When Aliens was released in 1986, it had 17 minutes of footage cut for time/pacing reasons. Recent video(Director's Cut - thanks Felony)/laserdisc/DVD releases have had the footage restored, with varying effects on the final movie. These are the missing scenes (thanks to IMDb, see info at bottom), with my thoughts on how they affect the movie overall:

  • Ripley is sitting on a park bench waiting for Burke (before the inquisition), immediately following her stay in Gateway Station' hospital. She presses a button, and the entire park behind her disappears, revealing a grey screen. Burke enters and tells her how to act at the hearing. Ripley asks about her daughter. Burke keeps talking about the hearing. She insists to hear about her daughter. Burke hands her a computer printout (colour) that shows her a nice old lady. Burke tells her her daughter died at the age of 67. That was two years ago. Ripley whispers that she promised her daughter she'd be back before her 11th birthday before going off on the Nostromo.
  • A major, major, pivotal scene here. For years, the only problem I've had with this movie is Ripley going back for Newt. I don't care how cute that kid is, there is nothing - NOTHING - that would have made me go back into that Alien-infested hole. Nothing. I'd be in the ship with Hicks and Bishop, halfway home and comfortable. Sure, I'd be a bit sad the kid was dead, but hey, life's shit and then a facehugger lays an egg in your stomach. Go back? No fucking chance! Love the movie, but that never made sense to me. I wouldn't go back for my mother, let alone some kid I found in an air vent. I don't give a shit how brave you are, that's just crazy talk. But this scene - Ripley had a daughter, she promised she'd be home for her 11th birthday, and now she's dead - it totally explains why Ripley goes back for Newt. She felt that she failed her daughter, and she'll be damned if she's going to do it again. In those circumstances, hell, I'd have gone back as well. It makes sense with this scene in place, it's ludicrous without it.

  • After Ripley's outburst during the inquest ("Because if one of those creatures gets down here, you can kiss all of this goodbye"), dialogue has been restored in which Van Leuwen voices the council's final decision. (her flight status is revoked because she is deemed unfit to serve as a flight officer, she has to have monthly psych evaluations, and no criminal charges being filed against her)
  • This short part of the scene clarifies what a piece of shit Ripley's life has now become. It reinforces (along with the bad dreams) why Ripley is willing to return to LV-426 - she wants to exorcise the demons, and get her flight status/respect back. This also should have been left in, at 40 seconds it wouldn't have made much difference to the running time.

  • There's a scene of the colony, before contact with the aliens. The colonists receive orders from Burke telling them to explore the derelict space craft. Newt's family drives to the derelict ship and the mother and father go in; later the mother returns dragging the father who now has a face hugger clamped on his face.
  • This is a good scene, and nicely establishes that the colony is a busy place with a lot of people in it. There's also yet another Cameron Shining-homage, with a little kid on a tricycle... However, it does take away some of the tension and surprise when the marines first land later on. When they touch down on the barren planet, it's the first we've seen of it, and we have no idea what to expect. This is one of the scenes I would rather not have in the final cut; with it left in you already know what the marines are going to face, without it you (and the marines) are as much in the dark, and anything could happen.

  • During the sequence in Ripley's apartment (where they try to convince her to go investigate the lack of contact with the Colony), Burke's dialogue regarding "The Company's" interest in the colony has been restored.
  • Worth keeping merely for Ripley's line "Yeah yeah, I saw that commercial."

  • Immediately following the establishing shot of the Sulaco is a restored introduction to the interior of the ship, eventually leading to the frost-covered hypersleep chamber (and then they wake-up. this is similar to the start of Alien).
  • I really like this. It adds nothing to the story, but it's a nice introduction to the scene. We see the lockers, the firepower on display, and like the bullet-point says, is a little tribute to the opening of Alien.

  • During the drop from the Sulaco to LV-426, is a restored scene of Hudson playfully boasting about the Marines and their weaponry. He tells Ripley he'll protect her. He also tells her the Sulaco carries every weapon from knives to 'nukes'.
  • Good scene, I like the fact that we are continually told/shown the incredible array of weaponry the marines have - none of which, in the end, prevents most of them from dying horribly. "Knives, nukes - sharp sticks..." Also, fact fans, Hudson mentions "Phased plasma pulse rifles" - a reference to The Terminator, when Ahnoldt asks the gun shop owner for a "phased plasma rifle in the 40-watt range".

  • During the Marines' initial search through the colony, a sequence has been inserted in which Hudson investigates some motion they have detected ahead of them. It is just some mice walking around in their cage.
  • Feh... this is a funny scene, but it just takes up time before the first confrontation. I understand why this was removed, it doesn't add much, and slows things down somewhat. Snip!

  • The scene in which Ripley, Burke, Gorman, and Bishop enter the colony has been restored. (you see lotsa hesitation on Ripley's face before entering the complex). Hicks stays behind, asks her if she's ok. She says yes and enters the complex.
  • A nice little moment, Ripley is genuinely shitting her pants, and it's quite understandable. It's rare these days to see action heroes being nervous and fucked up, and it really helps you to identify with the character. Personally, I'd probably react like Hudson, and turn into a crying, babbling wretch.

