Alien (film)

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For other films in this series, see Alien (franchise).

Alien is a 1979 science fiction film about a mining ship that, investigating a suspected SOS, lands on a distant planet where the crew discovers a strange creature.

Directed by Ridley Scott. Written by Dan O'Bannon. Story by Dan O'Bannon and Ronald Shusett.
Tagline: In space no one can hear you scream.

Ellen Ripley[edit]

  • You... are... my lucky star.
  • [After the Nostromo explodes, seemingly killing the Alien] I got son of a bitch.
  • [Last lines in the film] Final report of the commercial starship Nostromo. Third Officer reporting. The other members of the crew - Kane, Lambert, Parker, Brett, Ash and Captain Dallas - are dead. Cargo and ship destroyed. I should reach the frontier in about six weeks. With a little luck, the network will pick me up. This is Ripley, last survivor of the Nostromo, signing off. [To Jones, the ship's cat] Come on, cat.


  • It's a robot! Ash is a goddamned robot!
  • Get ready to roll!


Ripley: Ash, that transmission, MOTHER's deciphered part of it. It doesn't look like an S.O.S.
Ash: What is it, then?
Ripley: Well, it looks like a warning. I'm gonna go out after them.
Ash: What's the point? I mean, by the, the time it takes to get there, you'll, they'll know if it's a warning or not, yes?

Dallas: Okay, Ripley, we're clean. Let us in.
Ripley: What happened to Kane?
Dallas: Something's attached itself to him. We have to get him to the infirmary right away.
Ripley: What kind of thing? I need a clear definition.
Dallas: An organism. Open the hatch!
Ripley: Wait a minute. We let it in, the ship could be infected. You know the quarantine procedures: 24 hours for decontamination.
Dallas: He could die in 24 hours! Open the hatch.
Ripley: Listen to me. If we break quarantine, we could all die.
Lambert: Look! Would you open the goddamn hatch? We have to get him inside!
Ripley: No. And if you were in my position, you'd do the same.
Dallas: Ripley, this is an order. You open that hatch right now, you hear me?
Ripley: Yes.
Dallas: Ripley, that was an order! Do you hear me?!
Ripley: Yes, I read you. The answer is negative.
Ash: Inner hatch opened.

Dallas: All right! Ripley, when I give an order, I expect to be obeyed!
Ripley: Even if it's against the law?!
Parker: Well, now that she has a point, you know, who the hell knows what that thing is!

Dallas: [looks at a pen being dissolved by alien's body fluid] I haven't seen anything like that except molecular acid.
Brett: It must be using it for blood.
Parker: It's got a wonderful defense mechanism. You don't dare kill it.

Ripley: [watching Ash examine the creature] That's amazing. What is it?
Ash: Uh, yes, it is. Uh, I don't know yet. Did you want something?
Ripley: Yes, I, uh … have a little talk. How's Kane?
Ash: He's holding, no changes.
Ripley: And our guest?
Ash: Oh.
Ripley: Hm?
Ash: Well, as I said, I'm still...collating, actually. But I have confirmed that he's got an outer layer of protein polysaccharides. Has a funny habit of shedding his cells and replacing them with polarized silicon, which gives him a prolonged resistance to adverse environmental conditions. Is that enough?
Ripley: That's plenty. What does it mean? [bends down to look through the micro-scanner]
Ash: Please don't do that. Thank you.
Ripley: I'm sorry.
Ash: Well, it's an interesting combination of elements, making him a … tough little son-of-a-bitch.
Ripley: And you let him in.
Ash: I was obeying a direct order, remember?
Ripley: Ash. When Dallas and Kane are off the ship, I'm Senior Officer.
Ash: Oh yes, I forgot.
Ripley: You also forgot the Science Division's basic quarantine law.
Ash: No, that I didn't forget.
Ripley: Oh, I see. You just broke it, mmm?
Ash: Look, what would you have done with Kane? You know his only chance of survival was to get him in here.
Ripley: Unfortunately, by breaking quarantine, you risk everybody's life.
Ash: Maybe I should have left him outside. Maybe I've jeopardized the rest of us, but it was a risk I was willing to take.
Ripley: That's a pretty big risk for a Science Officer. It's not exactly out of the manual, is it?
Ash: I do take my responsibilities as seriously as you, you know. You do your job and let me do mine, yes?

Ash: Ripley, for God's sake, this is the first time that we've encountered a species like this. It has to go back, all sorts of tests have to be made.
Ripley: Ash, are you kidding? This thing bled acid, and who knows what it's gonna do when it's dead?
Ash: I think it's safe to assume it isn't a zombie. Dallas, it has to go back.
Dallas: Well, I'd soon as not...burn it at the stake, but you're the science officer; it's your decision, Ash.

