"Alien"

1979

Direction Ridley Scott
Screenplay Dan O'Bannon
Cinematographer Derk Vanlint
Editing Terry Rawlings
Production Design Michael Seymour
Musical Score Jerry Goldsmith
Special Effects Carlo Rambaldi, H.R. Giger, Brian Johnson, Nick Allder, and Denys Ayling (AA)

Principal Characters

Dallas Tom Skerritt
Ripley Sigourney Weaver
Lambert Veronica Cartwright
Brett Harry Dean Stanton
Kane John Hurt
Ash Ian Holm
Parker Yaphet Kotto

"Alien" opens as the spaceship Nostromo is returning to earth when its computer wakes the crew prematurely from their sleep state. They have received a distress signal from a spaceship which has crashed on an uncharted planet. When the seven member crew responds and sends an away team they encounter a bed of large egg shaped pods in the hold of the crashed ship. During their investigation a crew member is attacked by a growth that leaps out of a pod and affixes itself to the face of a crew member. To say that things go down hill after that is putting it mildly. As the alien begins to dominate the ship the atmosphere becomes increasingly ominous. Production Designer Michael Seymour and Cinematographer Derk Vanlint have created a sinister environment in which backlit scenes are misted with fog and jets of steam and punctuated with flashing warning lights.

Scott has also assembled a remarkable acting ensemble. The team throws away lines as naturally as if they had been living together for years. This casual familiarity is enhanced by the fact that Scott has cast a group of fine character actors rather than relying on star power, although Sigourney Weaver emerged from the film with that status. Indeed, Weaver is this films breakout "Barbarella," like the young Jane Fonda she projects both intelligence and femininity that is enhanced by the characters independent take charge attitude.

1999 Debbie Twyman. All rights reserved. TERMS OF USE