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I thought the cocoon scene in the original Alien movie was pretty powerful and you really feel Ripley's fear and uncertainty. In the scene Ripley finds alien castings in the hold of the ship and the captain, Dallas, enmeshed in a cocoon with only his head showing.

This scene was cut from the original theatrical release. Why did they edit out such a powerful scene from the movie?

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As explained on the Xenopedia wikia:

Eggmorphing was originally to be witnessed during the climax of Alien, when Ripley discovers Dallas and Brett cocooned in the Nostromo's hold, with Brett being transformed into an Egg. The entire sequence was cut as director Ridley Scott felt it slowed down the final act of the film. However, the scene did appear in the movie's novelization, and was referenced in the novelizations of the sequel films.

As its source for this explanation, the wikia refers to The Alien Legacy:

The Alien Legacy is a 1999 making-of documentary directed by Michael Matessino that details the production of the 1979 film Alien. Created for the Alien Legacy DVD box set, it uses interviews with the film's crew, as well as behind the scenes images and clips, to detail the development, filming and release of the movie.

The relevant part is in the "Alien on Board" part:

The seventh and longest chapter goes into the filming of the titular creature, in particular focussing on the infamous Chestburster scene and the decision to show as little of the Alien as possible throughout the film. Notably, the documentary also shows the deleted Eggmorphing scene almost in its entirety.

  • Although ironically Ridley Scott re-instated it in the 1999 Directors Cut, which can be seen on both the Quadrilology (DVD) and Anthology (Blu-Ray) box sets. – The Wandering Dev Manager Mar 8 '16 at 11:31
  • @TheWanderingDevManager IIRC that version of the scene is a lot shorter than the original one. – BCdotWEB Mar 8 '16 at 11:59
  • Don't think so, I saw the story boards in a book years ago, and the scene followed them pretty closely. – The Wandering Dev Manager Mar 8 '16 at 12:09
  • @TheWanderingDevManager Quoting from the above link: "Finally, in 2003, the Eggmorphing scene was reinstated (albeit partially) into the film for its Director's Cut." – BCdotWEB Mar 8 '16 at 12:18
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    According to the commentary in the special features on the Quadrilogy Blu-ray release, Ridley Scott also believed that the scene made the alien look too much like a man in a suit (which it was), ruining the immersion and making it look campy. Incidentally, this is one specific issue they fixed in Aliens by getting more creative with the camera angles and using puppets for some scenes. – user9311 Mar 9 '16 at 6:48

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