Alien

Corrected entry: When the film starts you see the bridge and a stack of papers flap in a breeze.The crew are in hyper sleep and don't need oxygen so it's very unlikely they would have their valuable oxygen supply switched on and turned up enough to make a breeze for the 20 months it takes to travel back to earth.

Correction: The oxygen supply had been turned back on because they were about to wake from hypersleep.

Correction: Who said it's oxygen? It could be any inert gas. Nitrogen doesn't support combustion or corrosion, dissipates heat, and can be easily mixed with stored compressed oxygen in the right proportion immediately to the crew being revived.

Correction: The company that owned the ship intended for the crew (without their knowledge) to be diverted to that planet solely to collect one of the aliens. The ship was programmed to wake them up at a specific time and location and it would make sure that all life support systems were fully functional before waking them.

raywest Premium member

Correction: This happened before the ship received the signal and so they wouldn't have been woken otherwise.

A ventilation system operating a fan would not use up the valuable oxygen supply. At most it would be wasting a small amount of energy, however if there was no air in the ship, the heat from the computers would not be able to dissipate.

Corrected entry: Ripley has just seen Lambert and Parker dead, she has set the ship to destruct, so why does she go to the lower deck? The only reason is to show us, the viewers, Dallas and Brett still alive and cocooned and to show us the sticky secretion on the wall, which we see more of in "Aliens."

kh1616

Correction: After setting the destruct sequence, Ripley realized that Jones, the cat, was being left behind. She went back to find him. That's when she discovered the two other crew members, although that scene had been cut in the original theatrical release.

raywest Premium member

Corrected entry: When the crew split into two teams of three, Ash gives Ripley a movement sensor, which he tells her detects movement in the direction its pointing. However, when Ripley points the sensor at Brett and Parker (who are both moving at the time) it doesn't detect their movement. (01:00:35)

Correction: The motion sensor does not work very well. Ripley even comments on this when she says to Parker "Changes in micro air density my ass." Parker also comments "What's the matter with that box?" when Lambert struggles to pinpoint the location of the Alien while Dallas is in the duct. It has been speculated by some that Ash purposefully gave the crew faulty equipment to impede their efforts to kill the alien.

BaconIsMyBFF

Corrected entry: Take a close look at the masks they are using when they remove the helmet from Kane. The masks they are using to prevent contamination are nothing more than ordinary oxygen masks that one uses at a hospital. This is evident by the hose receptor on the bottom of the masks. In reality these masks would not prevent them from catching any airborne disease that this alien would have. I know they are in a infirmary, but a space ship would/should be better equipped in case it comes in contact with other life forms. (00:36:40)

luchador

Correction: While these look similar to current masks, they are part of the highly advanced and miniturized technology of the time - they can do whatever they say that they do.

Myridon

Correction: None of the roles in Alien were written specifically for a man or a woman. The writers made note that any of the roles could be filled by either sex.

Corrected entry: Looking back, it's kind of absurd that the Alien wasn't discovered hosting in Kane's body prior to its bursting out of its chest. The facehugger was enveloping his face for quite some time and the medical equipment aboard the ship determined that it was shoving something down his throat. Once it falls off of him, the rest of the crew didn't conduct a thorough examination of him to make sure he's fine before sitting down with him to dinner?

Correction: Ash knew the alien was there all along. When Ripley gets access to Mother she reads Special Order 937 (I think) which states that Ash's prime directive is to bring back any alien lifeform. That is why the android was put on board at the last minute and why he was so unhelpful.

Also Ash would be the only one that could examine him anyway as he was the only crew member with any medical knowledge.

That's why Ash told Ripley not to look through his microscope when they had their little chat because Ash was watching it grow.

Corrected entry: Ripley's nosebleed: from 1:17:16 (chapter 14: 'A Confrontation with Ash' on the '99 DVD), Ripley's nose starts bleeding, eventually very noticeably. This is almost a full minute before Ash begins attacking her by throwing her twice, which might actually make it bleed. (01:17:15)

Correction: It's just an incidental nosebleed that can occur for any number of reasons like dehydration, blood pressure, etc. In addition to the other answers, it seems the film's purpose with the nosebleed is to contrast a sweaty, bleeding Ripley against Ash, who is totally dry aside from a strange drop of white fluid trickling down his face. The juxtaposition is a signal that yes, Ash is indeed "bleeding/ sweating" this white substance as a body fluid and it hasn't just dripped or spilled on him.

TonyPH Premium member

Correction: Actually, Ripley's nosebleed was from when they opened the airlock on the Alien and she and Parker were caught in the decompression. That scene obviously was never filmed but the nosebleed was in reference to it. Also, in a cut scene you see Ripley and Lambert talking with Parker over the intercom where he says the Alien is right next to the airlock, apparently somewhat fascinated with a blinking light on in the door.

