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Alien (20th Anniversary Edition) [VHS] (1979)

Sigourney Weaver , Tom Skerritt , Ridley Scott  |  R |  VHS Tape
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (809 customer reviews)

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Frequently Bought Together

Alien (20th Anniversary Edition) [VHS] + Alien 3 [VHS] + Aliens: Special Edition (Widescreen Edition) [VHS]
Price for all three: $19.41

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Product Details

  • Actors: Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, John Hurt, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton
  • Directors: Ridley Scott
  • Writers: Ronald Shusett, Dan O'Bannon
  • Producers: David Giler, Gordon Carroll, Ivor Powell, Ronald Shusett, Walter Hill
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, Special Edition, THX, NTSC
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • VHS Release Date: June 1, 1999
  • Run Time: 117 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (809 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00000ILE5
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #527,138 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Director Ridley Scott's classic movie hits both the sci-fi and horror genres which launched a host of sequels and imitators. Starring Sigourney Weaver , ALIEN begins with the crew of a space cargo ship, who land on a desolate planet in search of a faint SOS. Inside a crashed ship, the crew members encounter pods that birth strange and dangerous insect -like creatures that rapidly grow into acid-dripping aliens. The war of survival that the crew finds themselves in creates scenes of intense suspense. This movie is a classic masterpiece of great art, suspense, videography, and special effects. The top-notch cast also includes Veronica Cartwright, Yaphet Kotto, and Harry Dean Stanton.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
385 of 403 people found the following review helpful
Amazon's reviewer calls this movie overrated and drawn out, while the Leonard Maltin movie guide review seems a bit baffled that some people like this kind of entertainment. Don't listen to either of them. Alien is, quite simply, one of the best movies ever made in both the sci-fi and horror genres. Those who complain that the film takes too long to get going suffer from some kind of cinematic attention span disorder; Ridley Scott draws his scenes out because he wants to build tension and establish a sense of realism before introducing H.R. Giger's terrifying creation. Unfortunately we can all see that the monster is just a guy in a suit during the closing sequences when Scott finally lets us see what the big slimy nemesis really looks like, but otherwise the film hasn't aged a bit since it came out two decades ago. The DVD is great too, with excellent picture quality and a really great commentary track, despite some disastrously inappropriate menu screens (the interfaces are all CG-rendered glitz, which really doesn't go with a movie known for its slow, elegant, quiet suspense). Anyone with any interest in horror or science fiction films in general should pick up this classic immediately.
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108 of 114 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Alien - A true Sci-Fi treasure in the genre! January 19, 2004
"Alien" is one of the most intense Sci-Fi thrillers to have ever graced the silver screen or the home theater in any format! It is the film's intensity that provides such an incredible draw to this extraordinary film. If you're looking for a lot of action, this film is not really what you're looking for; "Aliens" is where the intensity and action comes into play in the line of Alien movies; the whole theme behind "Alien" is to scare to pants off of you with extremely intense scenes and if you've never seen this movie before, it may very well do just that! Never before in the history of this genre had there been a film of this magnitude and few have matched it in it's intensity since.
Now, with this latest release, fans of "Alien" are treated to the best release of this film yet. The very first thing you'll notice when you put this DVD into your player is that you have the option of playing either the 1979 Theatrical Release or a 2003 Director's Cut. The 2003 Director's Cut is preceded by an interesting introduction by Ridley Scott himself. This cut is put together seamlessly and the additions to the film add just that much more flavor to the film, making it that much better. The only downside to this edition and I believe this just stems from the time in which this film was made, was the audio. Despite having the options of THX and 5.1 Dolby Surround or 5.1 DTS, the audio playback just isn't what it should be.
Copious amounts of credit and accolades go to the incredible cast for this outstanding cinematic treasure! Although I wouldn't go so far as to say that "Alien" is "the" movie that made Sigourney Weaver a star, I would say that it was the one that made her a superstar!
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109 of 121 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Iconographic Horror August 21, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
ALIEN received mixed reviews when it debuted in 1979--largely from science fiction critics, who accused it of being little more than a sort of "Friday the 13th in Outer Space," a blood-and-gore horror flick given a futuristic twist via some problematic special effects. But while these accusations have more than a little truth, it has been an incredibly influential film--and even today, in the wake of CGI effects, it still holds up extremely, extremely well.
The story is well known: the crew of an interstellar craft responds to what seems a distress signal, only to encounter a remarkably lethal alien life form that boards their ship and sets about picking them off one by one. Some of the special effects are weak (the alien spacecraft and the android "revival" are fairly notorious). There is little in the way of character development, the film has a fairly slow pace, and the story itself is predictable; you can usually guess who is going to die next.
BUT. The art designs are incredible: the entire look of the film, from the commercial nature of the spacecraft to the iconographic alien itself (brilliantly envisioned by Giger) is right on the money. Director Ridley Scott encouraged his cast to ad lib from the script, and the result is a shocking sense of realism--and the somewhat slow pace of the film and the predictablity of the story gives it a sense of relentless and ever-mounting paranoia that is greatly enhanced by the tight sets and camera set-ups. With its odd mixture of womb-like organics and cold mechanics, ALIEN is a film calculated to send even the most slightly claustrophobic viewer into a fit of hysteria.
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39 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In Space, No One Can Hear You Scream May 30, 2003
Many have tried and failed to repeat its success, but nothing can beat the masterpiece that is Alien. Unleashed at cinemas in 1979, the film is a flat-out classic sci-fi horror flick, using extreme moments of suspense to build up the scary scenes. Directed by Ridley Scott, the film is a ground-breaking classic that still holds up amazingly well today, and made an international superstar if Sigourney Weaver.

