I wish I had seen this film in the cinema when it came out. 14 years old is a good age for seeing it, I think. Problem is, in Norway the film had a 15 years old age limit, and I was such a goody two-shoes kid that I never tried to sneak into a cinema. I read the comic book version of the film, though, by Walter Simonson, and when I eventually saw the film I was actually a bit disappointed by the chestburster scene. It just seemed more ferocious and gory in the comic.
Like Jaws it's a much better film than it had any right to be. Both Spielberg and Scott were young and hungry filmmakers. One can imagine what some old Hollywood hack would have done with the same script. One strenght of the film is that the characters actually seem like real people. They talk in a very natural, 70s film style, something that is completely lost in the later films, ending up with flat comic book characters in the fourth one. And yes, I'm a cartoonist using "comic book" as a negative term here, but anyway... Re-watching the film now, it's again strange to see how slow it is. Almost an hour passes before the monster is loose. The scene where the Tom Skerrit character, Dallas, is killed has sort of been a bit funny to me. When the alien stretches out his arms in that scene, in my head I hear Gotta dance! from Gene Kelly's Broadway number in Singing in the Rain. But that's probably just me.