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Aliens (1987, Sigourney Weaver, Michael Biehn)



After 57 years in deep sleep Flight Officer Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) is rescued from the escape capsule of the starship Nostromo, the sole survivor of the alien attack. Back on Earth, disoriented and depressed, she finds that the planet where she and her late crewmates first made contact has since been colonised, but contact with the inhabitants has been lost. A squad of marines, together with mining company rep Burke (Paul Reiser) and android Bishop (Lance Henriksen) are dispatched to investigate. Persuaded that the mission is to destroy the aliens, Ripley joins them as an adviser.

Inside the colonists’ damaged and deserted complex, they discover a terrified girl, Newt (Carrie Henn). Elsewhere a group of aliens – who appear to favour human hosts to incubate – kill most of the marines. Corporal Hicks (Michael Biehn) takes charge and decides to nuke the planet. But when their shuttlecraft crashes, the survivors find shelter and send Bishop to remote pilot their mother ship to pick them up before the raging fires consume the planet and cause a nuclear explosion…

Director James Cameron allows action and message to co-exist as they did in The Terminator. The comparisons between Sarah Connor and Ellen Ripley are obvious (machine guns and maternity in equal measure), although this sequel dares to taunt Reaganomics too, placing the wonderfully slimy Reiser as proof of what happens when Corporate America takes charge.

production details
Sigourney Weaver as Lt. Ellen Louise Ripley
Michael Biehn as Cpl. Dwayne Hicks
Paul Reiser as Carter J. Burke
Lance Henriksen as Lance Bishop
Carrie Henn as Rebecca “Newt” Jorden
Bill Paxton as Pvt. William L. Hudson
William Hope as Lt. Scott Gorman
Jenette Goldstein as Pvt. Jenette Vasquez
Al Matthews as Sgt. Al Apone
Mark Rolston as Pvt. Mark Drake
Ricco Ross as Pvt. Ricco Frost
Colette Hiller as Cpl. Colette Ferro
Daniel Kash as Pvt. Daniel Spunkmeyer
Cynthia Dale Scott as Cpl. Cynthia Dietrich
Tip Tipping as Pvt. Tim Crowe
Trevor Steedman as Pvt. Trevor “Ski” Wierzbowski
Paul Maxwell as Van Leuwen
Carl Toop as Aliens / Alien Queen
Valerie Colgan as ECA Rep
Alan Polonsky as Insurance Man
Alibe Parsons as Med Tech
Blain Fairman as Doctor
Barbara Coles as Cocooned Woman
Eddie Powell as Alien Warrior
James Remar as Hicks body double
Jay Benedict as Newt’s Father (uncredited)

Director and Writer: James Cameron (from a story by himself, David Giler and Walter Hill)

UK – USA | 137 minutes | 1986