The original trailer for Alien, which opened in theaters May, 1979.
Thirty three years have passed, in which three sequels, a spin-off franchise (Alien vs. Predator) and a quasi-prequel, Prometheus were created. Still, Alien remains the most compelling chapter with its brilliant screenplay and profoundly effective pacing.
She's not a sidekick, arm candy, or a damsel to be rescued.
—Science Fiction and Fantasy Writer's of America president John Scalzi (on Ellen Ripley)
Above all, Alien introduced the world to Ellen Ripley. Originally written as a male character, casting made a bold decision and gave the role to Sigourney Weaver. At the start of the film, Ripley is a steely commanding officer, meticulously following protocol. In battling the Alien, she transforms to her truest self; a capable, fierce, intuitive being. Ripley is currently ranked #8 at the top of the American Film Institute's list of 100 Greatest Heroes, outranking Superman, Obi-Wan Kenobi and George Bailey among others.