionel Newman
Cinematography: Derek Vanlint
Edited by: Terry Rawlings
Peter Weatherley
David Crowther [1]
Distributed by: Brandywine Productions
20th Century Fox Productions
Released: May 25th, 1979
Rating: R
Running time: 117 min.
Country: USA
Language: English
Budget: $11,000,000 [2]
Gross: $60,150,933 [2]
Next: Aliens (1986)

Alien is a 1979 sci-fi/horror film directed by Ridley Scott. It was released theatrically in the United States on May 25th. Alien proved popular enough to spawn a franchise including multiple sequels, comic books, video games, novels as well as several crossover project with the Predator franchise. A special director's cut of the film was released and included on the Alien Quadrilogy DVD set, which included a special introduction by Ridley Scott.

Characters Edit

Ash Edit

Ash was a bio-mech android model 120-A2 constructed by Hyperdine Systems in the early 22nd century. He was contracted by the Weyland-Yutani Corporation and assigned to serve as Science Officer aboard the commercial towing vessel Nostromo under the command of Captain Dallas. Neither Dallas nor the rest of the crew were aware that Ash was an android, and as such, were unaware of his true mission. Weyland-Yutani sent Ash on the Nostromo under Special Order 937, which involved the procurement of an alien organism which was believed to originate somewhere in the Zeta II Reticuli System on the Outer rim of the galaxy. All other matters were considered secondary and the crew was expendable.

In 2122, the Nostromo was returning from a job in the Solomons when the ship received a distress beacon coming from a nearby planetoid. They took a drop-ship to the planet's service and discovered the wreckage of a derelict space vessel as well as the fossilized remains of its pilot. The Nostromo's second in command, Kane, was attacked by an embryonic creature which attached itself to his face. Despite all quarantine procedures, Ash allowed Kane back onto the ship so he could analyze the organism. He attempted to surgically remove the creature from Kane's face, but when he made an incision on one of the phalanges, he found that the alien had concentrated acid for blood. He also determined that the so-called "Face Hugger" served as a sort of midwife to another species. It inserted a proboscis into Kane's mouth, which kept his body stable, but also impregnated him with a seed that gestated inside of Kane's chest. The Face Hugger eventually detached itself from Kane and died after serving its biological requirements.

The product of this process grew inside of Kane and adapted some of his physiological characteristics. Using Kane as a birthing chamber, it burst free of his body and quickly grew into a full-sized Xenomorph. Ash deliberately sabotaged the crew's efforts to destroy the creature and Warrant Officer Ellen Ripley eventually discovered the truth about Ash's mission. Ash offered to explain himself to Ripley, but she wouldn't hear it and attempted to warn the rest of the crew about him. Ash grabbed Ripley and threw her against a computer panel on the bridge of the ship. He then began to suffocate her by shoving a rolled up magazine into her mouth. Crew members Parker and Lambert came to Ripley's rescue and Parker bashed Ash across the back of the head with a steel pipe. This caused a malfunction in the android and he began spasming and spinning about in circles, bouncing off the walls of the ship. Parker struck him a second time and partially dislodged his head. It was at this point that everyone learned that Ash was an android. After incapacitating his body, Lambert reconnected his head and vocal processors so they could learn the truth about his mission parameters. Ripley asked him how they could neutralize the alien and Ash plainly stated, "You can't". Frustrated by the uncooperative traitor, Parker finished him off by incinerating the remains.

Dallas Edit

Dallas was a freighter captain in the early half of the 22nd century. He was the captain of the commercial towing vessel the USCSS Nostromo. In 2122, the Nostromo was on a return trip from the Solomons when the ship's mainframe computer (dubbed "Mother") intercepted a distress beacon originating from somewhere in the Zeta II Reticuli system. The computer prematurely awakened the crew from hypersleep with instructions to investigate. Upon awakening, Dallas went to the mainframe to get an update on their position and mission parameters. After learning about their course being re-routed, he alerted the crew and ordered them to track the beacon. They traced it to a small planetoid, which later came to be known as Acheron.

Dallas led an away team to the planet's surface to investigate. During the expedition, they came upon the ruins of a derelict space craft and the remains of its pilot. Dallas' second in command, Commander Kane encountered a deadly organism, which attached itself to his face. Desperate to save him, Dallas tried to have Kane brought back on board their drop ship, but Warrant Officer Ellen Ripley, refused to let them back on board, citing quarantine laws and possible contamination from the organism. Science Officer Ash countermanded Ripley's orders and allowed Dallas and the others back on board. Dallas admonished Ripley for refusing to obey a direct order.

The organism used Kane as a living incubator and midwife for an even more dangerous species of alien known as a Xenomorph. The maturation rate of a Xenomorph was extremely rapid and within hours it had grown to its full adult height (over seven feet tall). The Xenomorph killed Kane and engineer S.E. Brett and was hiding in the ship's ventilation shafts. Dallas elected to go on the first search for the alien and armed himself with an incinerator as he began crawling through the air ducts. He came upon the Xenomorph who captured him and dragged him off to another part of the ship. There, the creature secreted a resin and used it to place Dallas into a type of cocoon. Its purpose was to use Dallas as a host body for another Xenomorph, much in the same way that Kane was used to give birth to this particular alien. Ripley eventually found Captain Dallas secured to the hull of the ship and he begged her to kill him. Ripley complied and put Dallas out of his misery with her incinerator. His remains were further destroyed when Ripley blew up the Nostromo in an effort to destroy the alien.

