Cast: Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, John Hurt, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, Ian Holm, Yaphet Kotto, Bolaji Badejo, Helen Horton
In the future, the Nostromo, a commercial starship, has set out from Thedus to Earth, hauling twenty-million tons of mineral ore. The ship’s computer wakes the hibernating crewmembers, five men and two women, addressing them in a calm female voice. The ship has received a transmission, a possible distress signal, from a moon orbiting a nearby planet. The crew are required by law to investigate the signal’s origin. They separate the landing craft from the rest of the starship and, leaving the cargo in orbit, descend to the moon. The ship suffers some damage during the rough landing. Captain Dallas (Skerritt), Executive Officer Kane (Hurt), and Navigator Lambert (Cartwright), don space suits and leave the ship to investigate the signal. On the moon’s windy surface they discover a strange derelict spaceship. They enter the mysterious ship, explore its bizarre organically-shaped chambers, and find a control station and the fossilized remains of the ship’s gigantic pilot. Kane descends into a misty hold and discovers hundreds of large leathery eggs. One of the eggs suddenly opens, and a tentacled being inside leaps out, penetrates Kane's helmet, and attaches itself to his face. Dallas and a terrified Lambert abandon their investigation and carry the unconscious Kane back to the Nostromo’s landing craft. The transmission the Nostromo received was a warning, not a distress signal. Citing protocol regarding alien lifeforms, Warrant Officer Ellen Ripley (Weaver), left in command of the ship, refuses to let them back onboard. But Ash (Holm), the science officer, ignores Ripley’s order and opens the airlock to let them re-enter. Kane is taken to the ship’s infirmary and Dallas and Ash try to dislodge the creature from Kane’s face, but find that they cannot detach it without harming him. Despite the alien parasite clinging to his face, Kane’s life signs are satisfactory. The crew consider freezing up Kane, and proceed with repairing the ship. Later they find the creature dead, detached from Kane’s face. Kane wakes up, seemingly unharmed. With the ship repaired, the crew leave the moon, resume their course, and look forward to a last meal before re-entering hypersleep. During dinner, Kane suddenly starts gagging, and a snakelike creature bursts out of his chest, killing him. Kane’s crewmates are horrified, and as they look on in shock and disgust the creature darts away. Captain Dallas has the crew rig up a tracking device and makeshift weapons and organizes a search for the alien creature. During the search, engineering technician Brett (Stanton) encounters the alien, which has molted into a biped and grown to enormous size. The powerful creature attacks Brett with its projecting jaws and drags his inert body into an air-shaft. The remaining crew members must use their resourcefulness and ingenuity to find a way to get rid of the alien, which begins to kill them one by one. Story by Dan O’Bannon and Ronald Shusett. Alien design by H.R. Giger.