The crew of the deep space mining ship Nostromo are awaken from hypersleep to investigate a strange signal from a nearby planet. While investigating the signal, they discover it was intended as a warning, and not an SOS
Originally to be directed by Walter Hill, but he pulled out and gave the job to Ridley Scott.
There is no dialog for the first 6 minutes.
First let me admit I saw the sequels first then years later finally went back and watched this film. That for some odd reason I waited to watch at the age of 22. I watched this film alone with the lights off. Thought this film was made in the year 1979. it scared me to my core.
The chest bursting scene was filmed in one take with four cameras.
It works as both a Sci-Fi movie and a horror film. Now it is noticeably low tech in it’s approach which helps the film. You can identify with because even though they are in space. The characters aren’t super geniuses wearing high tech outfits. They are dressed like blue collar workers, truckers almost just in a futuristic setting.
Ridley Scott did all the hand-held camera-work himself.
At the start of production, Ridley Scott had to contend with 9 producers being onset at all times, querying the length of time he was taking over each shot.
Much of the dialogue was developed through improvisation.
Unlike the other films the alien in this film is scarcely seen so that when you do. The look of it startles you as well as having quick cut scares. The film builds up the tension. So that you never know what’s going to happen.
Witness the chest bursting scene where even the actors didn’t know what was going to happen. Nor the actual look of the alien. So in that scene the shock and look of horror is real.
I’m going to admit Ridley Scott is not among my favorite directors, but I do respect him and in my opinion this is not only his best film, but his masterpiece. I love this film. The story of a crew that is besieged by a unwanted visitor. Who lurks the ship practically haunting it and hunting down the crew one by one. Has been often imitated and thankfully no one has improved on the original. Even ALIENS while stunning in of itself is a totally different movie that involves Just has characters who survived the first film return.
I can’t say enough good things about this film. It’s everything you’ve heard about it and more.
Yaphet Kotto actually picked fights with Bolaji Badejo who played the Alien, in order to help his onscreen hatred of the creature.
Though I saw this film later in life it is a film that is inspiring and makes me want to make movies to have the same impact or even come close to making an audience feel the way this film does and tell a story as good. Be on a cutting edge that others are compared to or try to be better then (and usually fail)
Ridley Scott stated that in casting the role of Ripley, it ultimately came down to Sigourney Weaver and Meryl Streep. The two actresses had been schoolmates at Yale.
The fact that on the basis of this film. Most think that Ridley Scott is a cinematic genius. (Blade Runner and Gladiator I’m sure have something to do with it also) Shows you how impressive this film is. All the actors are favorites though Sigourney Weaver emerges as the star, But the whole cast is so memorable any of them could have been.
Potential directors, who either were considered by the studio or wanted to direct, included Robert Aldrich, Peter Yates, Jack Clayton, Dan O’Bannon and Walter Hill. Aldrich in particular came very close to being hired, but the producers ultimately decided against it after they met him in person, and it quickly became apparent that he had no real enthusiasm for the project beyond the money he would have received. According to David Giler, the moment when Aldrich talked himself out of the job came when they asked him what kind of a design he had in mind for the face hugger; Aldrich simply shrugged and said “We’ll put some entrails on the guy’s face. It’s not as if anyone’s going to remember that critter once they’ve left the theater.”
The reason I believe I love this film is that you can tell a suspenseful story even a sci-fi one and don’t need expensive special effects and still be effective. There are many behind the scenes stories of the making of this film and it’s production. Which are definitely worth searching out and discovering for yourself. This film started out with radically different ideas until they were streamlined by the many hands that were in the pot of making this film.
H.R. Giger deserves as much credit as everyone else for the design of not only the creature, but the look of the film. He is part auteur when it comes to the tale himself.
There are Many facts and stories about this film that has practically become folklore and myth in the history of film. There are many other places for you to find these stories and facts too many to list here. I am simply writing this to give you my view on the film. I would love to discuss, but I am hoping that many of you have already seen the film and know how good it is, or have formed your own opinion of it.
This is a must See
GRADE A +