Correction: This would only be an error if a later scene were intended to show the moment the bleeding is caused by some physical strike, but there's no such moment (and there is the chance that her first shoving match with Ash may have had her head striking his, but it's not a certainty). Still, nosebleeds are commonly triggered by stress in people prone to them. Ripley's nosebleed begins after she learns of the special order (crew expendable) and becomes extremely distraught- and after her physically tossing Ash around (causing his head cut that later drips). She marches off, and in the passageways she can then be seen with the nosebleed.

johnrosa

You're really rationalizing this. Ridley Scott did not make Ridley's nose bleed to show that she's stressed out. It's inexplicable, and was the result of something cut from the film. The presence of it in the film constitutes it as a mistake.

Accidents and unintended effects are not necessarily mistakes. The nosebleed may have been intended as one thing - a reference to another scene - but became something else by that other scene's absence: a detail that helps sell the realism of the moment precisely because it does not feel contrived. Because a random nosebleed that occurs at an inconvenient time whose cause is not immediately obvious is something most people have experienced at one time or another.

TonyPH Premium member

Corrected entry: When the face sucker jumps at Kane, he only jumps onto Kane's helmet. This is best seen when in slo-mo on the DVD. Having it jump through his helmet, as we are led to believe, would have resulted in some glass breaking and facial lacerations to Kane and injury to the face sucker alien. (00:34:20)

luchador

Correction: The face-hugger emits a quantity of acid and burns its way through the helmet visor. The visor is visibly affected - the sides of the hole appear melted, not broken.

Tailkinker Premium member

Then wouldn't Kane's face be melted?

It secretes enough acid to just melt the helmet and not damage the host.

lionhead

Corrected entry: Technically speaking, it is impossible to detect the Alien by micro-changes in air density. This is because the device would constantly be reading the mass(i.e. density) of the air molecules around it, and any movement would set it off, as the air molecules would be moving. Even breathing would set the device off.

Correction: Ash explained the motion tracker with micro changes in the air density. It was deceiving the crew all along. When using the motion tracker. Ripley notices it works differently, an unknown way and says, "Micro changes in air density, my ass."

Considering that they are the crew of a spaceship, you'd think they'd have taken a science class or two.

Corrected entry: The director's cut of the movie contains a continuity gap with James Cameron's Aliens. In the sequel, we learn that the eggs containing the facehuggers are laid by an Alien Queen, who is protected by drones and warriors. However, in the director's cut version of Alien, we see that the captured Brett and Dallas being slowly transformed into eggs when Ripley comes upon them as she races for the shuttle. (Even in the theatrical version of Alien, we don't actually see either Brett or Dallas being killed; we just assume they have been when the Alien grabs them.) When asked about this later, James Cameron replied that since the released film version of Alien omitted these scenes, he did not consider them canon and did not feel bound by them.

Correction: This can actually work in either the theatrical version or the director's cut. It's possible that the drones, not being capable of laying eggs themselves, can somehow change a living creature into an egg when faced with a situation where a queen is not around (the first egg created would become a queen, most likely). This would help the propagation of a species with such limited capabilities for growth. Kind of like some frogs have spontaneously changed gender when in a situation where there was a disproportionate number of one gender over the other.

Charles Fraser

Correction: The single Alien being able to create an egg from a human would also explain how the Queen in Aliens even got there.

Corrected entry: The alien is growing much faster than it devours victims, at times even becoming maybe ten times bigger without killing at all.

Correction: Its metabolism is almost certainly massively different from humans', and in the novel they find rations that have been broken open and eaten - probably applies to the film, too.

Corrected entry: After Kane has volunteered to be in the first group to go out, Dallas says "you too Lambert". After she replies "swell" Dallas says "I'll break out the weapons" - where are the weapons that Dallas is referring to? Why could these not have been used to arm the crew, when the Alien was loose on the ship instead of trying to hunt for it in the air shafts with a solitary flame thrower?

Will

Correction: If they shoot the Alien its blood will leak everywhere, and the blood is highly corrosive so it would go through the floors and potentially breach the hull of the spacecraft. They are trying to herd it with the flamethrower once they realise it is afraid of fire.

Eliza

They don't actually know that it's afraid of fire, that is just an assumption made by Ash in relation to most creatures retreating from fire.But as Ash is trying to help the Alien that may not be true in this case.

The weapons that Dallas is referring to is a space age looking pistol, Kane is holding one when he gets attacked by the facehugger.

If you remember Parker says "It's got a wonderful defence mechanism, you don't dare kill it"

Corrected entry: When the crew goes into the ship with the eggs in it, you can clearly see that all their gloves are hockey gloves just painted over. Pretty cheap. (00:29:35)

Correction: Just because they look like hockey gloves (and probably were used to make the gloves) doesn't mean they really are in the movie. Maybe in the future, all astronaut gloves look like that.

