“How on earth did that thing come out?”: Stanley Kubrick Kept Aside His Ego to Learn One Key Trick from Ridley Scott That Left Trailblazing Director Bewildered

Stanley Kubrick was so bewildered by a scene in Ridley Scott's Alien that he put his ego aside to call the director and learn the trick

Stanley Kubrick Kept Aside His Ego to Learn One Key Trick from Ridley Scott That Left Trailblazing Director Bewildered


  • Stanley Kubrick, renowned for making iconic movies himself, was bewildered by one scene in Alien
  • The director, Ridley Scott shared in an interview that The Shining director called him to learn the trip behind the iconic scene
  • That scene was the reason Scott came onboard the film
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Stanley Kubrick was a legendary director, having made some of the most appreciated movies including 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Shining, and Eyes Wide Shut. His experience is one that many came to learn from and he is by far one of the most influential directors as well. His projects have been regarded as a work of art and that is no mistake either, seeing just how much he focuses when it comes to the making of his movies.

Stanley Kubrick
Stanley Kubrick

Despite so much of his stuff being so highly regarded, there was one thing that he could not teach himself. Surprisingly enough, it was none other than Ridley Scott who managed to teach the filmmaker what he had been so eager to learn and for that, he had to keep his ego aside.

Also Read: “The Kubrick movie was overbearing”: A Clockwork Orange Star Malcolm McDowell Regretted Working With Controlling and “Too Brutal” Director


Ridley Scott Taught Stanley Kubrick an Interesting Trick

Ridley Scott and Stanley Kubrick are two of the most remarkable filmmakers in Hollywood. So what astonished the former incredibly was when Kubrick called him up because he needed help in understanding one trick that Scott had pulled off. As per Total Film (via /Film), Scott managed to do something he never thought he would.

Stanley Kubrick filming
Stanley Kubrick filming

“The first time I talked to Kubrick was a week after ‘Alien’ came out. Somebody said, ‘Stanley Kubrick is on the line.’ I said, ‘Hello?’ ‘Hello. Stanley Kubrick here. How are you? I just saw ‘Alien.” Straight in. ‘How on earth did you get that thing coming out of his chest? Because I’ve got a print, and I’ve run it on the machine, and I can’t see the cut.’ So I said, ‘Well, I had John Hurt cut a hole in the table, lie in a horrible, awkward position, and I made a fiberglass shell …’ He said, ‘I got it, I got it, I got it. Brilliant.'”

The scene in question that got Kubrick thinking involved the alien getting out of John Hurt’s character’s chest in Sigourney Weiver’s Alien. It had mesmerized the director so much that he did not think twice before calling Scott. Someone so widely regarded for his own uniqueness in filmmaking found himself pulling his hair out for one sequence.

Also Read: “I was out of my depth”: Malcolm McDowell Felt Typecasted in Hollywood, Claimed All His Work Was “Measured Against A Clockwork Orange”


John Hurt’s Scene is the Reason Ridley Scott did the Movie

John Hurt’s chest-bursting, ironically, was also the scene that got Ridley Scott on board to direct Alien. The director was fifth in line after four other directors had rejected the script and as per The Hollywood Reporter, he was almost ready to do the same.

Ridley Scott
Ridley Scott

“I thought the script had an inordinately good engine. I thought it was virtually no characterization whatsoever. It was, ‘And then and then and then.’ And then I got to a page where it says, ‘And then this thing comes out of the guy’s chest,'” said Scott. “And I’m thinking, ‘This has put off four of the directors’ — because I was number five on the list. Obviously, clearly, the previous four went, ‘What?!? This is ridiculous,’ and just put it down. Because I’m a bit of a designer, I could see the film and I knew exactly what to do.”

He found the script to be too repetitive and boring. That was until he came across the iconic scene. That immediately made him sign up for the film because of how quickly his brain began to formulate ideas.

Also Read: “Ridley’s a very smart man”: Gladiator Director Ridley Scott Found Support From Batman Actor After Filmmaker Faced a Career-Ruining Dilemma

Adya Godboley

Written by Adya Godboley

Articles Published: 1391

An avid writer fluent in everything Marvel, Adya Godboley is an Assistant Content Lead for FandomWire. She has rich experience in critically analyzing all that is said in between the lines. Hopelessly obsessed with Greek Mythology, she is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Arts in English. Adya has written over 1300 articles on various topics expressing her passion and love for all things entertainment.