Paused

'Alien' - Paused

Capturing the Nostromo in time

Alien (1979) Paused
Photo: 20th Century Fox

Movie: Alien

Release Year: 1979

Studio: 20th Century Fox

Director: Ridley Scott

Starring: Tom Skerritt as Dallas, Sigourney Weaver as Ripley, Veronica Cartwright as Lambert, Harry Dean Stanton as Brett, John Hurt as Kane, Ian Holm as Ash and Yaphet Kotto as Parker

Cinematographer: Derek Vanlint (Dragonslayer) [Alien was one of only four films Vanlint served as cinematographer]

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I love what Scott does with this emergency helmet, playing the screen of the Nostromo as it comes to life off of it, almost giving the helmet life.
Photo: 20th Century Fox
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Photo: 20th Century Fox
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Photo: 20th Century Fox
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Photo: 20th Century Fox
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Photo: 20th Century Fox
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Outside of any other shot of Ash in the film, this is probably my favorite and probably my favorite shot in the film. The master at the controls.
Photo: 20th Century Fox
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Photo: 20th Century Fox
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Photo: 20th Century Fox
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You'll get to know this guy's friends a little more soon enough.
Photo: 20th Century Fox
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After seeing Prometheus perhaps you could work up a metaphor for the thin layer of blue smoke that separates Kane from the eggs below.
Photo: 20th Century Fox
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Photo: 20th Century Fox
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Photo: 20th Century Fox
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Photo: 20th Century Fox
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I only included this one beecause I think this is just a masterful prop and so convincing in its seeming authenticity.
Photo: 20th Century Fox
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Photo: 20th Century Fox
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Photo: 20th Century Fox
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The way the water drips on Brett's hat before we ever know what the sound is really works leading up to this scene.
Photo: 20th Century Fox
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I hate when directors depend on cats for jump scares, but without Jonesy this film simply wouldn't be the same. In fact, most of the crew may have actually survived.
Photo: 20th Century Fox
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Photo: 20th Century Fox
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Something about the profile shot of Veronica Cartwright here is just cool to me opposite the stern face of Sigourney Weaver
Photo: 20th Century Fox
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>Photo: 20th Century Fox
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Photo: 20th Century Fox
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Photo: 20th Century Fox
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Photo: 20th Century Fox
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Photo: 20th Century Fox
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Photo: 20th Century Fox
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Photo: 20th Century Fox
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  • Harry Fuertes

    Great article. I love this movie and its one of my favorite sci fis. But my favorite shot is when Sigourney Weaver is in her pajamas stuck in the suit room in the end. I can't find it but I found it a very interesting way to tell how vulnerable humans are to attack, especially when they least expect it.

  • http://talesofthegeeklanterncorps.blogspot.com/ Brian

    Another great "Paused," made even more enjoyable by just having re-watched Alien yesterday.

  • Criterion10

    Great pictures, great film. I'm really glad you posted the picture where the water drips onto Brett's face. I love that particular moment because we, the audience, think to ourselves that it's the alien acid and is going to burn his skin. But, then we remember that if it was acid it would've burned his skin immediately. It's a brilliant trick by Scott IMO.

  • Ben, formerly known as Bmac

    I also just watched this yesterday. I liked it this time more than I have ever.

    Some suggestions for Paused.

    -Chinatown
    -One the Waterfront
    -The Killing
    -Who Framed Roger Rabbit
    -Rear Window

  • Nicholas

    Love these articles, one small suggestion, though. In the beginning of the article you have the captions below the pictures which they accompany. Later in the article, however, they with to being above the picture. This is a little confusing. Great rest of the article, though

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

      Yeah, that was a mistake. Fixed it though

  • Mr Stark

    What was up with Harry Dean Stanton's cameo in Avengers? A desperate attempt to plant a sliver of Alien fandom before the release?
    Weird.
    Excited to return to LV426 on friday!

    Another cool Paused.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

      Just so you know... you won't be returning to LV-426 with Prometheus. I guess my one caption is a little misleading in that sense... I'll rework it.

  • http://hypethemovies.wordpress.com Jordan B.

    Watched 'Alien' last night, and that closeup of the facehugger still continues to strike me as one of the most realistic-looking props I've ever seen.

  • NADM

    I was the projectionist at a 1,000 seat theater that played Alien when it came out. Fear grows with more people in the seats. The first month we had people in the middle of the movie coming out to the lobby on the verge of fainting.

  • the colleague

    I really like the 8th image. I vividly remember watching the movie as a kid, being terrified of the ominous-looking thing in the distance, not knowing what it is. Of those that aren't here, I also really like the instances, with Stanton and then later with Weaver, where you're basically playing Spot the Creature.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

      I almost included the latter picture you mention, which I believe is the same one Harry mentioned in the first comment, I just didn't think there was a singular image that represented it well enough and that wouldn't have people going, "Oh, look at Sigourney's underwear!" Maybe it was a mistake in keeping it out.

  • Mr Stark

    Noticed something while rewatching the film again the other day. While Ripley is arming the ship for self destruction, she opens a panel of buttons up. There are a sequence of buttons that read: TRIP, AGARIC, FLY. Google Fly Agaric mushrooms. Hidden message? Or something some hippy prop designer slipped passed the goalie?