Nobody clenches her jaw more fiercely than Sigourney Weaver, especially when she’s facing down an aggressive extraterrestrial. Amirite?

We launch our Gutsy Broads in Film series with Ellen Ripley, the steel-nerved warrant officer aboard the space ship Nostromo in Ridley Scott’s sci-fi classic Alien. This pulse-pounding thriller helped catapult Weaver to stardom and blazed a trail for future female action heroes.

What makes this a Gutsy Broads film? It reinforces the following Gutsy Broads tenets:

Adversity makes Gutsy Broads stronger

Plenty of interplanetary ore haulers would become skittish watching their shipmates get picked off one by one by a creature with acidic blood and major dental hygiene issues. Ripley just becomes more determined.

Gutsy Broads aren’t afraid to make tough calls


After several crew members return from a fact-finding mission, one of them with an alien latched on to his face, Ripley pushes compassion aside for the greater good and refuses them re-entry because of the ship’s quarantine protocol. Too bad some mansplaining jerkface overrode the lock, eh?

Gutsy Broads trust their instincts …


Distress signal, you say? The science officer is an OK dude? Ripley calls bullshit. This gutsy broad suspected something was wrong with Ash and did her own research.

… and speak their minds


Verdict: The guy’s a total slimeball, and Ripley’s not going to take any of his crap.

Gutsy Broads go back for the cat

Ripley could have fled solo, but she didn’t. She made sure sweet little Jones made it to safety, too. Frens.


More Gutsy Broads in Film

Maria From ‘The Sound of Music’: A Rebellious Gutsy Broad

9 to 5: When The Going Gets Tough, The Tough Get Even