Them! (1954)

Approved  |   |  Horror, Sci-Fi  |  19 June 1954 (USA)
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Reviews: 206 user | 94 critic

The earliest atomic tests in New Mexico cause common ants to mutate into giant man-eating monsters that threaten civilization.



(screenplay), (adaptation) (as Russell Hughes) , 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »


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Complete credited cast:
Onslow Stevens ...
Sean McClory ...
Chris Drake ...
Sandy Descher ...
Mary Alan Hokanson ...
Mrs. Lodge (as Mary Ann Hokanson)
Don Shelton ...
Olin Howland ...
Jensen (as Olin Howlin)


In the New Mexico desert, Police Sgt. Ben Peterson and his partner find a child wandering in the desert and sooner they discover that giant ants are attacking the locals. FBI agent Robert Graham teams up with Ben and with the support of Dr. Harold Medford and his daughter Dr. Patricia 'Pat' Medford, they destroy the colony of ants in the middle of the desert. Dr. Harold Medford explains that the atomic testing in 1945 developed the dangerous mutant ants. But they also discover that two queen ants have flown away to Los Angeles and they are starting a huge colony in the underground of the city. When a mother reports that her two children are missing, the team and the army have a lead to follow. Will they arrive in time to save the children and destroy the colony? Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The horror-horde of crawl-and-crush giants you've been hearing about on TV and radio! (Newspaper ad). See more »


Horror | Sci-Fi


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Release Date:

19 June 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Them  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
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Did You Know?


Walt Disney screened the movie because he was interested in casting James Arness as Davy Crockett. However, he was so impressed by Fess Parker as the "Crazy Texan Pilot" that he chose him for the part. See more »


The first aerial shot of the ant nest, which is supposedly in the middle of empty desert, reveals not only a well-maintained road but at least 3 clean parked cars within a hundred feet of the as-yet undiscovered nest. See more »


[Tom Lodge has been found dead, mutilated, with his two young sons missing]
Robert Graham: Mrs. Lodge, was your husband accustomed to taking his boys out so early in the morning?
Mrs. Lodge: [grief-stricken] On Sundays. Tom works on Sundays from 9:00 to 7:00, an extra job he has. He works so hard for us, he doesn't have much time to spend with Jerry and Mike. That's why the three of them get up early on Sundays to go spend someplace to play together for a few hours.
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User Reviews

Put Some Sugar Over The Screenplay!
8 August 2015 | by (Kneeling In The Light) – See all my reviews

Spoilers Ahead:

I am in my fifties and I adore classic science fiction: Earth Vs. Flying Saucers, The Day The Earth Stood Still, Forbidden Planet. I am sorry; this movie is a dreadful bore. It starts so well, you will think I am crazy when you first start watching it. You can see where Cameron got the idea for Newt in Aliens. It starts with a little girl wandering in the desert, clutching her doll. The cops follow her route back to her wrecked trailer. They hear these creepy sounds that are unearthly. The director does what Ridley did in ALIEN. You see more and more of the creatures until about twenty minutes in, you finally see them. I know, they did the best they could, I forgive them for the cheesy appearance, it goes with the territory, this is the 50s. The movie keeps being great through another wrecked house, the discovery of the subterranean nest and their destruction of it. Well, now you will begin to think I am not so crazy after all. The next forty five minutes consist of meeting after meeting featuring films on how the ants work collectively, how strong they are and forgive me, how they are going to wipe us all out. Hey, they said it not me. Gwenn is an excellent actor but selling this plot point was a little silly.

I am not kidding, you think the meetings are over? Guess again, more meetings and briefings follow. Then they canvas all press reports for the unusual, tracking down poor James Arness who probably wishes he was back in a Western. They find him at the hospital and guess what happens next? Some action? Nope, another meeting about where the queen ants that escaped the immolation of the nest in the desert have moved to. Yes, at the end, if you are still conscious, the movie picks up with Arness spotting one coming out of a tunnel on the Los Angeles River. Then we get the great part of the movie again for the last fifteen minutes. Here's the problem, I feel asleep and had to play the movie over again. I woke up with the screen saver on my Blu Ray player. The movie's first half hour is a 10; the above praises are accurate for that time period. Unfortunately, the middle half hour is like watching paint dry.

If you don't agree with me, ask yourself: do I like lectures and films on ants? do I believe that giant ants are going to defeat human technology? It is like being trapped in an entomology lecture in the biology department when you thought they were showing an exciting science fiction movie. Look, if you want to go make a sandwich, check your mail, write those bills, come back for the last twenty minutes: go for it. If you try to watch it straight through do not say I didn't warn you. Lots of this is paranoia about the Bomb, the lectures seem to function as some kind of anodyne for hysterical people terrified of the A Bomb. One Half Of A Good Movie.

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