Audio problem: When the crew are dining together just before Kane meets his grisly end, the scene cuts from a long shot, where Parker is saying something, to a closer shot, with the conversation continuing as before. The problem is that Parker's voice can still be heard, but his lips aren't moving.
Continuity mistake: In the escape pod Ripley presses buttons to release gases onto the alien. Watch her helmet between the cuts. During the first two gas releases the inside of her helmet is foggy and streaked; cut to the alien reacting to the third gas and when the camera returns to Ripley the inside of her helmet is clear.
Factual error: In the opening scene we see a bobbing bird on the table. These birds require a wet beak to work thus the glass of water. We find out that the crew is half way home when they are awakened. Later we find that they are 10 months from home, so they must have been travelling for 10 months already, meaning the bird has been bobbing for all that time and the water has somehow not evaporated.
Character mistake: While entering the atmosphere of LV-426 when the ships starts to shake in a turbulence, there is a close-up at Ripley's screen showing the terrain and at the bottom of that screen we can see "WEYLAN YUTANI NOSTROMO 180246." The correct name of the Company is WEYLAND YUTANI and Nostromo's registration number is 180924609. (00:16:35)sirwimpyix
Revealing mistake: As Ripley, Lambert and Parker leave the room after decapitating Ash, Parker turns around and incinerates Ash's body. As soon as the shot starts, if you look carefully just before the flame actually touches Ash, you can see Ash's head (mostly the skin below his neck) has already melted before the flame, or even the heat for that matter, touches him. The flamethrower had only been set off a split second before the fire reached Ash and by that point the head has already began melting, so the heat made from the fire could not have melted his head that quickly.Casual Person
Continuity mistake: After the alien leaves Kane's face and the rest of the crew are looking for it in the infirmary, there is one shot that bears re-watching. When Ripley is looking upwards over the prone Kane, you begin to see the dangling tentacles of the alien in the background. At the same time, the collar on her outfit begins to pull downward, un-naturally, until the alien drops onto her shoulder. I believe there was some sort of string or rope fed from below, through her clothing, and was attached to the alien and was pulled to have the creature drop onto her. (00:48:33)
Continuity mistake: Near the start, when Dallas is at the entrance to Mother, one of the lights to his left, the fifth one down from the ceiling, is not lit. The next shot from inside Mother looking out shows that light is now lit. This exact same thing happens a second time when Ripley is entering mother later in the movie. These two scenes must have been shot at the same time. (00:08:20 - 01:18:35)luchador
Continuity mistake: When Dallas is in the air vent trying to flush the Alien out of the ship he is carring a flamethrower. Right before his demise, he is told by Lambert to "Get out of there" or something to that effect. In the next shot you see him descending a ladder clearly WITHOUT the flamethrower. However, in the shot after that (when he is lowering himself to the bottom of the ladder, right before the alien gets him) he somehow has the flamethrower again (it even got reslung around his shoulder). (01:15:25)
Continuity mistake: Near the beginning when the Nostromo crew are debating over landing on the planet and Parker is arguing against it. Ash addresses him by revealing the company clause that states any potential alien intelligence must be investigated. He even mouths to Parker "no money." In the best shot Ash is directly behind Parker and not in a position where he could have been directly addressing Parker as the previous editing suggested. (00:12:35)
Continuity mistake: Just after Dallas is taken by the Alien in the air shaft, the crew are round a table discussing what they should do next. Ripley has a visible injury to her right cheek, a round swollen injury. In the next scene the injury has gone. It's possible that it was caused by accident filming the scene when she was attacked by Ash with the rolled up magazine, although that happened later in the film.
Continuity mistake: After Ash is decapitated, Ripley says they are going to blow up the ship. In the shot where Parker looks back, Ash's head is slanted to the side. The shot cuts back to Parker where he turns on the flamethrower and incinerates Ash, whose head is suddenly flat on the table. (01:25:40)Casual Person