Alien Re-Release

Release Date: October 29, 2003
Limited release

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“In space, no one can hear you scream.”

The granddaddy of all space-monster movies is being re-released into theatres this Hallowe’en, complete with previously-deleted scenes and likely a bit of a tune-up to the effects and soundtrack as well.

Nearly 25 years after its debut, it may be difficult for audiences to remember just how groundbreaking this movie was. So many things that have become clichéd in the genre - the scare moment that’s a false alarm, the monster not being revealed until nearly the final reel, having to fight not only the malevolent outsider but members of one’s own group - all were innovations brought by this film. And Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley was the first of a new breed of female lead: Tough enough to get the job done, but not so masculine as to be a parody. That Ripley is forced into the heroine role rather than actively pursuing it adds to the audience’s rooting for her; she does what she has to do in order to survive, and we applaud her for it.

The Alien franchise is one of the unique few where the second film of the series improved upon the first, but the thrill ride that was Aliens doesn’t diminish the accomplishments of this initial outing, just as the execrable Alien Cubed didn’t destroy the luster of the first two entries in the franchise (I’m one of about 17 people who actually liked Alien: Resurrection, but I recognize this wasn’t a universal reaction). And the opportunity to see the amazing effects - which Scott and his team managed to make both sweeping and claustrophobic at the same time - on the big screen once more, along with the promise of some never-before-seen sequences, is likely one most fans of the series, and of science fiction and horror in general, won’t want to pass up. Re-releases have fared from middling (the most recent ET re-release) to spectacular (the original Star Wars trilogy), and one would expect Alien to fall somewhere in the middle, and perhaps a bit more towards the spectacular end. Marketed and promoted at least as well as in its initial run - this had, in the opinion of many, one of the great taglines and posters of all time - 20th Century Fox should receive a nice little nest egg from its Hallowe’en offering.

Just remember to pass up the spaghetti dinner beforehand. (Stephanie Star Smith/BOP)

Vital statistics for Alien Re-Release
Main Cast Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Ian Holm
Supporting Cast Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Yaphet Kotto, Bolaji Badejo, Helen Horton
Director Ridley Scott
Screenwriter Dan O'Bannon, Ronald Shusett (story) , Dan O'Bannon (screenplay)
Distributor 20th Century Fox
Rating R
Running Time 117 minutes
Screen Count 347
  • Best Visual Effects Oscar for H.R. Giger, Carlo Rambaldi, Brian Johnson, Nick Allder, and Denys Ayling, 1979 Academy Awards
  • Best Director Saturn Award for Ridley Scott, Best Science Fiction Film

Awards page for Alien Re-Release
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture

Comparison films for Alien Re-Release
Adjusted Opening
Total BO
Adjusted Total
Pitch Black 2/18/0011.58 12.95 1832 6321.00 6801.8 39.24 43.89 2.91
Event Horizon 8/15/979.51 12.49 2311 4115.00 5199.8 26.64 34.99 2.80
Supernova 1/14/005.78 6.46 2280 2535.00 2727.8 14.22 15.90 2.11



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