Corrected entry: The escape shuttle used by Ripley and the cat is buffeted by a shock wave from the Nostromo's explosion, a shock wave that can't exist. In space, there is no medium through which a shock wave can propagate.

Correction: It's not a shockwave. She's just blown up a colossal ship behind her - what she's hit by is the vaporised remains of the ship, rushing outwards from the point of explosion.

Tailkinker Premium member

You don't see or hear the remains of the refinery hitting the life craft AT ALL so this is an implausible explanation. AND the camera shows the refinery intact as the life craft is pulling away from it...where has the debris come from?

Correction: If sound can travel in space, shock waves can, too. This is standard skiffy film convention. It is not reality.

Corrected entry: In the scene where Ripley is leaving in the escape ship, she's looking out the front window looking back at the ship as she's leaving. When she was prepping the escape ship moments before, the cockpit window is facing outward. If the ship took off nose-forward, she could not see the mother ship moving away through the front window as then she'd be going backwards. There is a small window in the back of the ship through the rear door, but it's far too small to be the same window she was looking out while leaving. Also, the front window has diagonal support struts to hold the windows in place, providing further evidence that the window she is looking through is actually the front of the ship.

12o

Correction: Ripley boards the Narcissus and starts the launch procedure. We see the shuttle being lowered from the belly of the Nostromo, then we see the forward braking thrusters fire [they visibly light up]. This was the effect of slowing the Narcissus relative to the Nostromo, shedding the velocity inherited from the parent vessel. As the Nostromo, which is still under full power, moves on ahead of the Narcissus, Ripley's able to watch it through the shuttle's forward windows. As you say, she could only watch the Nostromo's progress through the forward windows if she was flying backwards. Compared to the Nostromo, that's exactly what she IS doing.

Tailkinker Premium member

Corrected entry: It's difficult to see, but the instructions for self destruct (at least those for cancellation) appear to be in French. (Although fleeting, this is easier to spot in the cinema than on DVD) (01:34:25)

Correction: While the instructions on the right side of the panel are in French, they are simply translated versions of the instructions on the left, which are in English.

Corrected entry: Ripley was originally supposed to be a male. The decision to cast a woman was done on a lark, and no script changes were made to "feminize" the character.

Correction: Dan O'Bannon's original screenplay never mentioned sexes. All the characters were written to be either sex.

Corrected entry: At the beginning of the film when they come out of their hibernation chambers, they all get up and are walking fine and a couple of characters are clean shaven. Surly if they were in the hibernation thing for many years they would have grown excessively large beards and also would have been very unstable when walking. Just like in real life where astronauts find it difficult to walk on their return to earth.

Craz

Correction: The hibernation chambers, as the name implies, slows down the body's systems to an extremely low ebb - as we see at the beginning of the second film, Ripley, who has been in hibernation for 57 years, doesn't appear to have aged in the slightest. As such, no beard growth would have occurred. With regard to muscle wastage, the crew needs to operate the ship effectively within hours of awakening, which wouldn't be possible if they couldn't stand up. As such, we can assume that the hibernation chambers were capable, in some way, of preventing this from occurring.

Tailkinker Premium member

When the crew are in hypersleep they are technically not alive, they are frozen and then monitored by mother because when Kane woke up and asked where they were Brett mentioned that they were going back to the old freezerinos meaning back to hypersleep.

Corrected entry: Near the end of the movie Ripley gets into a pressure suit to hide from the alien. During the scene, they cut to a close up of Ripley's face several times. In some shots, you can see the glass of the helmet she's wearing, in other shots, her face is uncovered.

Correction: That's not the glass from the helmet. It's the glass from the door she's standing behind. Sometimes we view her from inside the closet, and sometimes we view her from outside.

Corrected entry: In the scene directly after Brett is killed by the alien, when they cut to the crew discussing it Parker seems to discuss the alien like he has seen it but I am not aware of any scene where Parker sees the alien. He makes numerous comments about how huge the creature is. How did they even know that Brett is dead let alone the size of the creature? (01:08:10)

Correction: In the Director' Cut, Parker & Ripley arrive in the bay just after Brett has been taken and find themselves standing under the chains with blood dripping down on them. So they know he's dead. As to comments about the Alien's size, that's probably assumptions about what could drag a grown man up that shaft and dice him. Plus one of the deleted scenes (included on DVD-version) shows Brett's killing more graphically, and as rushing to the scene Parker sees him being grabbed by the now man-size Alien up somewhere. He even gets his shirt splattered with Brett's blood.

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."

More mistakes in Alien

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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