Alien (1979)

Favorite Films

Directed by Ridley Scott

Written by Dan O’Bannon

Story by Dan O’Bannon & Ronald Shusett

Starting Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Ian Holm, Yaphet Kotto

Release Date: June 22, 1979

Running Time: 1hr 57min

Rating: R

In the distant future, the crew of the space cargo vessel, Nostromo, are terrorized by an aggressive alien life form. This movie is now 40 years old, do I really need to explain the plot? At this point everyone has heard of this film.

We all know the badass character of Ellen Ripley (Weaver, who became a sci-fi icon thanks to this role) and the terrifying, nearly impossible to kill xenomorph. We know of the numerous sequels, prequels, spinoffs, crossovers, and spoofs (one featuring John Hurt reprising a particularly iconic scene). There’s also the various books, comics, video games, and toys.

The film was a critical and box office success (earning over $106 million against an $11 million budget), and would go on o win the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects, three Saturn Awards (Best Science Fiction Film, Best Direction for Scott, and Best Supporting Actress for Cartwright), and a Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, along with numerous other nominations. It consistently appears on best of lists, and in 2002 the Library of Congress deemed the film “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant” and was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry.

I’m sure by now it’s obvious that I think this movie is awesome! Younger audiences may not care for the slower pacing compared to newer movies, but I think it does an amazing job developing the story and characters, along with building the suspense. The directing is top notch, the actors all give terrific performances, and the special effects are still incredible. Did I also mention it’s visually stunning, with amazing sets and models? Well now I did! See this movie if you haven’t already.

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