IMDb > The Thing from Another World (1951)
The Thing from Another World
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The Thing from Another World (1951) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

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Down 2% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers:
Charles Lederer (screenplay)
John W. Campbell Jr. (based on the story "Who Goes There?" by)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Thing from Another World on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
29 April 1951 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Look Out...It's See more »
Plot:
Scientists and American Air Force officials fend off a blood-thirsty alien organism while at a remote arctic outpost. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
1 win See more »
NewsDesk:
(175 articles)
User Reviews:
The Thing: A classic See more (223 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)
Margaret Sheridan ... Nikki

Kenneth Tobey ... Captain Patrick Hendry
Robert Cornthwaite ... Dr. Arthur Carrington
Douglas Spencer ... Scotty
James Young ... Lt. Eddie Dykes

Dewey Martin ... Crew Chief Bob
Robert Nichols ... Lt. Ken 'Mac' MacPherson
William Self ... Corporal Barnes

Eduard Franz ... Dr. Stern
Sally Creighton ... Mrs. Chapman

James Arness ... 'The Thing'
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Robert Bray ... Captain (unconfirmed)
Ted Cooper ... Lieutenant (unconfirmed)
Milton Kibbee ... Bit Part (unconfirmed)
Ray McDonald ... Bit Part (unconfirmed)
Edgar Murray ... Bit Part (unconfirmed)
H.B. Newton ... Bit Part (unconfirmed)
Carmen Nisbet ... Bit Part (unconfirmed)
William J. O'Brien ... Bit Part (unconfirmed)
Jimmy Ogg ... Bit Part (unconfirmed)
Allan Ray ... Officer (unconfirmed)
Cap Somers ... Bit Part (unconfirmed)
Lucille Thompson ... Bit Part (unconfirmed)
Edmund Breon ... Dr. Ambrose (uncredited)
Nicholas Byron ... Tex Richards (uncredited)
John Dierkes ... Dr. Chapman (uncredited)
George Fenneman ... Dr. Redding (uncredited)
Lee Tung Foo ... Lee, a Cook (uncredited)
Paul Frees ... Dr. Vorhees (uncredited)
Ben Frommer ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Everett Glass ... Dr. Wilson (uncredited)
Tom Humphries ... Minor Role (uncredited)
King Kong ... Eskimo (uncredited)

David McMahon ... Brig. Gen. Fogarty (uncredited)
Bill Neff ... Bill Stone (uncredited)
Walter Ng ... Second Cook (uncredited)
Charles Opunui ... Eskimo (uncredited)
Norbert Schiller ... Dr. Laurence (uncredited)
Robert Stevenson ... Capt. Smith - Fogarty's Aide (uncredited)
Riley Sunrise ... Eskimo (uncredited)

Directed by
Christian Nyby 
Howard Hawks (uncredited)
 
Writing credits
Charles Lederer (screenplay)

John W. Campbell Jr. (based on the story "Who Goes There?" by)

Howard Hawks  uncredited
Ben Hecht  uncredited

Produced by
Howard Hawks .... producer
Edward Lasker .... associate producer
 
Original Music by
Dimitri Tiomkin 
 
Cinematography by
Russell Harlan (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Roland Gross 
 
Art Direction by
Albert S. D'Agostino 
John Hughes  (as John J. Hughes)
 
Set Decoration by
Darrell Silvera (set decorations)
William Stevens (set decorations)
 
Makeup Department
Larry Germain .... hair stylist
Lee Greenway .... makeup supervisor
 
Production Management
Walter Daniels .... production manager (uncredited)
Edward Donahue .... unit manager (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Virgil Hart .... first assistant director: second unit (uncredited)
Maxwell O. Henry .... assistant director (uncredited)
Arthur Siteman .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Walter Allen .... nurseryman (uncredited)
Lucius O. Croxton .... art director: second unit (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Phil Brigandi .... sound
Clem Portman .... sound
Earl B. Mounce .... sound recordist (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
Donald Steward .... special effects
Ardell Lytle .... pyroeffects supervisor (uncredited)
 
