A General Analysis of Ridley Scott's 'Alien' (1979)

Essay by 1912babeCollege, Undergraduate January 2004

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This film gave birth to a great legacy of other films and items such as interactive games, books, music and film sequels. However, this original landmark piece of cinema, released on May 25, 1979, with a largely unknown cast and director, is now considered by many to be one of the best and most influential science fiction films ever made, on a par with other 'Hollywood greats' such as Blade Runner, The Terminator, 2001 - A Space Odyssey, and The Matrix.

The man who made all this possible is Ridley Scott the director of such films as "Blade Runner" Thelma and Louise" "Hannibal" and "Black Hawk Down".

However, much credit must also be given to the alien's designer; the Swiss born H.R Giger. He studied art in Zurich; and produced a popular book entitled "Necronomicon" (1977). This single book was the seed that grew into the idea for the Alien and all the different forms.

He was rewarded for his hard work by being given an Oscar for Visual Effects in 1980 for his help in designing the character.

The start of the film lulls us into a false sense of security, discarding the spectacular glamour of "Star Wars" in favour of a much duller visual spectrum, portraying the spacecraft and crew as nothing more than a cargo ship and an motley group of intergalactic couriers. The viewer gets the distinct sense of the tedium and oppressive vastness of space travel from the very start, which is why we are perhaps not surprised when the characters seem to be enormously curious and a little excited about discovering a possible new form of life. We get the impression that the characters long for something out of the ordinary, which is why, possibly, Lt. Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) demands that LV 426 be...