Based on a screenplay
Dan O'Bannon and Shusett
Extremely concise action lines.
A bit of foreshadowing by Kane and Parker in the mess hall on page 4.
I feel dead.
Parker emphasizes this with his reply.
You look dead.
The fact that this is where the crew will first be introduced to the alien and where Kane will end up dead when it bursts out his chest. At this point, the audience won't understand these remarks.
On page 7, the first sign that's something's wrong. They're not anywhere near earth, they're in the wrong system.
On page 9, Dallas informs the crew as to why Mother woke them up.
On page 10, Ash reinforces why they must take a look. Almost threatening. He tells them that if they don't, they won't get paid. They don't have a choice.
On page 19, Brett and Parker question Ripley about getting shares.
Ripley's response. Could be seen as more foreshadowing.
Don't worry, you'll both get
what's coming to you.
It doesn't really matter, you'll both be dead. Audience won't know this, but it'll make sense once the alien arrives on board. The money and shares won't really matter.
Important moment at the bottom of page 28 when Ripley informs Ash that the signal might not be an S.O.S. But a warning instead. Ash is very reluctant to let her go and makes up excuses to keep her on board. His reasons for doing this will become apparent later on.
Major turning point when the facehugger attaches itself to Kane at the bottom of page 31.
Ripley won't let them enter the ship, she insists that kane should be quarantined. Ash goes against her again and let's them in. What's Ash up to?
Ash pretty much owns up to why he let kane on board on page 46 and is very blunt with Ripley.
Maybe I should have let him
die out there. Maybe I have jeapordized the
rest of us. It's a risk I'm willing to take.
What's attached to Kane's face is more important to Ash than the crew in other words.
Dallas explains on page 50 that Ash replaced his regular science officer two days before he left. Something's not quite right.
They're all a little shocked to see Kane on page 56. Perhaps he's okay after all.
Kane appears normal on page 58. They're at the table eating, talking. A false victory. Everything appears to be back to normal. But it's too good to be true.
A good high and low point.
One minute kane seems okay, next he's lying dead on the table. As Parker foreshadowed on page 4.
There seems to be a slight overlap with the dialogue on page 61 and 62. Possibly due to this draft being a revision.
Things get really complicated for the crew when Brett is killed on Page 70 and they discover that the alien has grown real big.
Everything comes to a standstill when Dallas appears to be killed on page 79. A pretty low point for the crew. He's the Captain. What are they going to do now?
Ash's intentions become apparent when it's discovered that he's actually an android who's been on a secret mission. Parker knocks Ash's head off on page 89.
A robot, a goddamn android.
Ripley discovers that Dallas isn't dead. He's been cocooned and asks her to kill him. This scene wasn't in the cinema release. I think it was added in a special edition at some point. I can see why it was taken out. It lessens the suspense for the audience, they think everyone is dead only to find out that they're not. Ripley isn't alone. Also Ripley killing Dallas, she has to, but it's not a nice moment. Had there been a couple of scenes showing Ripley's relationship with Dallas, it would have made sense in keeping this scene. It would have made more of an impact.
Also this would have setup what happens to everyone in the sequel Aliens as well. Showing what they do to their prey once they're caught.
A small scene showing the Nostromo alone in the black void of space and Ripley finding herself all alone on the ship herself.
A nice twist at the end. Ripley doesn't just hop into the Narcissus and escape. She discovers the alien has taken up residence. She must kill it. She manages to blow it out the rear hatch. Something they almost succeeded in doing earlier had it not been for Ash interfering.
Definitely worth a read. Again the action lines are extremely short, written with brevity and clarity.
Welcome to Russell’s website. A storyteller who enjoys writing screenplays for movies. Even though the process is hard. It keeps his imagination working overtime.
Take a Look
Done Deal Pro
London Screenwriters' Festival
Screenwriting from Iowa
Chris Jones Blog
Go Into The Story
Nerdist Writer's Panel
The Bitter Script Reader
The Hollywood Reporter
U.S. Copyright Office
Inside Film Magazine
Save the Cat
The Black List
Writers & their Blogs
Selling Your Screenplay
Script Doctor Eric
Geoff La Tulippe