Visual Effects by
Linwood G. Dunn .... special photographic effects (as Linwood Dunn)
Harold E. Stine .... process photography (uncredited)
 
Stunts
Leslie Charles .... stunts (uncredited)
Dick Crockett .... stunts (uncredited)
Billy Curtis .... stunts (uncredited)
Sol Gorss .... stunts (uncredited)
Jim Griffin .... stunts (uncredited)
Bill Lewin .... stunts (uncredited)
Teddy Mangean .... stunts (uncredited)
Chuck Moreland .... stunts (uncredited)
Bob Morgan .... stunts (uncredited)
Charles Regan .... stunts (uncredited)
Russell Saunders .... stunts (uncredited)
Tom Steele .... stunts (uncredited)
Duke Taylor .... stunts (uncredited)
Ken Terrell .... stunts (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Landon Arnett .... camera operator (uncredited)
Emmett Bergholz .... camera operator (uncredited)
George K. Hollister .... camera operator (uncredited)
Howard Schwartz .... camera operator (uncredited)
Archie Stout .... director of photography: second unit (uncredited)
T-Bone Thompson .... camera operator (uncredited)
Harold E. Wellman .... director of photography: second unit (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Michael Woulfe .... wardrobe: ladies
 
Music Department
Dimitri Tiomkin .... conductor
Haakon Bergh .... musician: flute (uncredited)
John T. Boudreau .... musician: drums (uncredited)
Alexander DuVoir .... musician: oboe (uncredited)
Manuel Emanuel .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Henry Emerson .... musician: clarinet (uncredited)
Manny Harmon .... orchestra manager (uncredited)
Samuel Hoffman .... musician: theremin (uncredited)
Mitchell Lurie .... musician: clarinet (uncredited)
Paul Marquardt .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Jack Marsh .... musician: saxophone (uncredited)
George Parrish .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Neely Plumb .... musician: clarinet (uncredited)
Max Rabinowitz .... musician: piano (uncredited)
Edward Rebner .... musician: piano (uncredited)
Tibor Shik .... musician: french horn (uncredited)
Herbert Taylor .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Raymond Turner .... musician: piano (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Howard Hawks' Production The Thing from Another World" - UK (complete title), USA (complete title)
"The Thing" - USA (short title)
"The Thing from Another World!" - USA (poster title)
See more »
Runtime:
87 min | USA:81 min (re-issue version) | USA:85 min (original US 16 mm television syndication prints)
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Certification:
Australia:PG | Finland:K-12 (1971) | Finland:K-16 (1951) | Germany:BPjM Restricted | Netherlands:18 | Netherlands:18 (original rating) (1951) | Norway:16 | Sweden:15 | UK:X (original rating) | UK:PG (tv rating) | UK:PG (video rating) (2006) | UK:12 (video rating) (1997) (1999) | USA:TV-PG | USA:Unrated (DVD rating) (video rating) | USA:Approved (PCA #14925) | West Germany:12

Did You Know?

Trivia:
James Arness complained that his "Thing" costume made him look like a giant carrot.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: When the plane arrives from Anchorage it stops and the large radio tower can be seen off the left wingtip. In the next scene the large radio tower can be seen in front of the aircraft's nose.See more »
Quotes:
Dr. Chapman:Find anything, Captain?
Hendry:Not a sign. We poked into every snowbank within miles.
Bob, Crew Chief:Barnes flushed a polar bear.
Cpl. Barnes:Sure did.
Dr. Chapman:Scare you?
Cpl. Barnes:Not after I saw it was only a bear.
See more »
Soundtrack:
Can't Get Out of This MoodSee more »

FAQ

How much sex, violence, and profanity are in this movie?
How does the movie end?
How close is this movie to "Who Goes There"?
See more »
128 out of 151 people found the following review useful.
The Thing: A classic, 23 November 2003
Author: humbleradio from Tokyo, Japan

Which version, Hawks or Carpenter? There's a lot of talk about which one is better, etc. I do agree with many that they both are very different films, very different viewing experiences. I love most good sci-fi. Some of 50's sci-fi can be dated after viewing. I do not think The Thing is one of these films which suffers from time . It holds up splendidly. If you like dialogue, you'll love this movie. If you like innuendo, fast paced overlapped dialogue, great characters - and I don't use that word lightly - you'll love this movie.

