Alien (1)
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Thirty eight years after its original release, 1979’s Alien remains an example of gold-standard filmmaking and characterisation. In its own time, it redefined the genres of horror and science fiction in ways that have rarely been achieved since. Not only did it launch a beloved and revered film franchise that continues to deliver new material, it also gave to the world a bona fide feminist icon in Warrant Officer Ellen Ripley - played by Sigourney Weaver. While studios and filmmakers have built upon Alien with both prequels and sequels, to create a vast narrative arc that spans millennia, this first film is a straightforward monster movie, which just happens to be set in space.

The film is directed by Ridley Scott, from a screenplay written by Dan O’Bannon and Ronald Shusett. It opens wit...

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