Ellen Ripley Edit

In the year 2122, Ripley served as a Warrant Officer aboard the commercial towing vehicle USCSS Nostromo. The ship was on a return route from the Solomons when the mainframe computer intercepted a distress beacon, thus forcing it to awaken the crew early from hypersleep. They found themselves somewhere in the Zeta II Reticuli System on the Outer rim of the galaxy. The ship's captain, Dallas, interpreted the computer's instructions and informed the crew that they were contractually obligated to respond to the beacon. They tracked its origin point to a planetoid, which later came to be known as Acheron. They took a dropship to the surface and three of the crew members, Dallas, Lambert and Kane went out to explore the ruins of a derelict ship. Ripley and the ship's science officer Ash, remained on board the dropship to monitor their progress.

While exploring the cargo hold of the ship, Commander Kane was attacked by a crab-like organism, which attached itself to his face, rendering him comatose. Dallas and Lambert brought Kane back to the dropship and ordered Ripley to let them in. Ripley knew that doing so would violate quarantine procedures and by letting Kane on board with the organism, she could put the entire crew at risk. Despite Dallas' demands, Ripley refused to let them back on board. Ash countermanded Ripley and opened the airlock, bringing the three of them back inside. Dallas admonished Ripley for disobeying an order and Lambert slapped her across the face. Despite this however, Ripley stood by her decision and was severely irritated with Ash for countermanding her instructions.

Ripley's fears proved to be correct. The organism that had attached itself to Kane's face had impregnated him with an alien embryo. This embryo used Kane as a host body and incubator until it was ready to break free by bursting outward through his chest, ultimately killing him. Ripley and the rest of the crew watched in horror as this "chestburster" clawed its way out of Kane's body and escaped elsewhere onto the ship. Ripley lead the search party for the creature, which consisted of herself, Lambert, chief engineer J.T. Parker and engineer S.E. Brett. Using a scanner developed by Ash, they tracked the creature's movements throughout the maintenance bay of the ship. At first, they thought they had cornered it, but it only turned out to be Ripley's cat, Jonesy. Knowing that the cat running loose on the ship would send off false readings, Ripley sent Brett to go find it. Unfortunately by this point, the alien entity had grown into a full-size adult xenomorph and killed Brett only moments later. It then went on to capture Captain Dallas, cocooning him inside one of the air shafts for later use.

With Dallas and Kane both dead, Ripley was now the senior officer aboard the ship. She accessed the computer mainframe (known as Mother) and queried about how to neutralize an alien threat. The computer denied her request, citing Special Order 937, which was for the science officer's eyes only. Ripley overrode the program and opened up the file. She learned to her horror that Ash was under orders to deliberately divert the crew to the planetoid to collect the organism for the Company and return it to Earth for analysis. This priority superseded all others and the crew was considered expendable. Ash confronted her and offered an explanation, but soon learned that Ripley intended on exposing his deceit to the rest of the crew. He attacked Ripley, throwing her about the bridge of the ship. He tried to suffocate her by shoving a rolled up magazine into her mouth, but Parker and Lambert came in and tried to restrain him. During the fight, Parker beat Ash across the head with a steel pipe and it was at this point that they all learned that Ash was actually an android. Once they incapacitated him, Ripley asked Ash how to destroy the alien, to which Ash plainly replied, "You can't". A frustrated Parker punctuated the interrogation by melting Ash's remains to slag with an incinerator.

With only three crew members left, Ripley decided that they should set the auto-destruct sequence on the Nostromo and take their chances in the life boat. Parker and Lambert gathered coolant canisters from the medical bay while Ripley prepped the shuttle. She then returned to the bridge of the Nostromo and activated the auto-destruct sequence on the ship, allowing them only ten minutes to finish what they needed to do and get back to the shuttle. The xenomorph then appeared in the maintenance bay and killed Parker and Lambert. Ripley found their bloody remains and grabbed an incinerator. While making her way back towards the shuttle, she found Dallas and Lambert cocooned to the wall. She turned her incinerator upon them and burned them to death as a mercy killing.

Ripley (and Jonesy) made it back to the shuttle and blasted off just as the Nostromo exploded. She thought she was safe now and prepared to go into hypersleep. She then discovered that the xenomorph had somehow gotten on board. Ripley opened the air lock and used a harpoon to spear the creature through the opening out into the space. The alien screamed in pain and its body got caught inside one of the shuttle's engines. Ripley gunned the ship and the blast from the engines incinerated the creature. With the threat level now truly over, Ripley recorded her personal log and put herself and Jones into hypersleep for the long trip back towards Earth.

J.M. Lambert Edit

J.M. Lambert was a flight navigator employed by the Weyland-Yutani Corporation and assigned to the commercial towing vessel the USCSS Nostromo under the command of Captain Dallas.

In the year 2122, the Nostromo was on a return course to Earth from the Solomons near the Outer rim. As it passed through the Zeta II Reticuli system, the ship's mainframe computer (dubbed "Mother") intercepted a distress beacon originating from a planetoid which would later be identified as Acheron. Per its programming, Mother prematurely awakened the crew from hypersleep so that they could determine the nature of the beacon.

