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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 15,416 users  
Reviews: 222 user | 114 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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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

Scientist 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

Plot Keywords:

creature | captain | scientist | arctic | pilot | See more »

Taglines:

Where Did It Come From? How Did It Get Here? WHAT IS IT? 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

When Scotty mentions having attended the 1928 execution of Ruth Snyder and Judd Grey, another character asks him if he was able to get a picture of it. Scotty answers, "No, they didn't allow cameras, but one guy - " He is interrupted by the Thing's approach before he can finish the sentence. Scotty is referring to Chicago Tribune photographer Tom Howard, who smuggled a miniature camera into the execution chamber strapped to his ankle and was able to take a famous photograph of Snyder's final moments in the electric chair. See more »

Goofs

When the airmen douse the Thing with kerosene, two buckets hit him while he is standing clear of others. The Thing then moves toward the door where Nikki is manning the light switch and a third bucket is thrown at him. The kerosene that doesn't hit the Thing splashes, igniting the wall, floor and desk, all around where Nikki is supposed to be standing. After the Thing leaps through the window, only the mattress Nikki used as a shield is burning, the room behind her shows no sign of fire damage. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Arthur Carrington: There are no enemies in science, only phenomena to be studied.
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 Guy X (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

The Dying Cowboy aka Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie
(uncredited)
Traditional
Portion whistled by William Self
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

After a Half-Century, Still a Joy!
8 August 2003 | by (Las Vegas, Nevada) – See all my reviews

THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD...the title conjures up lurid images from the countless 'B' SciFi flicks of the 50s, but as many SF, Howard Hawks, and Classic Cinema fans can attest, this is no sleazy schlockfest, but one of the most entertaining and exciting films ever made, by one of Hollywood's greatest directors.

Yes, the credits list Christian Nyby as director, but Howard Hawks was on the set nearly every day, each scene has elements of style unique to Hawks, alone, and even the cast members, when interviewed, have said Hawks ran the entire show. Perhaps, as Science Fiction films were not highly regarded in the early 50s, he felt his reputation might suffer if he acknowledged his contribution; perhaps he thought it might help Nyby's credentials if he were given credit for this masterfully crafted tale. Who knows? But rest assured...this IS a Howard Hawks film!

The story, based on John Campbell's short story, 'Who Goes There?', is a nifty, claustrophobic tale of a group of soldiers and scientists in the Arctic, discovering a giant 'flying saucer' under the ice. When the ship blows up during the excavation, the 'pilot', a huge green chlorophyll-based humanoid (played by a young James Arness), is recovered, frozen in a block of ice. Bringing the ice-encased figure back to the base, it is then accidentally thawed out...and all Hell brakes loose!

While the cast lacks big-name stars, each actor is wonderful, delivering wryly funny Hawks' dialogue at a breakneck pace. The military commander, Capt. Hendry (Kenneth Tobey), is a no-nonsense boss, respected and lovingly chided by his men, led by Dewey Martin, who constantly try to 'set him up' with a pretty scientist he had 'struck out' with, on leave in Anchorage (Margaret Sheridan). She is now at the base, assisting brilliant yet blissfully naive Dr. Arthur Carrington (Robert Cornthwaite), who, naturally, assumes 'the Thing' is only homicidal because he is misunderstood! As the truly frightening potential of the creature reveals itself, it becomes a race against time to destroy it, before it kills everyone, leaves the base, and reproduces countless seedlings of itself to conquer the world!

The FX are low-budget, but very effective, as is the extensive use of light and shadow, sound effects, and an eerie Dimitri Tiomkin score. Unlike the benevolent 'visitors' of THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL, this alien doesn't warn of total annihilation as the final option, should we carry our nuclear weapons into space; it's ONLY agenda is to kill!

This is a truly amazing film, one that has aged little, and is every bit as enjoyable today as when it was released.

As the tag line to the film warns us, "Look to the sky..."


55 of 59 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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