Aliens (1986)

USA, UK, 1986
137m, 154m (Special Edition)
35mm, 70mm, Eastmancolor, 1.85:1
Dolby Stereo, 70mm 6-Track

An American-British science fiction film directed by James Cameron as a sequel to Ridley Scott’s Alien (1979). A “special edition” was released on laserdisc in 1992 and subsequently on video and DVD which restored seventeen minutes of footage deleted from the theatrical version.

Plot Summary

Ripley is woken from her hypersleep 57 years after the events of Alien and soon finds herself facing her worst nightmares again. Accompanying a group of marines, she returns to the planet where her former ship, the Nostromo, picked up the lethal alien hoping to discover why the colony there has stopped sending signals to Earth. When they arrive they find a sole survivor and the colony over-run by hundreds of the alien – and there’s something even nastier waiting for them in the depths of the ruined facility…


Directed by: James Cameron
© 1986 by Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
A Brandywine production. A James Cameron film. Made by Twentieth Century Fox Productions Ltd
Executive Producers: Gordon Carroll, David Giler and Walter Hill
Produced by: Gale Anne Hurd
Screenplay by: James Cameron
Story by: James Cameron and David Giler & Walter Hill
Based on Characters Created by: Dan O’Bannon and Ronald Shusett
Director of Photography: Adrian Biddle
Editor: Ray Lovejoy
Music Composed by: James Horner
Sound Recordist: Roy Chapman
Costume Designer: Emma Porteous
Make-up Supervisor: Peter Robb-King
Chief Hairdresser: Elaine Bowerbank
Alien Effects Created by: Stan Winston
Special Effects Supervisor: John Richardson
Video Effects Supervisor: Richard Hewitt
Alien Queen Designer: James Cameron [uncredited]
Certain Special Visual Effects Created by: The L.A. Effects Group, Inc.
Teslacoil Effect Provided by: Fantasy II
Production Designer: Peter Lamont
Original Alien Design: H.R. Giger
Conceptual Designer: Ron Cobb
Conceptual Artist: Syd Mead
Made at Pinewood Studios, London, England with location sequences filmed at Acton Lane Power Station, London, England

Sigourney Weaver ([Ellen] Ripley)
Michael Biehn (Corporal [Dwayne] Hicks)
Paul Reiser ([Carter J.] Burke)
Lance Henriksen (Bishop)
Carrie Henn ([Rebecca] Newt [Jordan])
Bill Paxton (Private Hudson)
William Hope (Lieutenant Gorman)
Ricco Ross (Private Frost)
Al Matthews (Sergeant Apone)
Jeanette Goldstein (Private Vasquez)
Mark Rolston (Private Drake)
Colette Hiller (Corporal Ferro)
Daniel Kash (Private Spunkmeyer)
Cynthia Scott (Corporal Dietrich)
Tip Tipping (Private Crowe)
Trevor Steedman (Private Werzbowski)
Paul Maxwell (Van Leuwen)
Valerie Colgan (ECA rep)
Alan Polonsky (insurance man)
Aube Parsons (med tech)

Alternative Titles

Alien 2 – working title
Alien II – working title
Aliens – Återkomsten– Sweden
Aliens – De nieuwe gruwel – Belgium (Flemish)
Aliens – det endelige opgør – Denmark
Aliens – Die Rückkehr – Germany
Aliens – Le retour – France
Aliens – paluu – Finland
Aliens – Scontro finale – Italy
Aliens, i epistrofi – Greece
Aliens O Recontro Final – Portugal
Aliens, O Resgate – Brazil
Aliens El regreso – Argentina, Spain
Aliens Special Edition – re-release title
A Bolygó neve: Halál – Hungary
Geimverur – Iceland
Obcy, decydujace starcie – Poland
Tulnukad – Estonia
Vetrelci – Czechoslovakia
Yaratigin dönüsü – Turkey

Sequel To
Alien (1979)

Alien³ (1992)
Alien Resurrection (1997)
AVP: Alien vs. Predator (2004)
AVPR: Aliens vs Predator: Requiem (2007)
Prometheus (2012)
Alien Covenant (2017)

Extracts Included In
The 100 Scariest Movie Moments (2004)
1,001 Movies You Must See (Before You Die) (2014)
20 to 1: Adults Only 20 to 1: Movie Monsters (2010)
The 59th Annual Academy Awards (1987)
AFI’s 100 Years… 100 Heroes & Villains (2003)
Alien Evolution (2001)
Aliens: Ride at the Speed of Fright (1996)
The Alien Saga (2002)
Attack of the 50 Foot Monster Mania (1999)
Bride of Monster Mania (2000)
HBO First Look: Alien vs. Predator: Behind the Scenes (2004)
Heartstoppers Horror at the Movies (1992)
Hollywood Aliens & Monsters (1997)
The Making of Alien³ (2003)
The Making of True Lies (1994)
One Step Beyond: The Making of Alien Resurrection (2003)
Superior Firepower: The Making of Aliens (2003)

See Also
Alien Predator (1987)
Ganheddo (1989)
Mørkeræd (1998)
Red Dwarf: Psirens (1993)
Spaceballs (1987)
Xtro II: The Second Encounter (1990)
V: We Can’t Win (2010)
Zombi: La creazione (2007)



  • American Cinematographer vol.67 no.9 (September 1986) p.112 – illustrated review (Aliens grabs you and clings! by George Turner)
  • Empire Sci-fi Supplement February 1998 pp.22-23 – illustrated article (Aliens by Ian Freer)
  • Films and Filming no.383 (August 1986) pp.34-35 – credits, review (by Derek Elley)
  • Interzone no.17, Autumn 86) p.27 – review (by Nick Lowe)
  • Première October 1986 p.19 – illustrated review (by Jean-Philippe Guerand and Marc Esposito)
  • Screen International no.529 (4-11 January 1986) p.4 – credits (UK production ’85 – special report)
  • Sight & Sound vol.56 no.1 (Winter 1986/1987) pp.30-33 – illustrated article (Letter from America: Out of the blue) by Terence Rafferty
  • SWOF no.14 (Winter 1995) pp.14-21 – illustrated article (Vie & mort du Lieutenant Ellen Ripley by Frédéric Demma)
  • Total Film no.159 (October 2009) pp.77-78 – illustrated article (In his own words James Cameron)
  • Variety 9 July 1986 p.15 (USA) – credits, review (by Cort)
  • Video Watchdog no.1 (1990) pp.6-7 – illustrated note (Wanna buy a good, used Narcisaurus?)


  • The Best 80s Movies by Helen O’Hara pp.100-101 – illustrated review
  • Escape Velocity by Bradley Schauer p.204
  • The Films of the Eighties by Robert A. Nowlan and Gwendolyn Wright Nowlan p.9 – credits, synopsis
  • Horror and Science Fiction Films IV by Donald C. Willis p.12 – credits
  • Horror Films of the 1980s by John Kenneth Muir pp.476-481 – illustrated credits, synopsis, review
  • Nuclear Movies: A Filmography by Mick Broderick p.103 – review
  • Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Film Sequels, Series, and Remakes: An Illustrated Filmography, with Plot Synopses and Critical Commentary by Kim R. Holston and Tom Winchester pp.24-27 – illustrated credits, synopsis, review
  • The Vampire in Science Fiction Film and Literature by Paul Meehan p.81
  • Variety Science-Fiction Movies by Julian Brown (ed.) p.10 – credits, review

Other Sources

  • BFI Southbank Guide March 2019 p.12 – illustrated listing