Alien

Character mistake: When Ripley interfaces with Mother for the first time and sees the special order, an instruction reads as "Insure return of organism" rather than "Ensure return."

Continuity mistake: In the shot of the alien's tail wrapping around the back of Lambert's legs right before it kills her, the floor is different to what it was before, there is water suddenly falling from the ceiling when there wasn't before and her trousers have changed from white to blue. This is because that shot was originally intended to be used when Brett was killed.

THGhost

Continuity mistake: When Dallas uses the pen to catch the acid, it melts the back of the pen to the point that it's deformed and smoking. When he hands the pen back to Brett, the back of the pen is no longer deformed at all but it's still smoking.

jerimiah

Other mistake: When Ripley is trying to deactivate the self-destruct mode, the instructions she follows on the container are actually just the French interpretation of the instructions she read to activate self-destruct before.

Jack Vaughan

Continuity mistake: During the alien chestburster/death of Kane sequence, Kane's shirt switches back and forth from being tucked-in, to being un-tucked throughout the scene. (00:56:15)

Continuity mistake: When Ripley reconnects the dismembered Ash droid, the switch from dummy to actor is blatantly visible. A few minutes later the android is incinerated, at which point the dummy head has reappeared and the android's left arm has disappeared. (01:24:39)

Revealing mistake: Mirrors were used to make the corridors appear longer, early in the film when Brett is complaining to Parker about the way they are treated by the company you can see their reflections in the mirror behind them as they walk down the corridor. It's only for a second as they are moving off camera but you can see them in their white overalls.

Factual error: When the crew shoots Kane's body out into space, the door opens up and "explosive decompression" causes Kane's body to fly out into space. At the beginning, the body slowly rotates. Then as it moves further away, the body begins flipping much faster. The reason something would increase speed in rotation like that is due to aerodynamics. An object traveling through space would simply keep the same rotational velocity it begins with since there is no air or other influences (gravity, etc.). The explosive decompression may cause it to increase rotation speed, but by the time it begins to flip, any air would have dissipated into space and not work as a column of air/wind to force the body into a flip.

12o

Alien mistake picture

Continuity mistake: When the search party goes into the boneship, they are wearing full space suits, and hoods under their helmets. When Kane's helmet is first cut off, he has no hood on. (00:36:45)

Visible crew/equipment: After Ripley fails to shut off the auto destruct sequence, she runs through a corridor filled with gas. As she exits from the gas right before the shot cuts away we see her pass by a full sized light. Beside this light is the clear arm and head of a lighting crew member. (This is acknowledged on the DVD commentary).

wizard_of_gore Premium member

Continuity mistake: While the Alien is bursting out of Kane's chest, notice how the blood stain on his shirt changes in size from a large stain to a small one and finally back to a large one. (00:56:00)

Will

Deliberate mistake: After Ash's body is incinerated, the interior walls of the Nostromo appear more metallic and grey than they were before. According to Ridley Scott, this was done deliberately to make the alien's presence appear more menacing.

THGhost

Continuity mistake: When the dead facehugger falls onto Ripley in the medical room, it lands on the floor with its legs up. The distant shot shows its tail has looped under its body, but the close-up shows the tail entirely straight.

wizard_of_gore Premium member

Alien mistake picture

Visible crew/equipment: When Ripley is heading towards the Shuttle towards the end, just before she finds Jonesy, there is a POV shot where the camera is walking towards a ladder. If you look at the floor you can see the dolly that the camera moves on. (01:36:05)

Alien mistake picture

Continuity mistake: While Parker is decapitating Ash with the fire extinguisher his T-shirt is not torn, just after he says "Ash is a goddamn robot" his T-shirt is now torn and held together with a safety pin. (01:23:20)

Will

Continuity mistake: When Ripley backs into the shuttle closet you can see three axes on the wall next to her, when she starts to get into the space suit there are only two, then when she puts the helmet on there is only one.

Jack Vaughan

Alien mistake picture

Continuity mistake: When the crew is chiding Parker for Brett saying nothing but 'Right' all the time, Brett's cigarette is first short, then long, then short again.

Video

Revealing mistake: In a scene near the end, the camera operator appears to bump into Sigourney Weaver from behind, prompting her to momentarily break character. Weaver had been frantically running down a corridor with the camera following closely behind. When she reaches a ladder, the view passes her for a split-second and bounces back a step from an apparent soft collision. Weaver glances back at the camera with a look as if meaning to say, "Are you all right?" but immediately resumes climbing the ladder. (01:39:35)

TonyPH

Continuity mistake: In regards to the self destruct mechanisim of the Nostromo, It is said that the time from the setting to detonation will be 10 minutes. This is also confirmed by the voice of "Mother" who says, right after Ripley initiates the sequence, that the detonation will take place in "T-Minus 10 minutes" However, in the next shot you see one of the monitors which shows a countdown with 10 minutes and an extra 30+ seconds on it. (01:35:55)

Continuity mistake: When Dallas, Lambert and Kane first discover the Space Jockey, the room is so well illuminated you can see the Jockey, its cannon thing and the floor around it perfectly. In all close shots, it's suddenly pitch black and all we can see is the small areas lit by the crew's helmet lamps.

Ripley: Micro changes in air density, my ass.

More quotes from Alien

Trivia: The original budget for Alien was supposed to be $4.2 million, but was then doubled to $8.4 million after Ridley Scott impressed 20th Century Fox with the storyboards he made.

Casual Person

More trivia for Alien

Question: Question about the Director's Cut of the film. The scene where Brett is looking for Jones has been altered slightly - when he looks up at where the water is dripping from, you can actually see the Alien hanging motionlessly from one of the chains. Has Ridley Scott given an explanation as to why he added this new dynamic to the scene? It's easy enough to speculate why, but a link to an 'official' explanation would be appreciated.

Answer: According to the commentary on the DVD, Ridley didn't add this scene to the original cinematic release because he thought it revealed the true horror of the Alien too soon in the film. The scene is quite early in the film and he thought revealing the fully matured Alien at that time would reduce the viewer's fear.

I had watched Alien several times before I noticed the Alien hanging there.At this point the Audience have no idea what the Alien looks like, they're looking at pieces of science fiction equipment put in by the production crew that they can't relate to, so for all they know the Alien could just be a piece of kit hanging there.

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