Alien Trailer

Audience and Institution

  • Year of Release: 1979
  • Country: USA/UK
  • Certificate: 15 or 18
  • Director: Ridley Scott
  • Top Billing: Sigourney Weaver
  • Genres: Horror, Sci-fi
  • Awards: Won 11/33, including 1 Academy Award, and 2 BAFTAs
  • Production Company: Brandywine Productions
  • Distribution Company: 20th Century Fox
  • Budget: $11 million
  • Revenue: $203,630,630 (Worldwide)
  • Length of Trailer: 2 minutes 10 seconds



  • “This special preview has been approved for all audiences by the Motion Picture Association of America”
  • Individual parts of the letters of the title “Alien” appear slowly until the whole word is complete above an image of an egg
  • “In space no one can hear you scream” – tagline
  • “Alien” the appears above the tagline
  • Billing Block


  • A large amount of the trailer is dedicated to a ped down of space whilst the title text forms itself. The ped ends on a close-up of an egg
  • A backwards track of a woman running (to see her front) is interrupted at intervals by an insert of a point of view/forward track to show the audience what she is running through
  • Most of the camera shots are mid-shots, to show both the emotions and body language of the characters, which is generally fear


  • No dialogue is included in the trailer
  • The soundtrack mostly consists of a dissonant, unclear screaming sound, which ties in with the film’s tagline, and a pumping bass drum, which possibly represents a quickened heartbeat

Mis-en Scene:

  • Stars against a black sky presents the setting to be outer space
  • Prop of a huge egg which cracks with a light source shining out presents the concept of aliens, to reinforce the title and sci-fi genre
  • The set of a tunnel covered with technological equipment and props represent a corridor of a space station and reinforce the genre


  • After the initial long take, the editing is quite fast paced, with 1 shot per second, which increases around halfway through the remaining trailer
  • In the last part of the trailer a montage is shown of the effect the aliens have on the crew, with the occasional cut-away to a cats face



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