“Alien” (1979) Film Review

Alien (1979) Film Review

Alex Kemnitzer, Film Critic

The film Alien is a sci-fi film set in the distant future. It was directed by Ridley Scott and was released in 1979. While the movie is brilliantly-made and incredibly influential, the main point I want to focus on is Sigourney Weaver’s performance as Ellen Ripley. As we celebrate Women’s History Month, it’s important to look back on some of the best actings and directing performances by women in cinema history. I believe Sigourney Weaver’s performance in Alien is one of the best acting performances of all time.

In Alien, Ripley’s character is portrayed as a strong, competent, and resilient individual who is able to survive the dangerous situation she finds herself in. Ripley is introduced as a member of the Nostromo’s crew, but as the story progresses, she becomes the central figure and the main protagonist of the film. Ripley is able to shine as a female character who is able to take charge and survive in a male-dominated environment, which challenges traditional gender roles and stereotypes.

Throughout the film, Ripley is portrayed to be incredibly intelligent. For example, when her fellow crew members are debating whether or not to investigate a distress signal from a nearby planet, Ripley argues against it, citing the ship’s quarantine procedures and the potential danger of the mission. Despite pushback from her male colleagues, Ripley remains firm in her stance and ultimately proves to be correct in her assessment of the situation.

Ripley is continuously challenged throughout the plot as she faces off against the alien creature that is loose on the ship. She demonstrates quick thinking and resourcefulness in her attempts to outsmart the creature and protect herself and her remaining crewmates. Ripley’s final confrontation with the alien is a particularly iconic scene, as she uses her intelligence and bravery to defeat the creature and escape to safety.

Sigourney Weaver does an amazing job of bringing this iconic and powerful character to life. Her ability to defy gender norms and movie stereotypes is truly commendable and I believe that audiences overlook her performance when discussing this film.