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Movie Reviews

DVD Review: “Alien (Two-Disc Collector’s Edition)”

(20th-Century Fox Home Entertainment, 1979/2004. Color. Widescreen. 1979 version: 117 minutes. 2004 Director’s Cut: 137 minutes. Rated R. Directed by Ridley Scott.) Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, Yaphet Kotto, John Hurt, Ian Holm. Music by Jerry Goldsmith.


In space, no one can hear you scream. An instant classic. This two-disc set contains both the original and updated version which was released to theaters in 2004. The three sequels, especially Aliens, have their merits, but none match this. I don’t think the director’s cut adds much to the experience. Originally filmed in 70mm (the DVD maintains the widescreen 1.85:1 aspect ratio). A ton of good extras. Skerritt, Weaver, Cartwright, Stanton, and Hurt are on the commentary track, along with Scott and most of the crew heads. Very enjoyable. Of note is the appearance on one of the featurettes of the late composer Jerry Goldsmith talking about his problems with Scott (unlike most of the others who sing his praises). Scott used a couple of cues from Goldsmith’s previous score, Freud, in an early scene, and replaced Goldsmith’s closing music with an excerpt from Howard Hanson’s Symphony No.2. Sorry, Jerry, we love you, but the Hanson works.