Detecting a transmission from nearby planetoid LV, the ship's computer, Mother, awakens the crew. Company policy requires any potential distress signal be investigated, so they land on the planetoid, sustaining damage from its atmosphere and rocky landscape. Parker and Brett repair the ship while Dallas, Kane and Lambert head out to investigate.
They discover the signal comes from a derelict alien ship and enter it, losing communication with Ash. Inside, they find the remains of a giant extraterrestrial navigator frozen in its chair. Ripley deciphers part of the transmission, determining it's a warning. Inside the derelict ship, Kane discovers a chamber containing hundreds of large egg-like objects. When he touches one, it opens and a creature springs out and attaches itself to his head, going through the facemask of his helmet.
Dallas and Lambert carry the unconscious Kane back to Nostromo. As acting senior officer, Ripley refuses to let them aboard, citing quarantine regulations, but Ash ignores her and lets them inside. Ash attempts to remove the creature from Kane's face, discovering its blood is an extremely corrosive acid.
It later detaches on its own and is found dead. The ship is partly repaired, and the crew lifts off. Kane awakens with some memory loss but is otherwise unharmed. During a final crew meal before returning to stasis, he chokes and convulses, then dies as a small alien creature bursts from his chest and escapes into the ship. The crew attempts to locate it with tracking devices and capture or kill it with nets, electric prods and flamethrowers.
Brett follows the crew's cat, Jones, into a huge supply room where the now fully-grown alien Bolaji Badejo attacks and disappears with the body, climbing into the rafters. After heated discussion, the crew decide the creature must be in the air ducts.
Dallas enters the ducts, intending to force the alien into an airlock, but it ambushes him. Lambert implores the others to abandon ship and escape in its small shuttle. Now in command, Ripley explains it will not support four people and pursues the plan of flushing out the alien. Now with access to Mother, Ripley discovers Ash has been secretly ordered by the company to bring the alien back, with the crew deemed expendable.
She confronts Ash who tries to choke her to death. But Parker intervenes and clubs Ash, knocking his head loose and revealing him to be an android. With his body disconnected, Ash's head is reactivated and they learn he was assigned to ensure the creature's survival.
In a chilling lack of humanity, he expresses admiration for the creature's psychology, unhindered by conscience or morality. Ash taunts them about their chances against the "perfect organism", ending with a ghoulish smirk. Ripley cuts off his power and as they leave, Parker incinerates him.
The remaining crew decides to self-destruct Nostromo and escape in the shuttle. While Ripley is absent, Parker and Lambert are killed by the creature as they gather supplies. Ripley initiates the self-destruct sequence and proceeds with the cat to the shuttle only to find the alien blocking her path. She retreats and attempts unsuccessfully to abort the self-destruct. With no further options, she makes her way to the shuttle and barely escapes as the Nostromo explodes.
As Ripley prepares for stasis, she discovers to her horror the alien is aboard, having wedged itself into a narrow space where it appears to sleep. She puts on a spacesuit and begins flushing the air ducts. Irritated by the spray, the creature tumbles into the open, revealing itself for the first time. It approaches Ripley, but before it can attack she opens the airlock doors pulling the alien out by explosive decompression. But it manages to hang on by gripping the frame.
Ripley shoots it with a grappling hook which knocks it loose, but the gun catches as the airlock door closes, tethering the alien to the shuttle. It then attempts to crawl into one of the engine exhausts, but Ripley ignites them to finally blast the creature into space. After recording the final log entry, she places herself and the cat into stasis for the trip home to Earth.
Cast[ edit ] The principal cast members of Alien left to right: Skerritt had been approached early in the film's development but declined as it did not yet have a director and had a very low budget. Later, when Scott was attached as director and the budget had been doubled, Skerritt accepted the role of Dallas.
Weaver, who had Broadway experience but was relatively unknown in film, impressed Scott, Giler, and Hill with her audition. She was the last actor to be cast for the film, and performed most of her screen tests in-studio as the sets were being built. Cartwright had experience in horror and science fiction films, having acted as a child in The Birds and Invasion of the Body Snatchers Stanton's first words to Scott during his audition were "I don't like sci fi or monster movies.
Hurt was Scott's first choice for the role but was contracted on a film in South Africa during Alien's filming dates, so Jon Finch was cast as Kane instead. Holm, a character actor who by had already been in twenty films, was the most experienced actor cast for Alien he was 46 at the time of filming. Kotto, an African American , was chosen partly to add diversity to the cast and give the Nostromo crew an international flavor.
Nigerian Badejo, while a year-old design student, was discovered in a bar by a member of the casting team, who put him in touch with Ridley Scott. They investigate and their ship breaks down on the surface.
