Ridley ScottUSA117 minutes1979ColourEnglish
Sigourney Weaver redefined the Hollywood heroine with her portrayal of the alien-battling Ellen Ripley in Ridley Scott's immensely influential sci-fi horror film.
"In space, no one can hear you scream" — the tagline for Ridley Scott's canny genre-mash of sci-fi and horror neatly articulated Alien's dark, fearful vision of interstellar exploration. Ordered to investigate a distress signal emanating from a seemingly uninhabited planet, the crew of the space freighter Nostromo inadvertently picks up a most unwelcome passenger: a gut-busting alien parasite that quickly grows into an enormous, sharp-toothed, acid-bleeding beast. As the crew members are slowly whittled down, the ship's untried warrant officer Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) soon finds herself having to face down the fearsome, canoe-headed creature all by her lonesome. Premiering the summer before Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Alien is in many ways the anti-Trek: exploited, blue-collar "space truckers" in contrast to boldly-going intergalactic adventurers; a ruthless, greedy, all-powerful corporation in place of the beneficent, peacemaking Federation; and a hideous vision of extraterrestrial life that would make even the most battle-hardened Klingon SuvwI' soil his breeches.