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The Thing from Another World (1951)

 -  Horror | Sci-Fi  -  29 April 1951 (USA)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 15,987 users  
Reviews: 225 user | 115 critic

Scientists and American Air Force officials fend off a blood-thirsty alien organism while at a remote arctic outpost.

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

(screenplay), (based on the story "Who Goes There?" by), 2 more credits »
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Airs Sat. Nov. 29, 4:15 PM on TCM

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Title: The Thing from Another World (1951)

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John Carpenter's The Thing as performed by the claymated, Antarctic cast of the hit children's animation Pingu.

Director: Lee Hardcastle
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Margaret Sheridan ...
Nikki
...
Robert Cornthwaite ...
Douglas Spencer ...
James Young ...
...
Crew Chief Bob
Robert Nichols ...
Lt. Ken 'Mac' MacPherson
William Self ...
...
Sally Creighton ...
...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Captain (unconfirmed)
Ted Cooper ...
Lieutenant (unconfirmed)
Milton Kibbee ...
Bit Part (unconfirmed)
Ray McDonald ...
Bit Part (unconfirmed)
Edit

Storyline

Scientists at an Arctic research station discover a spacecraft buried in the ice. Upon closer examination, they discover the frozen pilot. All hell breaks loose when they take him back to their station and he is accidentally thawed out! Written by KC Hunt <khunt@eng.morgan.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

WHAT IS IT? (original print ad - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

29 April 1951 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Howard Hawks' Production The Thing from Another World  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (re-issue) | (original US 16 mm television syndication prints)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Partly filmed in Glacier National Park and at a Los Angeles ice storage plant. See more »

Goofs

At the conclusion of the scene where Cap. Hendry first meets Dr. Carrington, as they are leaving the lab, Carrington refers to Nikki as "Miss Litton" rather than "Miss Nicholson." Margaret Sheridan's face registers her awareness of the actor's mistake, but she "goes along with it" and the scene was printed "as is" rather than give a retake. See more »

Quotes

Ned "Scotty" Scott: Please doctor, I've got to ask this. It sounds like, well, just as though you're describing some form of super carrot.
See more »

Crazy Credits

George Fenneman, who has a speaking part in the film, is not credited or mentioned on this web page. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Xtro 3: Watch the Skies (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Can't Get Out of This Mood
(uncredited)
Music by Jimmy McHugh
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Rhythmic masterpiece of sci-fi
3 November 2004 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

Let me get my two (minor) complaints out of the way first: the attempt to get the UFO out of the ice felt rushed (as in the filmmakers wanted to get to the rest of the film) because I saw the result coming a mile away . . . it just felt soulless and obligatory. Second, the scientist Dr Carrington, rubbed up with the 'mad scientist in pursuit of knowledge risking everyone's life' cliché a bit too much for me . . . and I was trying to be forgiving since this was 50 years ago and far less cliché then.

All right, now . . . I have to say, I loved The Thing from Another World. I loved the dialogue in this movie. It's been a long long (Jesus Christ, a loooong) time since I had this much fun listening to exposition. Yes, exposition. The obligatory plot details that no one cares about that some poor sap spells out? Yes, that exposition! Thing from Another World actually gains momentum with its exposition whereas your typical film slows down and comes to a screeching halt for it.

Nyby spreads the exposition across about half a dozen characters, and they have real conversation with overlapping, quick fire, back and forth, dialogue, and in brief instances multiple conversations going at the same time. The result? Five minutes of exposition becomes one minute of exposition. Will the audience catch every single detail of their plan? No, but the audience doesn't need to either. Thank you Howard Hawks!

Lace this exposition with characterization, inside jokes amongst characters, hints at their history together, and friendly pranks, and The Thing from Another World not only knocks out exposition with one blow, but develops their characters simultaneously, yielding a wonderfully complex and realistic relationship between the characters and plot. No spot light and overdone Shakespearian aside with melodramatic boo-hoo backstory that brings elicits yawns and groans, no little nerd with all the answers getting to explain everything while everyone asks stupid questions--nope--the Thing from Another World is above that drivel.

Nyby and Hawks sold me on the characters from the get go, placing emphasis on how they introduce the characters and not so much in what their character backstory is. I salute the filmmakers for this decision, and in response was more than willing to suspend my disbelief for the sake of the film's needs.

Follow it up with well lit and well staged action sequences--the fire scene was perhaps one of the most beautiful and glorious moments caught by b/w photography--and the Thing from Another World delivers with all its 1950s charms. I'll take a film with narrow corridors and electrodes over all out war with CGI bugs/machines any day of the week.


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