Giger , and Jean "Moebius" Giraud. I had never seen anything that was quite as horrible and at the same time as beautiful as his work. And so I ended up writing a script about a Giger monster. Shusett suggested that O'Bannon use one of his other film ideas, about gremlins infiltrating a B bomber during World War II , and set it on the spaceship as the second half of the story. He and Shusett liked the new title's simplicity and its double meaning as both a noun and an adjective.
I have no idea how, but if we could solve that, if it can't be that it just snuck in, then I think the whole movie will come into place.
He later stated that "I didn't steal Alien from anybody. I stole it from everybody! Simak in which a crew lands on an asteroid and discovers a chamber full of eggs.
That whole idea and scenario was theirs. Despite these rewrites, 20th Century Fox did not express confidence in financing a science-fiction film. However, after the success of Star Wars in the studio's interest in the genre rose substantially.
A Space Odyssey and Star Wars. Giger; both of them felt that his painting Necronom IV was the type of representation they wanted for the film's antagonist and began asking the studio to hire him as a designer. They wanted the Nostromo's crew to resemble working astronauts in a realistic environment, a concept summarised[ by whom? None of them were particularly young. Tom Skerritt, the captain, was 46, Hurt was 39 but looked older, Holm was 48, Harry Dean Stanton was 53, Yaphet Kotto was 42, and only Veronica Cartwright at 30 and Weaver at 29 were in the age range of the usual thriller cast.
Many recent action pictures have improbably young actors cast as key roles or sidekicks, but by skewing older, Alien achieves a certain texture without even making a point of it: The Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to the Alien and Predator Films, asserts that part of the film's effectiveness in frightening viewers "comes from the fact that the audience can all identify with the characters Everyone aboard the Nostromo is a normal, everyday, working Joe just like the rest of us. They just happen to live and work in the future.
Principal photography took place at Shepperton Studios near London, while model and miniature filming was done at Bray Studios in Water Oakley , Berkshire. Ridley Scott was not convinced that it looked large enough, so he had his two young sons and the son of Derek Vanlint the film's cinematographer stand in for the regular actors, wearing smaller space suits to make the set-pieces seem larger.
The children nearly collapsed due to the heat of the suits; oxygen systems were eventually added to help the actors breathe. By removing the glycerin she was able to continue working with the cats. However, Ridley Scott conceived of a "fourth act" to the film in which the Alien appears on the shuttle and Ripley is forced to confront it. He pitched the idea to 20th Century Fox and negotiated an increase in the budget to film the scene over several extra days. And I think the slowness of it made the moments that you wanted people to be sort of scared And I think that's how it worked.
O'Bannon had intended the scene to indicate that Brett was becoming an alien egg while Dallas was held nearby to be implanted by the resulting facehugger. Her trying to get the hell out of there, we're all rooting for her to get out of there, and for her to slow up and have a conversation with Dallas was not appropriate. Alien soundtrack Jerry Goldsmith composed the music for Alien. Giger , who designed and worked on the Alien and its accompanying elements Carlo Rambaldi created the mechanical head-effects for the Alien O'Bannon brought in artists Ron Cobb and Chris Foss with whom he had worked on Dark Star and Dune, respectively to work on designs for the human aspects of the film such as the spaceship and space suits.
The final name of the ship was derived from the title of Joseph Conrad 's novel Nostromo , while the escape shuttle, called Narcissus in the script, was named after Conrad's novella The Nigger of the 'Narcissus'. The actors had to navigate through the hallways that connected the stages, adding to the film's sense of claustrophobia and realism.
However, the name and logo of "Weylan-Yutani" appears on several set pieces and props such as computer monitors and beer cans. Art Director Roger Christian used scrap metal and parts to create set pieces and props to save money, a technique he employed while working on Star Wars. Giger designed and worked on all of the alien aspects of the film, which he designed to appear organic and biomechanical in contrast to the industrial look of the Nostromo and its human elements.
Ridley Scott described the set as the cockpit or driving deck of the mysterious ship, and the production team was able to convince the studio that the scene was important to impress the audience and make them aware that this was not a B movie.
The band was testing the lasers for use in their stage show on the sound-stage next door. I've always felt that there's another way to do it: That way the story and the characters emerge and they become more real. These included models of the Nostromo, its attached mineral refinery, the escape shuttle Narcissus, the alien planetoid, and the exterior and interior of the derelict spacecraft. Three models of the Nostromo were made: The Nostromo was originally yellow, and the team filmed shots of the models for six weeks before Johnson left to work on The Empire Strikes Back.
Scott then ordered it changed to gray, and the team had to begin shooting again from scratch.