If you want more suspense, a lot more blood, and a much more gloomy setting, certainly John Carpenter's remake is better in these areas. I own and enjoy viewing both films.

Certainly, the creature in Carpenter's version is much more frightening, and truer to the John Campbell short story from which the story is based. His shape shifting would have been impossible to show in the 50's version with the believability that is possible in today's F/X field.

Carpenter gives us a setting which is darker, colder, and more foreboding. A feeling of hopeless, and nameless dread pervades the camp. Certainly, the notion is clear that this could be the end of all of them, and of the world. There's both a lot less thinking, and a lot more action to be had here in the Carpenter 80's version than in the Hawks' 50's approach.

Hawks, by contrast, created a feeling of "whistling in the dark", which dominates the setting. The characters, and they are many and varied, all have their own particular take on what is happening and what should be done about it. There is a sense of hopeful, "We can do it. We can solve this problem" attitude throughout the entire film. This feeling of "let's keep our heads" is contagious and very quickly the audience finds itself rooting, rather than running.

One more point, and I think it's a big one. The characters in the Howard Hawks' 50's film are all likable, including the "heavy" - the wonderful Dr. Carrington. All the characters are capable, and in many cases, quite resourceful and ingenious. Each, always maintains a humorous, dry wit angle of attack on the situation without resorting to camp or parody seen in most comic film writing today. The military crew members, very quickly in the story, each displays a comical personality ribbing both the captain and the civil service nature of the military with natural ease. As someone once said, a complaining soldier is a happy soldier. So true. This is certainly no "military has all the answers" flick. The mistakes they make are roundly criticized by all in attendance, including the co-pilot's not so subtle comment about the splitting of the atom, "yeah, and that sure made the world happy, didn't it?" (laughter). Add to that, Ned Scott the newspaper man, and you've got a non-scientist, non-military chronicler character to round out the story, and give the audience someone with comparable skepticism about what to do next. Ned is the outsider who is now, like us, on the inside.

The John Carpenter version, by comparison, has mostly losers populating the story, I have to say. From the camp leader, Gary, on down to the radio operator, Windows, most of the characters seem more suited as inmates in a minimum security prison than manning a research science station. (maybe a reflection of the lack of students going into the field of science in recent years? (chuckle) And to make the point even more ironic, there is no military, the usual scapegoats, in the Carpenter version. (Gary, as leader, carries the gun, and we assume has some military/policing role, though it is never made clear in the film.) These are all scientists with the exception of the helicopter pilot, played by Kurt Russell, who seems to be the only clear thinking member of the entire bunch. Why none of the actual scientists approach the problem as clearly, and logically as the rogue washed-up helicopter pilot is also a mystery and in large part, a flaw.

In Hawks' version, Captain Hendry solicits advice from all in attendance, frequently asking the scientists and his crew technical questions for which he has no background to answer. This also gives the non technical audience member another "way in" to the technical side of things. (no pun intended)

Why Carpenter chose to have most of the characters unredeeming, lazy, and in most cases, quite stupid and ill behaving, is a mystery. I find the characters in the Hawks version much more true to life.

With all that said, I enjoy both films, each for their strengths and for their weaknesses. If you want blood and gore, more realistic sets, and are not discouraged by fairly shallow characters, the Carpenter version is for you.

If you want fast paced dialogue, memorable characters, and you enjoy a "can-do" attitude in dreadful circumstances, all done with a minimum of visible gore, then Hawks' The Thing awaits you.

humbleservant

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