Initially, the crew was unaware that they had awakened early and thought that they were close to Earth. It was Lambert who first determined their location and their relationship to the planetoid. Following company protocols, Captain Dallas rerouted the Nostromo to Acheron to investigate the beacon. Lambert piloted the drop ship that brought the crew to the planet's surface. Along with first mate Kane and Captain Dallas, Lambert donned an environmental suit and explored the surface of the planet. They discovered an ancient derelict space craft containing the remains of a fifteen-foot tall alien pilot. Commander Kane found a cargo bay containing thousands of egg pods, each one housing a dangerous organism that hatched from the egg and attacked Kane. Dallas and Lambert found Kane unconscious with the organism attached to his face.

They brought him back to the drop ship, but Warrant Officer Ellen Ripley refused to let them on board citing quarantine procedures that restricted them from bringing unidentified alien organisms onto the ship. Science officer Ash countermanded Ripley's orders and let them on board. Lambert was particularly distraught with Ripley's actions and expressed her anger by violently slapping her across the face.

Kane was taken to the infirmary, but the organism implanted an embryo inside of him, which quickly began to grow into a newborn species of alien commonly known as a xenomorph. Kane awakened and appeared to be in strong health, suffering only minor symptoms from interfacing with the "facehugger". During dinner however, Kane began to feel the full effects of the alien symbiosis and the newborn violently burst out of his chest, killing Kane and spraying Lambert with copious amounts of blood. The alien scampered off and hid inside the cooling ducts of the ship.

Before long, the "chestburster" matured into a seven-foot xenomorph and began systematically picking off the members of the crew. It attacked engineer S.E. Brett in the maintenance bay and captured Captain Dallas in one of the air shafts. Lambert took the loss of Dallas particularly hard and her behavior grew more and more erratic. Ripley, being next in line to assume command, tried to keep Lambert calm, but she grew only more hysterical with each passing moment.

Lambert eventually learned that the Weyland-Yutani Corporation assigned an android aboard the Nostromo in the guise of their science officer Ash. Ash was under orders to find and retrieve the organism for the company's bio-weapons division; at the expense of the crew if necessary. Lambert and chief engineer J.T. Parker discovered Ash's treachery as he tried to kill Ripley by suffocating her with a rolled up magazine. Lambert and Parker pulled Ash, saving Ripley's life and Parker incapacitated the android with several blows to the head from a steel pipe.

With only three people left alive, they all decided to blow up the Nostromo and take their chances in the ship's lifeboat the Narcissus. Ripley had Parker and Lambert collect coolant canisters while Ripley prepped the shuttle. The xenomorph attacked them in the maintenance bay. It stalked after Lambert who was frozen in terror. Parker attempted to save her, but the creature swatted him back before spearing him with its secondary mandible. Lambert crawled away and hid inside a locker where she subsequently died of fright.

J.T. Parker Edit

J.T. Parker was the chief engineer of the commercial towing vessel Nostromo in the early 22nd century. He was close friends with fellow engineer S.E. Brett. Although they were both competent at their jobs, they frequently found themselves in disagreement with the ship's captain, Dallas. Specifically, Parker disliked the fact that Brett and he received fewer shares than what the rest of the crew was earning. Parker also found himself frequently at odds with Warrant Officer Ellen Ripley.

In the year 2122, the Nostromo was returning from a job in the Solomons and passed through the Zeta II Reticuli system. Due to a command program in the ship's computer, the crew of the Nostromo came out of hypersleep early in response to the interception of a distress beacon. Upon learning that the ship had been re-routed, Captain Dallas alerted the crew that they would be following the beacon to its source to investigate it. Parker complained about the situation and demanded full shares for his work.

The crew took a drop-ship down to the surface of a planetoid (which later became known as Acheron), but the intense weather patterns caused a great deal of damage to the ship. When asked about how long it would take to affect repairs, Parker hedged the estimate and told Dallas that it would take twenty-five hours to fix everything.

While Parker and Brett were manning the repairs, the away team found an alien entity that attached itself to the face of the first officer, Kane. Despite quarantine procedures, Kane was brought back onto the ship and placed in the infirmary. Once the repairs were completed, the crew and the alien "facehugger" were brought back to the Nostromo. The entity impregnated Kane with its seed and used him as a host body to give birth to a larger, more aggressive alien predator. This alien, often referred to as a xenomorph, grew to a size of more than seven feet in height and began systematically killing everyone on the ship.

Following the death of Kane and then Captain Dallas, Warrant Officer Ripley took control of the ship. She accessed the ship's computer and discovered a horrifying truth. The company they worked for, the Weyland-Yutani Corporation had implanted an android spy aboard their ship masquerading as their science officer. This spy, Ash, was under orders to recover the alien organism and return it to Earth, even at the expense of the crew. After being exposed as a traitor, Ash tried to kill Ripley. Parker came upon them and tried to restrain Ash, but the android was more powerful than him and shirked him off. Parker clubbed Ash across the head repeatedly, practically knocking it off. It was at this point that he learned that Ash was a robot. The group interrogated Ash, after which, Parker incinerated his robotic remains.