  • During Hicks' discussion of the equipment salvaged from the APC wreckage, additional dialogue has been added in which he discribes the four remote sentry guns and how they can be used.
  • Ah, the sentry guns. See below (the first major sentry gun scene) for my full feelings on them.

  • When Ripley and the Marines examine the colony's blueprints, discussing how they will barricade themselves inside the complex, there is some additional dialogue referring to the strategic placement of the sentry guns.
  • See below again.

  • The sequence of Hicks arming the sentry, and Hudson and Vasquez testing one of the sentry guns has been restored.
  • See below. This is also important, as it details how the sentry guns work, and how they track and shoot at anything that moves.

  • Before the scene where Ripley carries Newt into the infirmary, a single show of the sentry guns has been inserted.
  • See below.

  • During the scene where Ripley puts Newt to bed in the medical center, the dialogue about Ripley's daughter and the origin of babies as been restored. Newt asks Ripley if human babies are born the same way the aliens are. (Newt asks if Ripley ever had a daughter and she finds out Ripley's daughter's dead).
  • This is very important, in combination with the first scene at the top, where Ripley finds out her daughter died. It adds a whole mother/daughter dynamic to their relationship, and again strengthens the bond between them. If the first scene is left in, then this one must be too. With these scenes restored, the idea of Ripley going back in now makes total sense.

  • In the scene where Ripley, Bishop, Hudson, and Vasquez discuss the aliens' life cycle, there is some additional dialogue in which Hudson, Vasquez and Bishop offer their speculations. (beehive/anthill sort of society)
  • This is fairly important, I think, as it sets up the possible existence of a queen alien, the prospect of which does not fill the group with joy. They've already asked themselves what could be laying all the new eggs, but this just clarifies things a bit better.

  • After Ripley's confrontation with Burke, the sequence involving the aliens attempting to make their way past the sentry guns in the service tunnel has been restored.
  • The first main sentry gun scene. This kicks ass, and definitely should be kept in (along with the above clips/mentions of them). Once again it shows that the firepower of the marines is no match for the single-minded determination of the aliens. They just keep throwing themselves at the guns, and keep on coming until the bullets run out. It's pretty scary. They don't care about dying, all they want to do is get to the humans and kill them.

  • Something probably only showed at the opening day of Aliens was a scene in which Ripley puts on her Reebok sneakers after she just found out that the facehuggers broke free, when she rested with Newt in the MedLab.
  • coughProduct Placementcough... I think we can safely lose this without affecting the storyline...

  • After Vasquez and Ripley seal Bishop in the pipe, the aliens confront the other two sentry guns that have been set up in the colony corridors. At the end of the sequence, when Hicks dispatches Hudson and Vasquez (to walk perimeter), some of the shots have been rearranged from the theatrical edition and Hicks' dialogue slightly altered.
  • The second main sentry gun scene, and a fab one too. Again, the aliens keep coming at the guns, but eventually give up and try another route. What they don't know is that there are only 10 rounds left in one of the guns. "Next time they walk right up and knock..." The marines have bought some time, but if an alien scuttles past by mistake, they'll quickly realise that the guns are dry... Great scene.

  • Before Ripley leaves the drop-ship to rescue Newt, there is some additional dialogue in thich she turns to Hicks to say goodbye, and they exchange their first names (Ellen Ripley and Dwayne Hicks).
  • My favourite restored scene, no question. It adds absolutely nothing to the plot, the film, the characters, but I just love it to bits. We've had loads of gut wrenching shit going on, now Ripley's about to head back into Hell, but just before she does, there's a nice, quiet, human little moment between her and Hicks that just rocks my world. I'll quote it here in full, cause I think it's that good:

    Ripley : See you Hicks.
    Hicks : Dwayne. It's Dwayne.
    Ripley pauses, caught off guard, but pleased.
    Ripley : Ellen.
    Hicks : Don't be gone long, Ellen.
    They look at each other for a few seconds, and then Ripley is gone.

    That's it, four short lines of dialogue, and some lovely, understated acting. Like I said, it adds nothing, but adds everything.

  • An additional scene shows Ripley searching for Newt and finding Burke who has been cocooned and impregnated. Burke begs Ripley to shoot him, instead she hands him a grenade. This scene does not appear in any released version but was filmed (some magazines printed a few shots taken from it).
  • Haven't seen this one, there are photos available on the internet on the many Aliens fan sites. I'd have liked to see it, but I prefer to think of Burke getting horribly ripped to pieces after he shuts the door on Ripley and Newt. The bastard.

If you haven't seen this version of Aliens, I strongly recommend you do so. It adds so much to the film, and if you love it anyway you won't mind the extra long running time. DVD preferably, and on a widescreen TV - give the movie the respect it deserves. I'd also like to remind you of another little fact: when you watch it, amazed at the effects, the pyrotechnics, the alien creature effects, bear in mind that this entire movie, including salaries for cast and crew, effects, the whole bit, cost $18.5 million. For Little Nicky last year, Adam Sandler was paid $25 million, plus 25% of the gross. It's a funny old game, isn't it?

Some information (bulleted bold parts detailing scene outlines) courtesy of The Internet Movie Database - www.imdb.com. Used with permission.

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