Alien is 40, and still terrifying. Shame about the sequels

CNET | 5/24/2019 | Richard Trenholm
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I would happily argue that Alien is a perfect movie. On paper, it sounds kinda schlocky: a creature feature in which a guy in a monster suit gorily dismembers a crew of thinly written characters.

And yet this peerless blend of sci-fi and horror still grips the emotions and imagination to this day.

Years - May - Alien - Life - Script

Released 40 years ago, on May 25, 1979, Alien began life as a script by Dan O'Bannon with help from Ron Shusett. It was called Star Beast. Inspired by decades of science fiction set on strange planets among predatory aliens, the story followed a crew of working stiffs trucking across the galaxy until they were interrupted by a mysterious signal. Traveling down to a forbidding planet, they discover a chamber full of what appear to eggs. One of the crew makes the mistake of looking inside...

The ill-fated crew, in a clean, well-lighted place.

Alien - Example - Nature - Filmmaking - Team

Alien is a great example of the collaborative nature of filmmaking, of how a team of people bringing their best make a film more than the sum of its parts. O'Bannon and Shusett laid the groundwork with their script, including the horrifying details of how the alien reproduced. Walter Hill and David Giler added a subplot about an android. Designer HR Giger conceived one of the most distinctive and horrifying alien creatures committed to film before or since.

The art and effects teams made space more real than it had ever been. The cast of veteran actors -- John Hurt, Yaphet Kotto, Harry Dean Stanton, Ian Holm, Veronica Cartwright and Tom Skerritt gave the film life and texture, while the young Sigourney Weaver combined strength and vulnerability to embody a heroine for the ages.

Alien - Blade - Runner - Director - Ridley

With Alien and 1982's Blade Runner, director Ridley Scott shaped a vision of the future that influenced science fiction and moviemaking to this day. Robert...
(Excerpt) Read more at: CNET
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