Although the problems with Ash had been dealt with, they still had to contend with the xenomorph still loose aboard the ship. Ripley decided that they should take their chances with the shuttle and activate the Nostromo 's self-destruct sequence. Parker and Lambert went down to the maintenance bay to collect coolant canisters and came across the alien. The creature lunged at Lambert and Parker tried to save her, but the alien swatted him to the side with its spiny tail. It then turned towards Parker and killed him by spearing him with its secondary jaw. Parker's remains were destroyed when Ripley set off the self-destruct sequence.

Jones Edit

Jones was a pet cat owned by Warrant Officer Ellen Ripley. Ripley brought the cat with her on her ill-fated trek upon the commercial towing vessel Nostromo. In the year 2122, the crew of the Nostromo, as well as Jonesy, came out of hypersleep in the Zeta II Reticuli system. They unwittingly transported an alien Xenomorph onto the ship and it began systematically killing off the crew members. Science officer Ash created a scanner, by which to track the alien, but Jonesy's prowling throughout the ship gave the scanner a false reading. While attempting to ferret out the alien, they actually came across Jones who ran off into the maintenance bay. Engineer S.E. Brett was sent to find the animal, but became a victim of the Xenomorph instead.

In short order, everyone but Ellen Ripley and Jonesy were dead. Ellen set the ship on auto-destruct and put Jonesy into a pet carrier and secured him in the shuttle. She blasted away from the Nostromo shortly before it exploded, but unfortunately, the Xenomorph had found its way on board. It smacked Jones' pet carrier to the floor in an effort to get to Ripley, but Ellen ultimately managed to destroy the creature by propelling it out of the shuttle's air lock. Afterward, Jones was put into hypersleep along with Ripley for the long voyage home.

Kane Edit

Kane was the first officer on the commercial towing vessel Nostromo under the command of Captain Dallas. In the year 2122, while returning from a job in the Solomons, the ship passed through the Zeta II Reticuli system when the Nostromos onboard computer, "mother", awakened them from hypersleep prematurely. The computer had intercepted a distress beacon originating from a planetoid within close proximity to their ship.

The Nostromo crew responded to the beacon and took a drop ship to a planetoid (which later came to be known as Acheron). The weather conditions on the planetoid's surface were extremely violent and the ship suffered extensive damage while trying to land. Commander Kane was part of a three-person survey crew that explored the planetoid's surface. Along with Captain Dallas and navigator J.M. Lambert, they discovered the ruins of a derelict space craft, which had apparently crash landed here many years ago. They determined that it was the ancient S.O.S. beacon from this vessel that their ship had intercepted.

Kane explored the cargo bay of this carrier ship and found a giant nursery filled with thousands of large, bio-organic pods. Drawing his weapon, he examined one of the pods at close range and found that it was actually an egg. His proximity to the egg prompted it to hatch, eschewing forth a crab-like alien organism which attached itself to Kane's helmet. This alien "facehugger", secreted an acid that bled through the helmet, allowing the organism to attach itself directly to Kane's face.

The rest of the crew found Kane and quickly brought his unconscious body back on board the drop ship (breaking quarantine protocols in the process). He was immediately taken to the infirmary where the ship's science officer Ash began to analyze the creature. The facehugger had inserted a long proboscis into Kane's mouth which was feeding him oxygen. Although the ship's crew didn't realize it at the time, the organism was also impregnating Kane with an alien embryo, using his body as a living incubator. Once the facehugger adequately performed its duties as midwife, it dropped off of Kane and died.

Kane soon recovered and had almost no memory of his experiences on the planetoid. He was brought back to the Nostromo and the rest of the crew prepared a large meal before going back into hypersleep. During dinner, the seed within Kane's body began to grow. Kane went into convulsions and Dallas and chief engineer J.T. Parker had to restrain him. The alien embryo punched through Kane's chest and skittered across the floor of the room. Kane was killed instantly.

S.E. Brett Edit

S.E. Brett was an engineer and employee of the Weyland-Yutani Corporation. In 2122, he was assigned to work aboard the commercial towing vehicle the USCSS Nostromo with his friend and senior officer J.T. Parker. While returning from a job in the Solomons, the ship passed through the Zeta II Reticuli system when the Nostromo 's onboard computer, "mother", awakened them from cryosleep prematurely. During breakfast, Brett and Parker complained about the "bonus situation", stating that they were unsatisfied with the share percentage they were receiving for their work. When the ship's captain, Dallas, ordered the crew to respond to a distress beacon, Brett and Parker angled for full shares. They reminded Warrant Officer Ellen Ripley, that rescue work was outside their job description.

The Nostromo crew responded to the beacon and took a drop ship to a planetoid, which later came to be known as Acheron. The weather conditions on the planetoid's surface were extremely violent and the ship suffered extensive damage while trying to land. Brett and Parker noted that it would take anywhere between seventeen to twenty-five hours to affect repairs.

While Brett worked on repairing the damaged drop-ship, three of the other crew members explored the planet's surface and first officer Commander Kane was injured by an alien embryo. Despite quarantine procedures, both Kane and the embryo were brought on board and Kane later died from his injuries. The embryo escaped quickly grew into a seven-foot, adult-sized Xenomorph and began hiding in the air ducts of the ship. The rest of the crew had yet to realize how large it had grown.

