Ridley Scott's 1979 sci-fi horror film Alien gave audiences something they had never seen before. The film was greatly helped by releasing "Star Wars" two years earlier. When George Lucas' space saga became the highest-grossing film in history at the time, science fiction was back in vogue, and 20th Century Fox studios began looking for new movies in the genre.
What studio bosses didn't fully realize was that Scott wanted to make something completely different from the optimistic fantasy that America had fallen in love with. The director created a picture so dark and bloody that it was unprecedented for the time. The film is so terrifying because it tests the viewer's patience. You wait for something horrible to happen for almost an hour, and it still doesn't. It builds suspense. When the absolute horror finally begins, the fear level is even higher than you might imagine. Rarely has a horror movie so skillfully - and effectively - managed its tone.
"Alien" is an ever-discussed classic, but around it, as around any classic film, there are many behind-the-scenes stories, many of which you probably haven't even heard of. In this article, essay writers from writing my paper for me service want to do justice to this brilliant film and tell interesting facts about the film.
Meryl Streep and Harrison Ford could have starred in the film.
Sigourney Weaver is so tightly associated with the character of Ripley that it is impossible to imagine anyone else in the role. Simply put, it made the then-unknown actress a star. However, Ripley was almost played by another actress. The casting process left two contenders: Weaver and Meryl Streep, who at the time was very popular after the release of "The Deer Hunter" and Woody Allen's "Manhattan." But Streep was going through a personal tragedy: her lover, actor John Casale ("Dog Day Afternoon"), had recently died of cancer. Producers felt it would be inappropriate to cast her at such a time, especially in a dark horror film where several characters die horrible deaths, so they offered the role to Weaver.
Tom Skerrit, meanwhile, might not have played Dallas if Harrison Ford had said yes. Ford didn't want to do another movie about space so soon after the release of Star Wars and turned down the role. Of course, a few years later, he played in another Ridley Scott sci-fi film, Blade Runner, which also became a classic.
The original Alien costume was transparent.
It is evident to everyone that Giger's work was knocking them out. The question was how to bring it to the screen to scare the audience but not alienate them. The studio was worried that viewers would not want to watch if "Alien" were too disturbing and unpleasant. For this reason, they initially resisted Giger's participation. Scott and the producers insisted that he was the best choice, and the studio eventually agreed with their opinion.
Nevertheless, how to bring the xenomorph to life remained open. It was initially meant to have transparent skin so viewers could see how its insides worked. Although the idea was intriguing enough, Scott didn't like how the suit looked when it was created. He made the creature black so that the Alien would blend in more easily with its dark surroundings, making it even scarier. Giger also suggested that the xenomorph has no eyes, which would be genuinely creepy.
A transparent alien is an excellent concept, but what came out was perfect is no denying.
The scene with the face grabber was filmed upside down.
There are several iconic moments in Alien, and one of them is the scene in which Kane stumbles upon a cluster of alien eggs. Kane leans in when one colossal egg opens up to see what's inside. Suddenly a specific spider-like creature, which has since been known as a "face grabber," jumps out of the snuffbox, burns a hole in Kane's helmet with acid, and sucks on his face. Even if you've seen the movie dozens of times and know what's supposed to happen, the masterful staging of this scene makes you jump with surprise.
To achieve this, Scott was resourceful. He flipped the camera upside down, creating an effect in which you can see the slime dripping off the outside of the egg, further enhancing the horror of the scene. The director also wore gloves to simulate the creature's movement inside the egg before the attack. To top it all off, compressed air cannons released pig entrails to give the whole thing a genuinely gruesome look. The clever editing makes all these elements look like a whole.
The actors were unprepared for the Chestburster Scene.
The most famous scene in "Alien" has to do with Kane's death. The face grabber has somehow introduced his seed into his stomach, discovered during dinner. The rest of the crew lay his convulsing body on the table, and to their horror, a small, slime-covered creature bursts out of Kane's chest, spattering blood everywhere.
If you think the actors are portraying disgust authentically, there's a good reason: they didn't know precisely how horrible Scott planned to make the scene. They knew that some small creature would burst out of Kane's chest. The director, wanting the most realistic reaction possible, secretly attached so many "blood bags" to John Hurt that they were to explode when the creature appeared. He also arranged for cow and pig intestines to be used in the shot. The effect was phenomenal. Veronica Cartwright, who played Lambert, got a charge of fake blood on her face, making her fright the most real of all.
Audience members at the test screenings had attacks of nausea and fainted.
To some extent, the appeal of "Alien" is an endurance test. The face-grabbing, beheading of Ash all had a shocking, gut-wrenching effect. Especially in 1979. Major studio releases rarely saw such a creative and downright violent spectacle. Audiences were used to funny science fiction like "Star Wars" or "cheap" science fiction. They were not prepared to see a creature bursting out of a man's chest.
During the test screening of the film, chaos ensued. According to the creators' story, people started leaving the theater after about an hour - just as the face-grabbing scene was running past Scott, who was standing in the lobby. Audience members were eager to take seats away from the screen in the back. There were screams and frightened sighs. Someone in the audience was seen vomiting in the restrooms. One theater employee fainted after seeing Ash's beheading scene. Another audience member allegedly fell and broke his arm in an attempt to escape from the auditorium. It is evident to Scott and the producers that their film was exactly what they had intended it to be.
In its first weekend, the film earned $3.5 million.
"Alien" debuted in theaters on May 25, 1979. It made just over $3.5 million the first weekend. These days, a movie can gross up to $100 million - or, in some cases, even $200 million - so that number seems surprisingly small. Of course, at the time, ticket prices were much lower. What makes the 3.5 million figure impressive is that the film grossed in only 91 theaters. The earnings per-theater were $38,767. In other words, the film didn't go to many theaters, but where it did, it had full houses. The other new film released that weekend, Peter Sellers' comedy Prisoner of Zenda, came in second place with $2.4 million and 417 theaters.
Alien began its triumphant march through theaters as a must-see film in America from that point on. By early July, the box office reached its peak when it expanded to 757 theaters. It performed well all summer, steadily generating profits and attracting viewers. In early October, the box office ended, and the film grossed $60 million.
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