Alien is one of my all time favorite movies. I think it has held up remarkably well for something made way back in 1979.
Of course a lot of movies back then were cheap dreck, but for film makers who cared about their work there was more opportunity to deliver a well thought out script. In these lesser, gaudier days the industry is making fewer films overall; is making them more for niche markets like China and Happy Meals toy deals; and too often the story has become an afterthought in what is actually just a series of massive, explosive CGI spectaculars loosely linked together by a flimsy excuse for a plot. None of this is likely to change any time soon, what with the fortunes of studios being so dependent on predictable summer blockbuster nonsense.
Of course various "Indie" movies are the exception here, and give us mostly lapsed movie-goers some reason for hope.
In fact Alien has the look and feel of a modern day Indie film. Dark, moody, with some rather disquieting themes.
Recently I caught the last part of the movie on TV. You tend to forget the chilling sexual overtones of a lot of it. So much dark, phallic imagery. So when I saw the scene where the duplicitous android Ash gets his head knocked off I noticed something that I had not seen before, not once in my many viewings:
Over on the left, see those tubular structures with the inflated balloons?
This is a bouquet of Foley catheters! Yep, they even got the disturbing phallic theme worked into a brief image that 99% of movie goers would never recognize.