Captain Dallas charged Ripley, Parker and Brett with the task of hunting the creature down. While Parker brought along a net, Brett carried a cattle-prod with him. Ripley used a tracking scanner designed by their science officer Ash to get a lock on the alien's location. While exploring the cargo bay, the scanner locked in on a signal, but it only turned out to be Ripley's cat, Jonesy. The cat ran off and Parker and Ripley sent Brett out to recover it. They needed to catch the cat or else it would just continue to send out false signals. Brett found Jonesy in the maintenance bay, but unfortunately for him, he also found something else. The Xenomorph descended from the upper workings of the bay and speared Brett with its secondary jaw. It then wrapped its tail around him and dragged him up into the cooling ducts.

Whether Brett died at this exact moment is unclear. The Xenomorph took his body into another part of the ship where it cocooned him. Hours later, Ripley found Brett's body cocooned to the wall and used an incinerator to put him out of his misery.

Space Jockey Edit

The space jockey is an interplanetary traveler of extraterrestrial origin. Almost nothing is known about his species or where the jockey originally hailed from. It has been theorized that the jockey is a bio-mech, likely part of a military operation responsible for transporting a weapon carrier craft to the planetoid known as Acheron at some point in the distant past.

The cargo bay of his carrier contained a nursery, which included a bed of thousands of Xenomorph eggs. At some point in time, the jockey activated a distress beacon on his ship, sending it out across the Zeta II Reticuli System and neighboring systems. This likely took place just prior to landing on Acheron. The true nature of the beacon is itself a mystery. He may have sent it as a warning of the dangerous species aboard his ship, or he may have been attempting to lure unwary space farers to his location so that they could be used as bio-gestation chambers for the Xenomorphs. Whatever his intent, the pilot found himself a victim of the very creatures that he was transporting.

In 2122, the commercial freighter USCSS Nostromo picked up the distress beacon and sent an away team down to the planetoid's surface to investigate it. They found the fossilized remains of the pilot, fused to the seat of his command chair. The ribs of his chest protruded outward as if something had burst its way out from the inside. The first officer, Kane, found the xenomorph nursery in the cargo hold and was attacked by an embryonic "facehugger" (the virtual larval stage of a xenomorph). Desperate to save Kane's life, the crew hurriedly brought him back aboard the Nostromo.

Plot Edit

The Nostromo Edit

USCSS Nostromo 002

The USCSS Nostromo

Somewhere in the Zeta II Reticuli system, the commercial towing vehicle the USCSS Nostromo edges through space. The onboard computer system activates and awakens the ship's crew members from their hypersleep. The crew consists of Captain Dallas, First officer Kane, Science Officer Ash, Warrant Officer Ellen Ripley, navigator Lambert and engineers Parker and Brett. They sit around a meeting table sharing food and coffee. Parker and Brett complain about their wages and make a point of noting that they are not receiving the same shares as the rest of the crew. Dallas goes to the computer mainframe to check on "Mother". He discovers that the crew has been awakened early due to an ambiguous distress beacon that Mother picked up. The rest of the crew try to get their bearings and they find that they are still in the Outer Rim - a long way from Earth. Ripley tries to send a message to Antarctica Traffic Control, but receives nothing. Dallas joins them on the bridge of the ship and tells them that Mother intercepted a transmission of "unknown origin". As per her programming, she awakened the crew so that they can investigate. They analyze the signal and find that it is an acoustical beacon originating from a planetoid some distance away.

The Nostromo crew approach one of the moons orbiting the planetoid and descend to the surface using one of their drop-ships. Intense winds buffet the ship and they make an extremely shaky landing that sends shockwaves throughout the craft. The ship suffers some structural support and the engineering crew estimate that it will take some seventeen to twenty-five hours to affect repairs.

They determine that the source of the beacon originates some 2,000 meters away from their location. Brett and Parker stay on the ship to make repairs as do Ripley and Ash. Dallas leads Kane and Lambert onto the surface in survival suits. They track the signal to a partially buried derelict ship, which they imagine has been here for thousands of years. They descend into a tunnel running beneath the ship's hull and find a vast corridor with walls that look the vertebrae of some gigantic monster. Upon finding the bridge of the ship, they find the fossilized remains of an alien pilot. The creature is more than fifteen feet in height and seems as if his body is literally growing from his seat. Dallas observes an open chest cavity with its ribs protruding outward as if he were attacked from within or from behind by a large object.

Man down Edit

Face Hugger

Kane and the Face Hugger

Kane investigates the lower cargo hold of the ship and comes upon a cavern containing a bed of large, leathery eggs. The eggs are set up side by side inside this de facto nursery and a thin, illuminated layer of mist covers them like a blanket. The mist reacts to Kane's presence, but he continues to inspect the eggs. Once he is within close proximity, an aperture on an egg opens and a small, spider-like creature leaps forward and attaches itself to Kane's helmet. Dallas and Lambert hear Kane's screams over their com system and rush to get him back aboard the ship.

Dallas orders Ripley to open the air lock to admit them, but Ripley refuses to do so. She cites quarantine procedures and warns Dallas that she risks endangering the entire crew if she lets Kane on board. Science officer Ash countermands Ripley's directive and lets the crew into the ship. Kane is immediately taken to the infirmary.

