Trivia: Ripley abruptly yelling at Parker to "Shut up!" is not in the script. Fans and industry gossip have long speculated that this was Sigourney Weaver breaking character in frustration and she was in fact telling Yaphet Kotto to "shut up" so she can finish her lines. The sequels 'Aliens' and 'Alien 3' both feature scenes where one of the normally cooler-headed protagonists suddenly snaps at a ranting character to "shut up!" in apparent reference to this moment. (01:16:50)

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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.

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Trivia: The clear slime that the alien dribbles is actually KY jelly.

Trivia: During the opening sequence, as the camera moves through the corridors of the Nostromo, a Krups coffee grinder can be seen mounted to one of the walls. It happens to be the same model as the "Mr. Fusion" in Back to the Future.


Trivia: Roger Ebert, in his original review, gave the film two out of four stars and called it "basically a haunted house thriller on a spaceship." Several decades later, he changed it to a 4-Star rating and put it on his "Great Movies" list. He did the same thing with "Groundhog Day."

Trivia: The Alien itself has a total of only 4 minutes' screen time in the entire film.

Trivia: There is no dialogue in the first six minutes of the movie.

Trivia: The character of Lambert was actually born male, and had a sex change to become female. This is stated in the dossier that can be seen in the beginning of Aliens.


Trivia: When Veronica Cartwright (Lambert) arrived at the studios in England to start working on the film she actually thought that she was to be playing the part of Ripley. It was a mistake by the film makers and quickly rectified. Her agent also thought she was playing Ripley, it's only when the costume designer spoke to her that the mistake was realised.

Trivia: In the chest-bursting scene, the actors had a good idea of what was going to happen, but were unprepared for the amount of stage blood that would be used. According to Ridley Scott, he knew it would be too time consuming to clean the mostly white set and re-shoot the scene, so he captured the creature bursting from Kane's chest in one take. Veronica Cartwright was not expecting to be sprayed directly in the face with stage blood so her reaction is genuine. Tom Skerritt similarly was not expecting such a gory scene and his stunned expression when the creature first emerges is also genuine.


Trivia: When Kane is in the egg pit on the alien ship and shines his light on one of the eggs, the shape we see moving inside is in fact the hands of director Ridley Scott clad in rubber gloves.

Trivia: Originally the design for the alien called for it to have pulsing brains in its head (the idea being so we could see the creature 'thinking' while it moved around). The effects department accomplished this by having live maggots placed underneath the transparent dome on the head. Unfortunately the maggots refused to wriggle and move around on command, so the effects dept. doused them with LSD right before the cameras started rolling. The idea was later scrapped.

Trivia: Originally, director Ridley Scott wanted "Alien" to have a much darker ending. His intention was to have the alien get back on board the shuttle, rip Ripley's head off and then calmly sit down in her chair and record the final transmission, speaking in her voice. The producers understandably found this a little too extreme, so Scott tried changing it to having Ripley go to sleep as normal only for the camera to pull back out of the airlock window and reveal an alien egg, in the process of hatching, attached to the outside of the shuttle (after the "Brett/Dallas egg mutation" scene was deleted, this also had to go).

Trivia: When Kane encounters the alien eggs, some droplets of the dark liquid that covers them can be seen falling upwards instead of downwards. This is because the egg was in fact upside down when it was filmed and the shot was inverted to show the otherworldly nature of the eggs.


Trivia: Fox was hesitant to create Alien. When Star Wars hit big in the theaters, to follow up quickly with another sci-fi film Alien immediately got the green light.

Trivia: After first seeing the film, Stanley Kubrick called up Ridley Scott to ask how they did the chestburster scene. Scott not being used to fame at the time and Kubrick being one of his career idols, Scott assumed he was speaking with an imposter playing a prank, and promptly told Kubrick to "fuck off."

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Trivia: Despite (or maybe because of) their similar style, a bitter rivalry developed between artists H.R. Giger and Roger Dicken. Giger said Dicken's work looked "terrible, like a dinosaur from Disneyland." Dicken in turn called Giger's designs "repulsive abominations." In response, Giger described Dicken as "an awfully aggressive nut" who was "on the verge of a nervous breakdown." The finished film features both artists' designs: Giger's adult xenomorph, and Dicken's facehugger and chestburster.

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Trivia: The tendons in the creature's jaws were made using shredded condoms.

Trivia: The idea of Ash being an robot was not in the original screenplay, it was an idea thought up by the producers. However, the original writers thought it was a great idea and went to work changing the story slightly.

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.


More mistakes in Alien

Lambert: I can't see a goddamn thing.
Kane: Quit griping.
Lambert: I like griping.

More quotes from 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.

More questions & answers from Alien

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