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The Thing from Another World (1951)

Unrated  |   |  Horror, Sci-Fi  |  27 April 1951 (USA)
7.3
Your rating:
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 17,371 users  
Reviews: 236 user | 122 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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Title: The Thing from Another World (1951)

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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:

Where did it come from? How did it get here? What is it? Will it destroy us all? Can we escape it? (Newspaper ad). See more »

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 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

As opposed to that interview with James Arness, the film's Star, Kenneth Tobey has maintained in many interviews that it was indeed Hawks who directed the film. Tobey said that he had worked with Nyby after this film on many occasions and he was a fine director, but Hawks did call the shots on most of the film. See more »

Goofs

When the crew is standing on the ice over the frozen, crashed saucer in freezing weather, they have dialog with one another, but at no time can you see anyone's breath. See more »

Quotes

Hendry: And don't tell me I'm right.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Only technical and production credits precede the film, no acting credits. 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

Classic despite the message
7 December 2002 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

In a remote arctic location, a military unit gets a call from a research unit to come and investigate a reported plane crash. On arrival the unit travel out to the site to find that the plane is actually a disk shaped craft of unidentified metal. However, on trying to remove it from the ice they destroy the craft but salvage it's frozen pilot. Back at base the `thing' defrosts with violent results and the survivors are faced with destroying man's only contact with alien life or being destroyed themselves.

Like many people (I assume) I saw the 80's remake before I saw the original, so I came to it with an idea already formed about what the `thing' meant to me. So it was good to step back to the original and see what made this film stand out from a raft of `reds in the bed' type sci-fi's that were around at the time. The plot is intelligent and interesting enough to sustain interest despite the fact that direct conflict with the thing is limited to a few key scenes. The tension is helped by the thing being sufficiently unseen to create a sense of unknown menace and the shadows are well placed.

The action can't compare to the remake in terms of effects, but it is well staged. As I just said, the limited view of the alien we have means it doesn't lose impact due to poor effects. One scene in particular is very good – the fire scene in the room. It is dramatic and well staged for maximum effect. If the film does have a weakness it is that it is a Hawks film. Most of his touches are good – the romantic banter, the group theme – but for me his political view was a tad heavy.

In many sci-fi's we see the aliens come to earth in peace and it is only mankind's own violence that puts us at risk. Here mankind attacks any alien immediately without any idea of peace or preserving the specimen. The only character who puts this line forward is made to look weak and foolish compared to the rest. No, Hawks is no dove! His line is that any outsiders must e treated with fear and dealt with as strongly as required. I don't agree with this line of reasoning so it took away from the film for me, but the rest of it was very enjoyable.

The acting is top rate – a mix of banter and B-movie, strong jawed American heroes! Overall this may be seen as dull or slow for the generation that has grown up on Kurt Russell freezing in the final scene but it is a classic in it's own right and is a much more accomplished piece of work for my money. Despite some weaknesses in Hawks personal beliefs this is a atmospheric and tense piece of sci-fi.


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