Dallas and Ash analyze the organism which is still attached to Kane's helmet. Kane himself has lapsed into a coma. Outside the infirmary, Parker, Brett and Lambert observe Dallas and Ash's work with great concern. When Ripley enters the corridor, Lambert slaps her - enraged that she was willing to let Kane die. From over intercom, Captain Dallas likewise admonishes Ripley's actions, but she stands by her decision.

Inside the room, Ash determines that the alien has somehow eaten through the helmet and attached itself to Kane's face. It has inserted a proboscis of sorts into Kane's mouth, feeding him oxygen and keeping him alive albeit comatose. Ash attempts to cut one of the alien phalanges off of Kane's face. As soon as he does so, acidic blood squirts out of the incision and begins melting through the infirmary floor. Fearful that the acid might eat through the hull of the ship, Dallas and the others race down to the lower decks to see how far down it burns. It stops after three levels.

To keep their minds off Kane, the rest of the crew attempt to keep busy with their chores. Parker and Brett continue working on ship repairs while Ash studies Kane's condition. Ripley comes into the med-lab and voices her displeasure at Ash for countermanding her orders. She reminds him that she holds rank over him and is third in command on the ship. Ash appears unimpressed with Ripley's concerns.

Time passes and the "face hugger" entity disappears from Kane's body. The crew begins scouring the ship for the entity when suddenly it falls from the ceiling down onto Ripley. They recover it and Ash wants to take it back to Earth for further study.

Parker and Brett complete their repairs on the drop ship and they all return to the Nostromo. They are still ten months away from Earth.

Alien birth

Alien birth

Ash calls the crew down to the infirmary for a surprising development - Kane is awake. Although tired, he appears completely healthy, but possesses little memory of what happened down on the planet's surface. The crew decides to have one last meal before going into hypersleep. During the meal, the crew converses and carries on, but something seems to be bothering Kane. He begins choking and gagging and Parker quips that it must be the ship's food. The rest of them quickly realize that something is seriously wrong however and Kane begins convulsing. They restrain him to the table when suddenly his chest explodes outward, spraying the others with blood. A small alien creature, different from the one that originally attacked him, exits his chest cavity and runs across the floor of the ship. They try to capture it, but the alien is fast and disappears into the air ducts. Captain Dallas has Kane's body jettisoned into space.

The search Edit

Xenomorph 002

Surprise visitor

The others prepare equipment to help them seek out the alien. Brett makes a suitable cattle prod while Ash puts together a scanner that keys off of micro changes in air density. Ripley, Parker and Brett begin to check out the cargo hold. Parker has a net so he can capture the beast after they stun it. They get a lock on the signal and the three of them grow intense. When they track it down however, they discover that it is only Jones, Ripley's cat. The cat runs off scared and they breathe a sigh of relief. Brett begins chuckling, but Parker and Ripley remind him that they need to get the cat or else it will continue to set off false signals.

Jones goes off in search of the cat. He begins checking out the maintenance bay and finds a patch of shedded skin on the floor. He grows concerned and begins calling out for Jonesy. He eventually finds the cat tucked in behind some crates. The animal is skittish and hisses at him. Brett calls out to him again, but the cat runs off. From behind him, the alien appears. It is now fully grown, black and standing more than seven feet tall. It opens up its elongated mandible and a secondary jaw juts outward spearing Brett. It then wraps its long, skeletal tale around his body and drags him up into the cooling ducts.

The rest of the crew regroup on the bridge to discuss their strategy. Determining that the alien is using the air shafts in order to move about the ship, Captain Dallas recommends flushing it out by sealing off specific ducts, channeling the creature into the main air lock where they can then safely jettison it into outer space. Dallas volunteers to track the alien down. Ripley monitors his movements while Ash tries to keep a trace on the alien. They track it to the third junction and attempt to seal it off, but the alien emerges and attacks Dallas. His com signal goes blank. Parker goes up to investigate and recovers Dallas' rifle. However there is absolutely not sign of Dallas at all - not even blood.

The group convenes for a meeting to discuss a new strategy. Lambert begins to grow hysterical and recommends taking the shuttle and blowing the ship. Ripley reminds her that the shuttle cannot accomodate four people. She takes command of the rest of the crew and says that they will move in pairs to find the creature and blast it out the air lock.

Betrayal Edit

"Its a robot! Ash is a goddamn robot!"
J.T. Parker
Ash (android) 002

The remains of Ash

The group breaks up and Ripley goes to the computer mainframe chamber to speak with Mother. She asks Mother the most efficient means of neutralizing the alien threat. Mother is unable to clarify, stating that mission parameters are sealed under Special Order 937 and only the ship's science officer can access it. Ripley initiates an emergency command override and opens up Special Order 937. She is horrified to discover that the "company" knew about the alien beacon all along and programmed mother to reroute the crew to the planet to recover the organism. Science officer orders require them to bring it back to Earth for analysis. The remainder of the crew is completely expendable. Ash enters the room and says, "There is an explanation for all this."

