Alien

1979

Alien was released in 1979 and today this seminal sci-fi horror film is still director Ridley Scott’s best. Picking up where 2001: A Space Odyssey left off in 1968, Scott’s film about the crew of  the Nostromo spaceship who encounter an violent alien creature on their way back to Earth made sci-fi horror into serious cinema. It’s masterful pacing, moody cinematography and heady subtext (male rape?) added to Kubrick’s contribution to the genre nine years earlier, making a movie appealed to both pop and art film lovers.

The story behind the making of Alien is as impressive as the film, but what it comes down to is this: a smart writer, Dan O’Bannon, and a hungry up-and-coming director, Scott, were thrust together in a rare cinematic pairing. (Think Sidney Lumet and Paddy Chayefsky with Network.)

Ridley Scott, who would go on to direct Blade Runner and Legend, would never again work with a screenplay like O’Bannon’s. And O’Bannon, who would co-write Total Recall for Verhoeven and direct his own screenplay of The Return of the Living Dead, never had a director take his work as seriously as did Scott.

The film, along with Jaws and Halloween, had a monumental impact on subsequent horror pictures in the way action and suspense were constructed. As for science fiction films, it helped make the cynical mistrust of capitalism a staple of the genre, especially in the 1980s.

 

Past Recommended Showtimes

Patio Theater
October 18, 2013
Patio Theater
October 17, 2013
Music Box Theatre
January 28, 2012
Music Box Theatre
January 27, 2012
Music Box Theatre
January 21, 2012
Music Box Theatre
January 20, 2012
Music Box Theatre
January 14, 2012
Music Box Theatre
December 30, 2011