Classic Scene: Alien

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"You Still Don't Understand What You're Dealing With..."

SETTING THE SCENE: The severed head of the android Ash (Ian Holm) is reactivated by Ripley (Sigourney Weaver), Parker (Yaphet Kotto) and Lambert (Veronica Cartwright), who desperately want to know how to kill the Alien at large aboard their ship, the Nostromo...


RIPLEY: Ash, can you hear me?

Ash's severed head splutters into life. White liquid dribbles from his mouth.

ASH: Yes, I can hear you.

RIPLEY: What was your special order?

ASH: You read it. I thought it was clear.

RIPLEY: What was it?

ASH: Bring back life-form. Priority one. All other priorities rescinded.

Parker stands up, incensed, gun in hand.

PARKER: Damn company. What about our lives, you son of a bitch?

ASH: I repeat, all other priorities are rescinded.

Alien Ash

RIPLEY: How do we kill it, Ash? There's gotta be a way of killing it - how, how do we do it?

ASH: You can't.

PARKER: That's bullshit...

ASH: You still don't understand what you're dealing with, do you? A perfect organism. Its structural perfection is matched only by its hostility.

LAMBERT: You admire it...

ASH: I admire its purity. A survivor. Unclouded by conscience, remorse, or delusions of morality...

PARKER: (To Ripley) I've heard enough of this - I'm asking you to pull the plug.

ASH: I can't lie to you about your chances. But you have my sympathies...

He smiles a small, malevolent smile. Ripley loses her patience, and hits the severed head, which recedes back into lifelessness.