FILM: THE STORY OF THE SCENE: `Alien' (1979)
Friday 11 February 2005
"As I walked on set," said Weaver later, "I should have noticed everyone [on the crew] was wearing raincoats."
The scene had not been rehearsed. Then Hurt starts screaming. "A small head the size of a man's fist pushes out," reads the script. Contrary to myth, it was not a total surprise to the actors. They had been told to expect something, but no specifics were mentioned. Scott - manning the camera as he did for 80 per cent of the film - was especially delighted by Veronica Cartwright's genuine expression of horror.
The designer of the chest-burster, Roger Dicken, had originally wanted a gorier scene - with the pseudo-foetal alien clawing its way out with its own little hands.
The scene has proved gold dust for parodists - not least for Hurt himself, who reprised it for Mel Brooks in Spaceballs in 1987.
Music Why this music festival is still the place to spot the next big thing
Film review Michael Glatze biopic isn't about a self-hating gay man gone straight
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Vladimir Putin says Russia will fight for the right of Palestinians to their own state
- 2 Ohio Democrat Teresa Fedor speaks out during abortion debate to reveal she has been raped – and is interrupted by laughter from Republicans
- 3 Germanwings plane crash: I have depression. That doesn't make me a psychopath
- 4 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 5 The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat
Cassetteboy joins forces with Russell Brand for Emperor's New Clothes film
Poldark, TV review: Demelza’s insouciance is almost as impressive as Ross’ pecs
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
James May hints he will not continue on Top Gear without Jeremy Clarkson
Louis Theroux: By Reason of Insanity, episode 2, TV review: The affable Englishman routine is wearing a bit thin
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew