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 <email@example.com>
One of the best science fiction pictures from the fifties, and one that helped define the genre, The Thing holds up remarkably well today. There's still considerable debate over whether producer Howard Hawks actually directed the film or credited director(and former editor) Christian Nyby. It's a Hawks production either way, and one of his best. The story of an alien invasion near the arctic circle, it builds slowly, relying heavily on the excellent, slangy dialogue of Charles Lederer, and the casual, jokey relationships between the various characters. This is lean, solid, old-fashioned moviemaking. There's not a wasted moment in this one. Hollywood in the studio era was especially good with stories of isolation, and this one's about as isolated as it gets. The monster is rarely seen, as we catch him only in horrifying glimpses, as the characters in the movie do. There's a standard brains versus brawn subtext in the film, but it's not emphasized to the movie's detriment. That the cast consists mostly of relative unknowns give the picture an almost documentary feeling at times, as if one were watching an actual event. Dimitri Tiomkin's spooky score helps spur the action on. This is a fine piece of commercial film-making, with everyone doing his job, and no "star turns". Nobody gets the upper hand here, not the actors, director, writer, cinematographer or alien. Everything comes together in the end. This is a perfect movie of its kind.
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