Alien is a 1979 science fiction horror film directed by Ridley Scott. The story follows the crew of the commercial space tug Nostromo, who encounter the “Alien”, an aggressive and deadly extraterrestrial set loose on the ship. The film stars Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Ian Holm, and Yaphet Kotto. The Alien and its accompanying artifacts were designed by the Swiss artist H. R. Giger.
Alien premiered May 25, 1979, as the opening night of the fourth Seattle International Film Festival, presented in 70mm at midnight. It was met with mixed reviews on release but was a box-office success, winning the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects, three Saturn Awards and an Hugo Award.
In 2002, Alien was deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” by the Library of Congress and was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry. In 2008, it was ranked by the American Film Institute as the seventh-best film in the science-fiction genre, and as the 33rd-greatest film of all time by Empire.