Ripley flies into a rage and pushes Ash against the wall. She runs off into an adjacent corridor to warn the others, but Ash seals off the corridor. She turns to confront him and notices a strange, white fluid dripping down the side of his face. Ash attacks Ripley and slams her against the bulkhead of the ship. He presses her down onto a counter and tries suffocating her by shoving a rolled up magazine into her mouth. Parker and Lambert rush into the room and find Ash choking Ripley. They try to restrain him, but Ash flies into a fit of hysteria, spinning around in circles and bouncing off the walls. Parker picks up a metal pipe and bashes Ash across the head. His head cocks backwards, partially tearing itself from his neck and it becomes clear now that Ash is actually an android and not a human being. Parker continues to batter the android until it is no longer operative. Once things settle down, they separate Ash's head from his body and reboot him so they can learn more about his true mission parameters. Ash reiterates what Ripley learned from mother and appears to admire the purity of the alien creature they recovered. Ripley asks him how to kill the alien and Ash responds, "You can’t'". Deciding that he has heard enough, Parker incinerates the rest of the android's remains. Ripley decides to default to Lambert's original idea and blow up the ship and take their chances in the shuttle.

Escape plan Edit

"The emergency destruct system is now activated. The ship will detonate in t-minus ten minutes."
Xenomorph 003

Alien attack!

While Ripley begins to prep the shuttle for take-off, Parker and Lambert go to get coolant canisters. Ripley hears Jonesy meowing and goes off to look for him. Meanwhile, the alien appears in the maintenance bay and attacks Lambert and Parker. Ripley can hear their cries of distress coming over the intercom and runs off to help them. Lambert is frozen with fear, unable to move. Parker runs up behind the alien, but it swats him away with one swipe from its tale. It then turns its attention on Parker and bites him with its interior jaw. It then spins about and kills Lambert. Ripley arrives on the scene moments later and finds their bleeding bodies. Tearfully, she runs out of the bay and goes to the bridge of the Nostromo. She activates the countdown sequence for the ship's self-destruct protocols.

Ripley arms herself with an incinerator and climbs back down the lower decks of the ship on her way back to the shuttle. She finds the walls of one of the chambers completely covered in a slimy, gelatinous substance. Attached to the walls and encased in this substance, she finds Dallas and Brett. Dallas is still alive, but in great pain. He begs Ripley to kill him. Ripley turns up the incinerator and turns it on Dallas and Brett, putting them out of their misery.

She runs to get to shuttle, but realizes that she is running short on time. The alien has discovered her presence and begins pursuing her through the corridors. She gets to the bridge and tries to override the ship's detonation procedure, but she is too late. Panic and anger overtake her. She grabs Jonesy and makes her way to the shuttle. She manages to strap herself in and launch the shuttle with enough time to avoid the explosion of the Nostromo.

Stowaway Edit

Ripley on shuttle

Ripley fights back.

Ripley watches the Nostromo explode, confidant that she destroyed the alien along with it. She un-straps herself from the cockpit and lets Jones out of his pet carrier. She prepares the hypersleep chamber for its long voyage back towards Earth. While setting a few switches, Ripley discovers to her horror that the alien has managed to make it onto the shuttle and is sleeping inside a niche above the computer banks. The creature stirs and uncoils it's body slightly, but still appears to be in a state of hibernation. Ripley dons a space suit and straps herself into a chair. She arms herself with a harpoon gun and begins venting steam, hoping that this will kill the alien. The monster shrieks in discomfort, but it is still alive. It comes after her so Ripley slams a button that opens the airlock. The alien flies towards the portal, but latches on to the docking flaps. Ripley fires the harpoon, forcing the creature into the depths of space. It's body is caught inside one of the shuttle's engines where it is incinerated.

Satisfied that the alien is now finally dead, Ripley records the final log for the USCSS Nostromo. She places herself and Jones in stasis and goes to sleep for the six-week journey back towards Earth.

Cast Edit

Actor Role
Tom Skerritt Captain Dallas
Sigourney Weaver Ellen Ripley
Veronica Cartwright J.M. Lambert
Harry Dean Stanton S.E. Brett
John Hurt Kane
Ian Holm Ash
Yaphet Kotto J.T. Parker
Bolaji Badejo The alien
Helen Horton Mother
Eddie Powell The alien

Notes & Trivia Edit

Necronom IV

"Necronom IV" by H.R. Giger; Inspiration for the alien.

