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KC Hunt <firstname.lastname@example.org>
While I love the remake very much I was finally able to see the original all the way thru without the colorization on TV. It is a truly awesome movie.
Comparing the two is not really fare or easy as Carpenter's version has the benefits of modern movie magic. But that is in my opinion the only place it excels. It seems in the remake all the characters are derelicts and for the most part not very likeable. In the original you had a sense of these people liking each other and sticking together.
Kenneth Tobey is a very good and believable leader of his men. He also shows a very human side in that he realizes he is not the smartest of men. He is what he is. A captain of a small band of Air Force Soldiiers simply doing their job.
Robert Cornblaithe is excellent as Dr. Carrington. He comes of snootish yet still likeable enough because you can see that deep down he really admires Captain Hendry (Tobey) though he can't see eye to eye with him on their situation or dealing of his "Thing From Another world."
Every character in the movie is well played. They all look like they belong in their roles. Their look and attire fit their characters and when one guy is called Professor so and so or whomever, you believe it unlike many movies in those days where they picked anyone to play the supporting actors. There is one thing though, Margaret Sheridan's pants pulled up almost to her neck line (exaggeration...but close) I could have done without. I realize it was a style of the times but I think they could have given her something a little better to show off her figure when you first meet her. Especially since she was the only female love interest and was tagged as "a pinup girl" in earlier scenes. She looks better when her hair is down and she is in different clothes. I know that is being picky but I just had to say it.
The creature is better presented in the original as far as being frightening. You hardly ever see him. When you do it's only for brief periods at a time and usually in the dark. That frightening sound of "The Thing" is very original in that it's not just a growl but sounds like a cat meowing at times. Very eerie!
The story is well known and both are similiar although I must admit the remake is closer to the actual Campbell JR.'s short tale. But the original still gives it a good account and in many ways surpasses the short story because it is easier to identify with the creature since he's humanoid.
It boils down to suspense, drama and mood versus gore, F/X, and fast paced action. Both movies are top notch. I am proud to own both and would not try and say one is overtly better than the other. The remake has the benefits of the then modern movie technology. The original had the benefit of black and white to add to the suspense and utter danger they are in. The choice is yours. I myself enjoy the original a little more as it holds up today probably better than any other Sci-Fi movie from that era.
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