“FUCK” is said 25 times with the late great Bill Paxton, playing as “Hudson” drops the F-bomb 18 of those times.
Sigourney is carrying a dummy model of “Newt” during the end Queen chase scene.
Cameron was working as a truck driver when he watched the original “Alien” on its opening day in May of 1979.
At the time he never worked in production. He actually taught himself about how special effects work by going to the library at USC and reading thesis papers that graduate students wrote on film technology.
With a little alteration from the sound editors, the Alien’s screams are actually shrieks recorded from a Baboon monkey.
It took 16 people to operate the “Queen Alien”.
She was so big that it didn’t fit the elevator in the end fight scene. The reason smoke flows out behind the Queen Alien when the elevator door opens is to cover up the fact that her tail was removed.
The Aliens were “hanging by a string” in the tunnel scenes. Most of the shots with Aliens crawling through air ducts/tunnels were taken by placing a camera at the bottom of a vertical shaft. Actors playing as Aliens were then lowered head-first by a cable to get the shot.
The set used for the “Queen Alien’s nest” was also used in Tim Burton’s “Batman” (1989). When the crew for “Batman” showed up to set up the shot, they a little freaked out when they found left over props from “Aliens”.
Sigourney requested to never shoot a gun in “Aliens”. Mr. Cameron brought her to a gun range and she ended up loving it. In the DVD commentary, Cameron said, “another liberal bites the dust”.
The British film crew did not respect Cameron or his wife. Aliens was filmed at England’s historic Pinewood Studios where the unionized crew members were mad about working 14-hr days. In addition, the successful “The Terminator” had not been released yet.
Not only did the crew openly mock Cameron; the first assistant director felt that he should be the director. They went as far as to say Gale Anne Hurd was only getting credit for the movie because she was married to Cameron. Mr. Cameron fired the assistant director and the crew got the point.
Poor “Newt”, she never acted in any future films. Carrie Henn was only 9 when she got the role of “Newt” but instead of pursuing acting, she went on to become a school teacher. However, Sigourney and Carrie did become friends. At the release of “Alien 3”, Sigourney invited little “Newt” to the movie’s premier showing.
Many of the movie sets were slippery when wet with K-Y Jelly. Now you know what made up all the alien’s drool and slime on the walls. Just try to imagine setting up the “Alien nest” scene. Yeah, “don’t shoot the walls”.
Every time a character was about to get “killed”, Sigourney gave the actor a bouquet of flowers before filming the scene. When actor Paul Reiser was about to play in his final shot, Mrs. Weaver gave him a handful of dead blossoms.
One movie script made “Aliens” a reality: “The Terminator”. Cameron got 20th Century Fox executive’s attention with his script for “The Terminator”. In just 3 days, Cameron cranked out a 42-page rough draft script but it was more of an outline of ideas and far from complete.
At the time, he had only directed the movie “Piranha II: The Spawning”…he truly was a risk for the studio to invest in. With this in mind, they told Cameron that the rough draft had too much “horror” and not enough “character development”. Cameron would not have gotten the writer/director role if it wasn’t for the following movie “Conan” part 2.
One movie screw-up made “Aliens” a reality: “Conan the Destroyer”.
The start date for filming “The Terminator” got pushed back by 9 months because Mr. Schwarzenegger was behind in filming the sequel to “Conan the Barbarian”. This gave Cameron the time to provide Fox executives a script that was three-quarters of a full screenplay.
They liked it and told Cameron, if the soon to be released “The Terminator” was successful then they would credit him as the writer and give him the opportunity to direct Aliens. Obviously, “The Terminator” performed well at the box-office. What is even more impressive is the fact that…
…during that same period of time, Cameron also co-wrote the screenplay for “Rambo: First Blood Part II”.
Cameron has a voice over cameo at the beginning of the movie.
During the opening scene showing a deep salvage team, he says: “Bio readouts are in the green, looks like she’s alive.”
They only built 6 “hypersleep capsules”.
These props cost $4,300 per capsule. Budget constraints meant that the set designers had to be crafty. A perfect example was using mirrors and camera angles to make it look like there are 12 capsules.
Sigourney Weaver got a 2,757% pay raise for the sequel “Aliens”.
Fox was considering another female actor for part 2 but Cameron was armed with his recent success of “The Terminator”. He and his wife, Gale, used this leverage to not only secure Sigourney for the lead role…she went from being paid $35,000 for part 1 to a whopping $1 million dollars plus a percentage of the sequel’s profits. Oh yeah, she went on to make $4-mil for “Alien 3” and $11-mil. for “Alien: Resurrection”.
If you stay for the end movie credits, the sound of an “Alien egg” can be heard opening.
My kind of Bull**k*.
12 minutes cost millions in lost profits on opening weekend.
The finished movie was 2hrs and 17mins long which meant that it could only be played 4 times per day at theater screen…but if Cameron’s team could shave off 12 minutes, then it could be played 5 times per day. Going against Fox Studio’s wishes, they didn’t edit down the running time. It’s estimated that twelve minutes cost Aliens $4 million in lost gross-profit during its first weekend.
Composer James Horner was given 3 weeks to crank out the movie’s score.
He not only delivered, Mr. Horner was honored with an Oscar nomination…and Cameron used him for “Titanic”.
Editor Ray Lovejoy almost lost his job because Cameron didn’t like his cut of the end scene.
When Cameron watched the final battle scene, he was not impressed.
Rumors got back to Mr. Lovejoy that he would be replaced by the guy who edited “The Terminator”…so he grabbed all of the footage and locked himself in the editing bay and re-cut the movie’s final battle. Hard work pays-off.
“The Terminator” was a test ground for special effects/action scenes.
“I was thinking of Terminator as a movie no one would see, so I could work on some of the things that I would use on Aliens. I remember when I was shooting a scene where (Linda Hamilton playing as “Sarah Connor”) crawls through all this machinery, I thought, ‘This will make a good dry run … I’ll get some of this stuff worked out so I’ll know how to do it.'”
An egg from the movie was exhibited at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.
Sigourney is the first female to receive a “Best Actress” Academy Award nomination for a role in an action movie.
Mr. Paxton out does his F-bombs by using the word “man” 44 times.
Seriously, am I alone in saying the following:
“Aliens” is the action movie version of “Caddyshack”.
A guy could watch this movie a thousand times…fun is fun and that’s exactly what this movie is…and yes, I’ll end with the quote.
“Game over man”
Bill Paxton…yeah, bummer…just laughin’ while thinking of his movie quotes.