Continuity mistake: In the shot of the alien's tail wrapping around the back of Lambert's legs right before it kills her, the floor is different to what it was before, there is water suddenly falling from the ceiling when there wasn't before and her trousers have changed from white to blue. This is because that shot was originally intended to be used when Brett was killed.
Visible crew/equipment: After Ripley fails to shut off the auto destruct sequence, she runs through a corridor filled with gas. As she exits from the gas right before the shot cuts away we see her pass by a full sized light. Beside this light is the clear arm and head of a lighting crew member. (This is acknowledged on the DVD commentary).
Continuity mistake: In regards to the self destruct mechanisim of the Nostromo, It is said that the time from the setting to detonation will be 10 minutes. This is also confirmed by the voice of "Mother" who says, right after Ripley initiates the sequence, that the detonation will take place in "T-Minus 10 minutes" However, in the next shot you see one of the monitors which shows a countdown with 10 minutes and an extra 30+ seconds on it.
Continuity mistake: When Ash has gone crazy and is attacking Ripley, his white android juice/sweat/fluid is flowing from his forehead. After he throws Ripley into the room with the nude pictures on the wall, there is a new shot. In it, Ash is walking into the room, but there is no android fluid on his forehead.
Visible crew/equipment: When Kane is struggling on the table shortly before the alien rips through his chest, just before the first patch of blood appears, his T-shirt rides up and something strapped to his chest can be seen. This is some sort of pack containing fake blood that discharges onto his T-shirt. (Best viewed in slow motion.)
Continuity mistake: When Lambert deactivates Ash by using a cattleprod, you will notice that she is wearing brown cowboy boots. Minutes later as the Alien goes to wrap its tail round the back of her legs, she is now wearing a sneaker - though you only see the toe cap it is clearly not a brown cowboy boot.
01:23:55 - 01:33:40
Revealing mistake: When Ash attacks Ripley and Parker beats him off, the android gets up again and tackles Parker. Look closely as Parker crawls up against the wall...the body of Ash isn't a body at all...it's half a mannequin that doesn't even have a lower body connected to it, and it is visible when Parker's legs spread and you can see that there is nothing under Ash's torso except a big hole where the lower half should connect.
Continuity mistake: When Dallas, Kane and Lambert are exploring the alien spacecraft, you can see that there are wipe marks inside of their helmets that change between shots, most notably on Kane. This is because the helmets were built with out sufficient exhaust systems for the actors. Of course, the characters wouldn't be able to wipe the inside of their helmets with them on.
Continuity mistake: When Dallas, Lambert and Kane first discover the Space Jockey, the room is so well illuminated you can see the Jockey, its cannon thing and the floor around it perfectly. In all close shots, it's suddenly pitch black and all we can see is the small areas lit by the crew's helmet lamps.
Revealing mistake: They use the same shot three times when showing the acid eating throughout the ship. After they try to cut the finger off the face sucker, acid begins to burnt through the decks. When they have gone down 1 deck and look up they see where the acid came through. They then move down 1 more deck and look up again. The acid is just beginning to burn through. Then they look up again and it is the same shot that was used before. The same hanging acid on the right with the drip on the left. After the acid has neutralized, they look up at the hole and it is the same shot again.
Plot hole: When Ripley goes to access the computer Mother, the entry door opens and closes with a hissing noise, a couple of minutes later you see Ash next to Ripley with a smile on his face. How did Ash manage to open the same door without it making the hissing sound? Ash could not have been in the room before Ripley came in - once Ripley has sat down at the console, it rotates on a 90 degree angle, this would have made it impossible for Ash to be hiding behind a desk or a computer console without being seen by Ripley. There are many doors on the ship that make the same hissing sound when the doors open, an obvious example is the infirmary door. And Ash couldn't have disabled the pneumatics of the door, because when Ripley exits the room, the hissing noise is heard again.
01:18:40 - 01:20:00
Factual error: When the crew shoots Kane's body out into space, the door opens up and "explosive decompression" causes Kane's body to fly out into space. At the beginning, the body slowly rotates. Then as it moves further away, the body begins flipping much faster. The reason something would increase speed in rotation like that is due to aerodynamics. An object traveling through space would simply keep the same rotational velocity it begins with since there is no air or other influences (gravity, etc.). The explosive decompression may cause it to increase rotation speed, but by the time it begins to flip, any air would have dissipated into space and not work as a column of air/wind to force the body into a flip.
Continuity mistake: Before Lambert is killed, the alien twists its tendrils around her leg, and we see that she has sneakers on. However, when Ripley notices Lambert's dead body (hanging?) she is barefoot. [The rest of the scene was cut. According to the novelization, Lambert was actually intended to be shown completely naked and sexually ravaged. Director Ridley Scott had toyed with the idea of creating the illusion of the Alien having raped her before her death. He thought better of it and cut the scene. Still a mistake, but there's why.]
01:33:40 - 01:34:25
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.
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.
Continuity mistake: When Ash calls Dallas to the infirmary, Dallas appears in a white shirt that has a blue patch or tag above his left/front pocket. Then he and Ripley leave the infirmary and have an argument in a corridor. Suddenly, Dallas' shirt has a gold patch where the blue one was moments earlier.
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).
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 - 01:18:35luchador
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.
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.
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.
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.
Add timeCasual Person
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.
Continuity mistake: When Ripley is trying to re-activate Ash, Ripley flattens his head onto the ground. Her left hand is placed on Ash's head and her right hand is placed on the skin below Ash's neck. As soon as Ripley gets the head fixed on the ground, she begins to remove her right hand from the skin below Ash's neck. In the instant shot following, her hand is suddenly back on the skin below Ash's neck.
Other mistake: When Dallas is in the air vent, his and the alien's location are both being tracked with the movement sensor held by Lambert. Whenever he crawls, his movements match up with the sensor. As he climbs down the ladder, his movement on the sensor goes downwards as it keeps in sync with Dallas himself and also shows that anything sensed on the sensor would be lower down on the sensor's monitor if someone or something was located on another level of the vent. The shot after Dallas says "Am I clear Lambert? I want to get the hell out of here" shows the monitor on the sensor and we can see the alien approaching Dallas on the monitor, with both Dallas and the alien on the same level on the air vent. Dallas then climbs down another level, and it is that the alien was in fact a level below Dallas. The problem with this is, if the alien was approaching Dallas from below, then the monitor should have showed the alien to be a few spaces below where it was on the monitor and not the same level as Dallas.
01:12:55 - 01:13:55Casual Person
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.
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.
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