20th Anniversary ed.
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Unbeknownst to the crew of a space ship, it has taken on an alien stowaway that incubates in some humans and hunts the rest. In space, no one can hear you scream.
A landmark of science fiction and horror, Alien arrived in 1979 between Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back as a stylishly malevolent alternative to George Lucas's space fantasy. Partially inspired by 1958's It! The Terror from Beyond Space, this instant classic set a tone of its own, offering richly detailed sets, ominous atmosphere, relentless suspense, and a flawless ensemble cast as the crew of the space freighter Nostromo, who fall prey to a vicious creature (designed by Swiss artist H.R. Giger) that had gestated inside one of the ill-fated crew members. In a star-making role, Sigourney Weaver excels as sole survivor Ripley, becoming the screen's most popular heroine in a lucrative movie franchise. To measure the film's success, one need only recall the many images that have been burned into our collective psyche, including the "facehugger," the "chestburster," and Ripley's climactic encounter with the full-grown monster. Impeccably directed by Ridley Scott, Alien is one of the cinema's most unforgettable nightmares. --Jeff Shannon
- Alternate music and production sound track
- Deleted scenes
- Artwork and photo galleries
- Web links
- Booklet with production notes
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The widescreen anamorphic format lets you see director Ridley Scott's expert compositions, which are often packed edge-to-edge. Pay close attention to the secondary characters in the master shots (especially Ian Holm as Ash) and you'll see a wealth of subtle character development. I had never thought of "Alien" as particularly well-acted, but being able to see how the ensemble works across a wide, unbroken frame has given me a new appreciation for the whole cast.
Included is a collection of deleted scenes that expand on the "Alien" mythology, as well as the film itself. Some of them are rambling and unfocused, which allows you to see the actors working out their characters as they try find the right pace.
Director Scott's commentary track is full of wonderful trivia, and provides some insight into his superlative visual imagination.
And, of course, Jerry Goldsmith fans should be ecstatic since an alternate audio track contains his complete original score (much of which was never used), undiluted by dialogue or sound effects. Owners of CDs containing parts of the unused soundtrack can finally see how the music was supposed to sync-up with the picture.
"Alien" may not be a masterpiece on par with serious films by the likes of Kubick, Kurosawa, or Welles, but to dismiss it as just another brainless horror flick is to sell it way short. It's beautiful, disturbing, hypnotic, and ground-breaking.
And after twenty-plus years, we're still talking about it.
The real reason to double dip and re-purchase this DVD: the incredible, just incredible documentary. Deep, detailed and always interesting, it alone is worth the cost of this DVD, no matter how many times you have purchased this movie in the past (at least 2 in my case). The most interesting part of the documentary for me was the story of the alien's design by HR Geiger, to learn how afraid he was of his own nightmares and even of the rumors that the skeleton in his home is actually that of his suicidal girlfriend.You can't make this stuff up !