In Alien, the terror begins when the crew of the spaceship Nostromo are instructed to investigate a transmission from a desolate planet, as they are on their way back home to Earth. Upon their arrival, they make a horrifying discovery - a life form that attaches itself to the victims face, using it as a host before breeding inside the body. The life form then removes itself, waiting for the young it has planted inside the human victim to be born and explode through the stomach. A gruesome description indeed, which is why the film is so brilliant. The alien is now on board the spaceship after it exploded through the stomach of one of the spaceship's crew, all because the remaining crew foolishly let him back on board. It's now up to the crew to stop this alien menace, and fight not only for their own survival, but the survival of all mankind.

Sigourney Weaver stars as Ellen Ripley in her film debut role. Weaver is absolutely perfect for the role, and was practically the first girl-power type female heroine who single-handedly carries this international blockbuster right through until the final minutes. John Hurt also plays Kane to excellent effect, especially in his death scene as he frantically wriggles on the table with the alien inside him. Harry Dean Stanton is brilliant as Brett, as is Tom Skerritt as Dallas.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great movie that I already had but needed the director's cut version to play with our Rifftrax.
Published 1 hour ago by April
5.0 out of 5 stars >> the HOLY GRAIL OF SCIFI <<
Not sure what else can be said of Ridley Scott's masterpiece other than that: It Is A Masterpiece! Essential movie watching for light and hardcore SciFi fans.
Published 9 days ago by Chandler Wahlberg
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest Science-Fiction Films
While this film was made in 1979, long before CGI special effects were available, the design and details of the commercial towing ship 'Nostromo' are awesome. Read more
Published 14 days ago by james e. lewis
4.0 out of 5 stars Older movies like this not worth paying for HD
Great movie but not really HD. Basically Standard version at best but definitely not HD and I get HD all the time
Published 14 days ago by Patrick R Lavery
5.0 out of 5 stars Alien you have still got it!
A sci-fi/horror masterpiece. Decades later this movie still packs a punch, although it starts off slow, give it time you won't be disappointed :)
Published 15 days ago by Natalie Johnson
4.0 out of 5 stars It's a Classic
The sets are impressive for the time & just as much horror as sci fi.
Must see to understand how good this franchise started - next up Alien 2 (then I'll stop) :)
Published 16 days ago by Steve in Minnesota
5.0 out of 5 stars classic
this one still defines a genre in many ways. The performances, story, cinematography and art direction all tell a story like none before or really since. Go on. Read more
Published 17 days ago by Robert S
5.0 out of 5 stars Alien
I decided to watch it again. The first time was when the movie came out and people were standing in line that went around the block. Read more
Published 17 days ago by Victoria J. Dennison
5.0 out of 5 stars Gimme everything
personal viewpoints are just that, personal opinions. If you don't agree with me hey, that is your Jesus Christ given right as a 'free' moral agent (laughing rediculously at the... Read more
Published 17 days ago by chris
5.0 out of 5 stars Blockbuster film when it came out.
Weaver and Skeritt made the film for me. The sequels weren't as good, but good enough. Sigourney Weaver is hot, always.
Published 18 days ago by Charles L. Bess Jr.
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Topic From this Discussion
Which is better, Alien or Aliens?
I thinks it's inappropriate to compare the first two movies. They are different types of films altogether. The first was scifi/horror, the second was action/suspense. Both excellent, with different goals. I see them as part of a whole, really. The third movie, though... ughh. What a waste.
Jul 16, 2008 by Thinkbolt |  See all 47 posts
difference in dvd versions
Check out for differences. Search for "alien". You'll want to compare the "R1 America" versions. Basically the 2-disc version has theatrical version and Director's cut on disc one, and many extras on disc 2. The 20th Anniv. edition only has theatrical... Read More
Sep 12, 2007 by auximenies1972 |  See all 5 posts
alien sound. Be the first to reply
Collector's Edition? Be the first to reply
ANOTHER RE-RE-RE-RE-RE-RE... Be the first to reply
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