25 March, 2010

Debunking the 'Alien' Myth!

You may be aware that John Hurt, recipient of the 16th Bradford International Film Festival’s Lifetime Achievement Award, was the victim of the infamous chestburster scene in Ridley Scott’s Alien (1979).

What you may not know is that after the release of the film, a rumour emerged that the cast had no idea what would happen in the scene; only that Hurt’s character (Kane) would die.

During the John Hurt Screentalk last Saturday, the man himself revealed that the myth is only partly true! The cast were aware of the chestburster puppet, but not the fake blood and viscera which would accompany it – one stream of blood unwittingly flew straight toward cast member Veronica Cartwright, whose hysterical reaction was captured on camera.

Alien won the 1979 Academy Award for visual effects, and earned itself a place in Empire magazine’s countdown of the greatest 18-rated moments of all time.

Re-live the moment in glorious 70mm when Alien is screened on Saturday at 2pm as part of the Widescreen Weekend.

Hear more from John Hurt on the National Media Museum Podcasts page.


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