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Them! (1954)

Approved | | Horror, Sci-Fi | 19 June 1954 (USA)
The earliest atomic tests in New Mexico cause common ants to mutate into giant man-eating monsters that threaten civilization.

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

Complete credited cast:
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Chris Drake ...
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Mary Alan Hokanson ...
Mrs. Lodge (as Mary Ann Hokanson)
Don Shelton ...
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Jensen (as Olin Howlin)
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

Kill one and two take its place! See more »

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

19 June 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Them  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

[Cameo]: Leonard Nimoy as a soldier at a teletype machine reading information on a possible sighting of the giant ants in Texas. See more »

Goofs

While the Army is searching the storm drains of Los Angeles for the new nest of giant ants, they are seen to be using radios for communication. Radios do not work underground - especially in reinforced concrete tunnels. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Harold Medford: [addressing a group of government officials] That, gentlemen, is why you are here - to consider this problem and, I hope, solve it. Because unless you solve it, unless these queens are located and destroyed before they've established thriving colonies and can produce, heaven alone knows, how many more queen ants, man, as the dominant species of life on earth, will probably be extinct within...
[looking at another scientist]
Dr. Harold Medford: a year, Doc?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Eight Legged Freaks (2002) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Sci-fi Classic
17 January 2005 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

If I were to write a review something along the lines of: "Them! is awesome because it depicts giant irradiated ants, and giant irradiated ants are cool", I'd probably be shot. Either way, 'Them!' is a great movie.

'Them!, to my knowledge, would be one of the earliest sci-fi movies to look at the consequences of nuclear technology. 'The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms' was released a year earlier in 1953, and 'Gojira' was released months after 'Them!', and arguably became the most successful of the three, but don't discount the impact 'Them!' had.

The film opens in New Mexico. Several people seem to bitten the desert dust when some police officers find the prototype for Newt from 'Aliens'. After an investigation, a nest of giant ants is discovered. The ants were mutated by atomic testing, and are responsible for the local deaths.

Like the 'Beast From 20,000 Fathoms' and 'Gojira', 'Them!' played on Cold War fears of the consequences of using nuclear weapons. The story may not be as relevant today as it was during the 50s, but as a student of history I find it rather interesting. And as a fan of action and sci-fi, 'Them!' has obviously had influences on 'Aliens', 'Starship Troopers', 'Terminator 2', and other movies.

'Them!' is a great sci-fi movie. It is a shame that many people my age would avoid it due to its age, it being in black and white, and not having special-effects on the level of the 'Matrix' - 9/10


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