  • The original working title for this film was Star Beast.
  • Rated R for sci-fi violence/gore and language.
  • The tagline for the film is, "In space no one can hear you scream..."
  • The crew members of the Nostromo are identified only by their last names in this movie. Brett, Parker and Lambert's first initials are revealed on their dossiers in Aliens. Ripley's first name, Ellen, is also revealed in Aliens.
  • The name of the alien species featured in this film is never identified by a proper name, but is referred to by the generic term Xenomorph beginning with Aliens.
  • The design of the alien as well as that of the space jockey and his derelict ship was inspired by the works of Swiss surrealists artist H.R. Giger. Giger won the Academy Award for Best Achievement for Visual Effects for his design work on the film.
  • The Nostromo's registry number is revealed in the beginning of the film when the computer screen first activates.
  • The only reference to Weyland-Yutani is on the computer monitor when the automatic pilot disengages in the beginning of the film. On the screen, the company's name is spelled Weylan Yutani.
  • The original title design for the film was going to show the Alien logo made out of bone and bits of flesh. The producers decided that this would be too gruesome of an opening and changed it to a slow dissolve title sequence, which resembles a form of hieroglyphs. The final design as seen in the film was created by Saul Bass. Bass' trademark style has been used in dozens of films such as Anatomy of a Murder, Cape Fear and Psycho.
  • Most of the interior set design for the Nostromo was constructed from the remains of old aircraft found at an "aircraft graveyard". [4]
  • Actor John Hurt parodied his character of Kane in the 1987 comedy Spaceballs. In his scene, Hurt begins convulsing in a restaurant until a chest burster explodes from his body and begins singing. Afterward, he looks at the camera and says, "Not again."
  • The death of Lambert takes place off-screen and it is never detrmined exactly how she dies. According to Ridley Scott and actress Veronica Cartwright, Lambert crawls away from the alien and hides inside a locker where she dies of fright.
  • Dan O'Bannon's original script treatment for Alien did not include the character of Science Officer Ash. Producers Walter Hill and Ronald Shusett felt that the film needed a secondary story element, so they added the sub-plot of Ash, the android spy who ultimately betrays the crew. O'Bannon was displeased with this, feeling that it was a cheap gag and disingenuous to his original vision. He referred to the new material as suffering from "Russian Spy" syndrome. [5]
  • The first shot of the alien embryo inside the egg was actually Ridley Scott's hand wriggling around inside a rubber glove. [4]
  • The interior of the alien egg was constructed out of steamed sheep and cattle parts from a slaughterhouse.
  • The underside of the dead facehugger that Ash examines was made out of oysters.
  • On the director's commentary for the Alien special edition DVD, Ridley Scott attempts to rationalize the scene where Ash tries to kill Ripley. Scott ascribes a Freudian sexual conflict to the character of Ash, noting that as an Android, Ash is not anatomically correct, and vents his sexual frustration upon Ripley when he forces her to fellate a rolled-up pornographic magazine.

Special Edition Edit

A special edition of Alien was released in 2003 and packaged as a single DVD as well as being included in the nine-disc Alien Quadrilogy collection. The special edition included an introduction by director Ridley Scott as well as twelve-minutes of previously deleted footage that were re-inserted back into the film.

The first deleted scene takes place early in the film and is a longer sequence showing Lambert determining the Nostromo's location in the Zeta II Reticuli system. The next deleted scene takes place on the surface of the planetoid when Kane first comes upon the egg farm. In the scene, he is seen holding a futuristic firearm. Another cut scene takes place shortly thereafter when the crew are back on the drop-ship. In the scene, Lambert slaps Ripley across the face for failing to let the crew back inside the ship. The first shot of the adult xenomorph is also cut from the original film. Moments before Brett is killed, the alien can be seen lurking in the background as if it were being suspended by chains. Like many shots in the film, the alien is barely distinguishable from the various pipes and tubes decorated throughout the ship. One of the more infamous cut scenes is one that reveals the final fates of Dallas and Brett. Ripley finds them cocooned inside a membrane if gelatinous ooze on one of the lower decks. Dallas is still alive and begs Ripley to kill him, at which point, she turns her weapon upon them and incinerates them as an act of mercy. The final cut scene from the film is a bit where the alien, while chasing Ripley, comes upon Jones the cat in his pet carrier. The alien swipes the carrier out of his way and resumes his attack.

Casting Edit

Director Ridley Scott discovered Sigourney Weaver (Ripley) while she was working theater in New York City. Upon seeing her, he immediately decided that she would be the perfect choice to play his heroine, Ripley. During Weaver's audition, Scott had several female employees from the offices of 20th Century Fox sit in to observe her. Nearly all of them felt that Weaver was more than capable of playing a strong, heroic female lead, with one of them even comparing her to actress Jane Fonda. [4]

Actor John Hurt, who plays the role of Kane, was the last actor to be cast for the film. Originally, the part of Kane was to be played by British actor Jon Finch. On the first day of shooting however, Finch had a severe attack of diabetes and had to be taken to the hospital. In a rush to replace him, Ridley Scott sought out actor John Hurt. Hurt was initially unavailable due to a project that he was scheduled to work on in South Africa. As it turned out, Hurt was denied entrance into South Africa because the South African authorities had mistaken him for a political activist named "John Hurd", who had developed a reputation for his outspoken views against Apartheid. Unable to work in South Africa, Hurt then became available to work on Alien. [6]

Body Count Edit

In chronological order

Name Method
Kane Impregnated by Xenomorph, then killed by chest burster
Dallas Cocooned by Xenomorph; later incinerated by Ripley
Brett Body punctured by Xenomorph's interior jaw; later incinerated by Ripley
Ash Damaged and subsequently incinerated by Parker
Parker Body punctured by Xenomorph's secondary jaw
Lambert Killed by Xenomorph; method unrevealed

Index Edit







See also Edit


The World of Aliens

Aliens miscellaneous

External Links Edit

References Edit

  1. David Crowther was the editor on the Special Edition director's cut version of this film only.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 IMDB; Alien (1979); Box office & business.
  3. Cartwright, Veronica; Alien (Special Edition); Audio commentary; 2003.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Scott, Ridley; Alien (Special Edition); Audio commentary; 2003.
  5. O'Bannon, Dan; Alien (Special Edition); Audio commentary; 2003.
  6. Hurt, John; Alien (Special Edition); Audio commentary; 2003.

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