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Alien is a culturally influential 1979 science-fiction horror film, directed by Ridley Scott and starring Sigourney Weaver. The film's title references the main antagonist, a highly aggressive, unfamiliar extraterrestrial life-form. Reluctantly following a distress beacon in deep space, a crew member of the space-faring towing vehicle Nostromo encounters a young Alien that attacks and infects him. The creature soon comes aboard the ship, wreaking havoc and threatening the entire crew.The Nostromo, an interstellar commercial towing-vehicle with a crew of seven, has set out from Thedus to Earth, hauling twenty-million tons of mineral ore. At the start of the film, the ship's computer MU-TH-R 182, simply called "Mother" by the crew, receives an apparently unidentifiable signal from a moon orbiting a nearby planet,while monitoring the ship's operations. "Mother" wakes the crew from stasis, so they can investigate the signal's origin. With the ore and mining facilities left in orbit, the tug portion of the Nostromo lands on the moon, suffering serious damage during the rough landing.Captain Dallas (Tom Skerritt), Kane (John Hurt) and Lambert (Veronica Cartwright) leave the ship to investigate the signal. They soon discover a derelict spacecraft of unknown origin. The group enters the craft, finding the pilot's desiccated remains. Kane descends into a chamber beneath the pilot, discovering thousands of leathery eggs protected by a forcefield. One of the eggs opens, a lifeform inside leaps out, burns through the visor of Kane's spacesuit and attaches itself to his face. Dallas and Lambert carry the unconscious Kane back to the Nostromo. Ripley (Sigourney Weaver), the commanding officer in Dallas's absence, refuses to let them back onboard, citing quarantine protocol. However, Science Officer Ash (Ian Holm) disregards Ripley's decision and lets them in. In the ship's infirmary Dallas and Ash attempt to remove the creature from Kane's face, but they discover they cannot remove it by force without harming Kane. When they try to cut off one of its digits, the alien's highly acidic blood sprays on the floor and burns its way through several decks of the spaceship. Due to this lethal defense mechanism, the crew cease from further attempts at removal. Eventually the creature detaches from Kane's face on its own, and the crew find it dead. Kane wakes up, seemingly unharmed.

With the ship repaired, the crew leave the moon and have one last meal before re-entering hypersleep. During the meal Kane begins to choke and convulse until an alien creature bursts through his chest. The creature then scurries away. After ejecting Kane's body into space in a brief funeral, the crew splits up into two teams to capture it. Ash rigs together a tracking-device, while Brett (Harry Dean Stanton) assembles a weapon similar to a cattle-prod. Picking up a signal, Parker (Yaphet Kotto), Brett, and Ripley think they have the creature cornered, only to discover Jones, the crew's cat. Realizing they might pick up the cat on the tracker again later, Parker sends Brett back to catch Jones. During his search Brett encounters the alien, now fully grown and enormous. The creature attacks him with its inner jaws and hauls the paralyzed crew member into an air-shaft.The crew realizes that the alien has used the air-shafts to move through the ship. Dallas enters the network of air-shafts with a flamethrower, intending to drive the alien into an airlock in order to blow it out into space. Using the trackers, the crew picks up the alien's signal moving toward Dallas. Attempting to escape, Dallas runs right into the creature. His body disappears. Ripley queries Mother for advice on destroying the alien, but in the process discovers that "The Company"had already detected the alien transmission, had decoded the signal as a warning and wanted one of the alien lifeforms brought back — ostensibly for weapons-development — even at the expense of the crew. Ash, the Company's agent on board, attacks Ripley after she learns of the "Special Order 937", but Parker and Lambert arrive before he can kill her. Parker dislodges Ash's head with a fire-extinguisher, revealing Ash as an android.

The three remaining crew members decide to destroy the Nostromo and escape in the shuttle Narcissus. While Ripley preps the Narcissus for launch, Parker and Lambert go to gather coolant for the shuttle's life-support system. Ripley hears the screams of her colleagues over the ship's communication system and runs off to investigate. She arrives too late, discovering the alien has killed Parker and Lambert. Ripley activates the ship's self-destruct sequence and races to the shuttle, but sees the alien near the shuttle entrance. After an unsuccessful attempt at aborting the self-destruct sequence, Ripley escapes with Jones to the shuttle again, with the alien nowhere in sight this time. Ripley takes off in the Narcissus, and the Nostromo explodes. While preparing for hypersleep Ripley discovers that the alien has hidden itself inside the shuttle. Ripley manages to slip on a space-suit. She then blasts the alien out of the shuttle's airlock with a grappling-gun. When the Alien (still tethered to the grappling hook) climbs into one of the shuttle's engine nacelles, Ripley activates the engine and blasts it clear into space. The film ends as Ripley and the cat enter hypersleep

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