Jun 24, 2010


Alien : One of the best science-fiction movies ever, along with Blade Runner, and by extension, of his director Ridley Scott. In fact, in Blade Runner (1982) there were used same visual and sound effects that were already created for Alien (1979). The production of the film was also delayed so as not to coincide with Star Wars (1977), and assess audience reactions to this new generation of "space" themed movies.

From actors themselves were hidden some aspects of the script, in order to gather their own natural reactions, as in the famous lunch scene when the alien bursts out of Kane's chest. There is a frame when Lambert goes out of shot as she fell down shocked. Great performance by Sigourney Weaver.

Both script authors, Dan O'Bannon and Ronald Shusett, were ruined until they wrote this great story, which is the influence of many other genre films such as The Thing from Another World (1951). Initially the action was placed on board of a bomber during World War II, later versioned in the short animation film B-17 (Heavy Metal, 1981). Alien's script was adapted from a novel by Alfred E. van Vogt, in 1939, The Voyage of the Space Beagle, referencing and named after the ship in which Charles Darwin sailed around the world, and who, from this trip, developed his Theory of Evolution and Natural Selection.

Dan O'Bannon, along with John Carpenter, directed years before another film, the comedy Dark Star (1974), from where they took a few ideas and scenes. For example, the alien itself, which in Dark Star was a "friendly" beach ball; the Captain Dallas or Talby, isolated in the spacecraft listening to music; querying Ash android's head or cryogenized Cmdr. Powell's seeking advice; attempt of Officer Ripley or Lieutenant Doolittle to dismantle the explosion at arguing with Mother or Bomb#20; and also the scene of the knife game trick that was also used in the Aliens sequel (James Cameron).

O'Bannon and Shusset have also written other well-known scripts such as Total Recall (1990).

Special mention of designers, among which H.R.Giger and his biomechanics, creator of the alien, which he had already drawn in his previous artwork Necronomicon IV, and J.G. "Moebius", who later repeated again with Dan O'Bannon in Blade Runner, basing on his comic book The Long Tomorrow (Métal Hurlant, 1976 - Heavy Metal, 1977). Giger and 'Moebius' have also worked in other popular films such as Tron (1982) and Dune (1976-1984); with the latter also collaborated Orson Welles, Pink Floyd and even Dalí.

There are many interesting anecdotes about the filming of the movie, like that any of the doors and rooms were not equally designed throughout the ship Nostromo; or that the Weyland-Yutani company was actually named after Scott's neighbors. But I mostly remember a comment made by its director, Ridley Scott, for whom one of his greatest concerns was that the movie would not seem outdated in the following years. And 30 years later it is still one of the best science-fiction films ever.

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