Alien

Continuity mistake: After the Alien bursts out of Kane's chest, Parker grabs a knife and goes to stab it, and Ash raises his arm at him, telling him not to. The alien then runs off and visible in the back of shot is Ash still pointing at Parker with his arm raised. Then in a sudden close-up of Ash, his arm is now lowered. Although, his entire arm isn't visible, just under his shoulder, the top of his arm is still visible, so his arm is definitely not in the same position as it was in the previous shot. (00:57:30)

Casual Person

Character mistake: When the crew come upon the space traveler in the derelict space craft one of them says he is fossilized. For fossilization to occur the tissue must be replaced by minerals from surrounding materials. That is why fossils are found in the ground. When the creature dies it must be covered with dirt or mud before it decomposes. Over time the minerals in the dirt replace the tissue. But the space traveler is sitting in the pilot chair, completely open to the environment and not covered with anything. The term they should have been looking for was 'mummification' or perhaps 'skeletonization'.

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)

Revealing mistake: The amber warning lights on the ceiling start flashing before Ripley has activated the self-destruct system.

Alien mistake picture

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

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Suggested correction: That light totally had enough time to light between the frames, because it was hidden by the sliding door for a brief moment. Lights were lit one at the time, not all at once, so this one starts to shine just a little bit later than all the others, that's it.

I consider this a valid mistake and the correction is a stretch. The lights only took about 2 seconds to light up, but she's at the door for almost 3.5 seconds after they're on and the last light did nothing. Then in the half second it took the door to open, the last light is now on.

Bishop73

Continuity mistake: When the ground crew prepares to leave, the captain tells them to take weapons. All three crewman are in suits with side arms on hips. These weapons are never seen the rest of the movie.

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Suggested correction: With reference to the side arms mistake the weapons are seen, when Kane goes to look inside the egg before he is attacked he is carrying his side arm and holding it ready.

Continuity mistake: When Ripley runs back into the control room to abort the self-destruct, one shot shows the timer reading 5 minutes. The shot then cuts to Ripley pulling a lever back to where it originally was and yells out "Mother, I've turned the cooling unit back on! Mother!" The shot then cuts back to the timer where it can be seen it has only gone down by 2-3 seconds, but all of what just happened took longer than that. (01:38:40)

Casual Person

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: Right at the beginning of the movie we see one side of a planet with a ring going around it pointing toward the bottom of the image, then the camera slowly moves to the other side where the ring is pointing towards the top of the image. This would only be possible if the ring around the planet has a figure 8 shape, however later in the film the ring is revealed as flat.

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)

Revealing mistake: When Dallas is in the air shaft he shoots downwards with his flamethrower, you see the flames that he is shooting from the bottom of the ladder, but you can see a flamethrower shooting upwards from the side of the shaft and it also moves in an arc.

Revealing mistake: You can see the blood was initially thrown on John Hurt instead of coming from underneath his shirt. You can also see the underlying prop wrap that was used for the blood exploding out of him just before you see the alien pop out. (00:56:56)

Ripley: Did you ever ship out with Ash before?
Dallas: I went out five times with another science officer. They replaced him two days before we left Thedus with Ash. Hmm?
Ripley: I don't trust him.
Dallas: Well, I don't trust anybody.

More quotes from Alien

Trivia: Ripley abruptly yelling at Parker to "Shut up!" is not in the script. Fans and industry gossip have long speculated that this was Sigourney Weaver breaking character in frustration and she was in fact telling Yaphet Kotto to "shut up" so she can finish her lines. The sequels 'Aliens' and 'Alien 3' both feature scenes where one of the normally cooler-headed protagonists suddenly snaps at a ranting character to "shut up!" in apparent reference to this moment. (01:16:50)

TonyPH

More trivia for Alien

Question: Question about the Director's Cut of the film. The scene where Brett is looking for Jones has been altered slightly - when he looks up at where the water is dripping from, you can actually see the Alien hanging motionlessly from one of the chains. Has Ridley Scott given an explanation as to why he added this new dynamic to the scene? It's easy enough to speculate why, but a link to an 'official' explanation would be appreciated.

Answer: According to the commentary on the DVD, Ridley didn't add this scene to the original cinematic release because he thought it revealed the true horror of the Alien too soon in the film. The scene is quite early in the film and he thought revealing the fully matured Alien at that time would reduce the viewer's fear.

I had watched Alien several times before I noticed the Alien hanging there.At this point the Audience have no idea what the Alien looks like, they're looking at pieces of science fiction equipment put in by the production crew that they can't relate to, so for all they know the Alien could just be a piece of kit hanging there.

More questions & answers from Alien

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