Dallas: [to Kane] Do you remember anything about the planet? [Kane shakes his head]
Ripley: What's the last thing you do remember? Hmm?
Kane: I remember some...horrible dream about smothering...and, anyway, where are we?!
Ripley: Right here. We're on our way home.
Brett: Yeah. Back to the old freezerinos.

Parker: We found this laying there. No blood, no Dallas, nothing. How come I don't hear anybody say anything?
Ripley: I'm thinking! Unless somebody has got a better idea...we'll proceed with Dallas' plan.
Lambert: What? And end up like the others? No, no, you're out of your mind!
Ripley: You got a better idea?
Lambert: Yes! I say that we abandon this ship! We take the shuttle and just get the hell out of here! We take our chances and … and hope that somebody will pick us up!
Ripley: Lambert...the shuttle won't take four.
Lambert: Well, then why don't we draw straws and...
Parker: I'm not drawing any straws! I'm for killing that goddamn thing right now!
Ripley: Right. Well, let's talk about killing it. We know it's using the air shafts. Will you listen to me, Parker? Shut up!!
Parker: Let's hear it. Let's hear it.
Ripley: It's using the air shafts.
Parker: But we don't know that.
Ripley: That's the only way! We'll move in pairs. We'll go step by step and cut off every bulkhead and every vent until we have it cornered. And then we'll blow it the fuck out into space. Is that acceptable to you?
Parker: If you think it means killing it, yeah, that's acceptable to me.
Ripley: Obviously, it means killing it. But we have to stick together.

Ripley: Ash. Any suggestions from you or MOTHER?
Ash: No, we're still collating.
Ripley: [laughing in disbelief] What? You're still "collating"? I find that hard to believe.
Ash: What would you like me to do?
Ripley: Just what you've been doing, Ash – nothing. I've got access to MOTHER now, and I'll get my own answers, thank you.
Ash: All right.

Ripley: Ash, can you hear me? Ash?!
Ash: Yes, I can hear you.
Ripley: What was your special order?
Ash: You read it. I thought it was clear.
Ripley: What was it?
Ash: Bring back lifeform. Priority One. All other priorities rescinded.
Parker: The damn company. What about our lives, you son of a bitch?!
Ash: I repeat, all other priorities are rescinded.
Ripley: How do we kill it, Ash? There's got to be a way of killing it. How – how do we do it?
Ash: You can't.
Parker: That's bullshit.
Ash: You still don't understand what you're dealing with, do you? The perfect organism. Its structural perfection is matched only by its hostility.
Lambert: You admire it.
Ash: I admire its purity. A survivor...unclouded by conscience, remorse, or delusions of morality.
Parker: Well, I don't. I've heard enough of this, and I'm asking you to pull the plug.
[Ripley moves to turn Ash off, but he interrupts]
Ash: Last words.
Ripley: What?
Ash: I can't lie to you about your chances, have my sympathies. [he smiles]
Ripley: [turns Ash off] We're gonna blow up the ship. We'll take our chances, and blow up the ship.

Ripley: And when we throw the switches, how long before the ship blows?
Parker: Ten minutes.
Ripley: No bullshit?
Parker: If we ain't outta here in ten minutes, we won't need no rocket to fly through space!

[Ripley has tried in vain to disengage the Nostromo's self-destruct]
Ripley: MOTHER! I've turned the cooling unit back on. MOTHER!
MOTHER: The ship will automatically destruct in T-minus five minutes.
Ripley: [Enraged] YOU BITCH!!!
[She smashes the computer monitor with a flamethrower]


  • In space no one can hear you scream.
  • Sometimes the scariest things come from within.
  • There are things so terrifying, they only exist in a nightmare...or outer space.
  • A word of warning …
  • "Top Secret - Science Officer's Eyes Only...Bring back life form. Priority One. All other considerations secondary. Crew expendable."
  • "The perfect organism. Its structural perfection is matched only by its hostility...its purity. A survivor - unclouded by conscience, remorse, or delusions of morality." ...Is there room enough in space for us and it?


About Alien (film)[edit]

  • Deadline: So Ridley Scott’s Alien exists, thanks to Star Wars?
Scott: Thanks to Star Wars, and to Stanley Kubrick for the way he influenced George and definitely influenced me, with 2001. The design on 2001…that’s the threshold for everything being real. You look at 2001 and you look at Star Wars. Stanley’s design influenced everybody. I’ve never shaken it off; it influenced me even with Prometheus. Stanley really got it right.
  • It is quite astonishing how much academic work Alien has triggered and from such a wide range of approaches. For example, there are psychoanalytic analyses which stress the importance of the alien as a kind of all-consuming mother figure. The birth trauma of the alien erupting from Hurt’s innards also plays to Freudian interpretations of the film’s significance.
    It is as good an example of Nietzsche’s idea of the will to power, the main driving force in existence – to survive and reproduce at all costs. Alien is intriguing when viewed from that philosophical perspective.

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