The story of Alien was originally written in 1976 by Dan O'Bannon and Ronald Shusett. The script was sold and went though many changes before it was approved by Twentieth Century Fox, shortly after the huge success of Star Wars in 1977. The film was directed by Ridley Scott who, after the success of Alien in 1979, went on to direct such groundbreaking films as Blade Runner, Thelma & Louise, Gladiator, and Hannibal. The movie stars Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, Ian Holm, Yaphet Kotto, Veronica Cartwright, John Hurt and Harry Dean Stanton. Alien is most famous for its dreary visual design, and for being one of the first movies with a female action hero. The film won an Academy Award for its visual design, led by H.R. Giger. In 2002, Alien was added to the National Film Registry, a collection of films in the Library of Congress that are deemed culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.
Alien is about a group of workers aboard the spaceship Nostromo, a commercial towing vessel. The crew is awakened from stasis by a distress call from an unknown planetoid. The crew arrives on the planetoid, only to find a large dead alien creature, who looks like it has been eaten from the inside out. While investigating a nest of eggs nearby, one of the crew is attacked by some kind of creature that attaches itsself to his face. The terror is only beginning for the crew of the Nostromo. What follows is a gripping and terrifying quest for survival against one of the fiercest monsters in cinematic history.