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The Thing (1982)

R  |   |  Horror, Sci-Fi  |  25 June 1982 (USA)
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Scientists in the Antarctic are confronted by a shape-shifting alien that assumes the appearance of the people it kills.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Dr. Blair (as A. Wilford Brimley)
Windows (as Thomas Waites)
Norwegian Passenger with Rifle (as Larry Franco)
Nate Irwin ...


An American scientific expedition to the frozen wastes of the Antarctic is interrupted by a group of seemingly mad Norwegians pursuing and shooting a dog. The helicopter pursuing the dog explodes, eventually leaving no explanation for the chase. During the night, the dog mutates and attacks other dogs in the cage and members of the team that investigate. The team soon realizes that an alien life-form with the ability to take over other bodies is on the loose and they don't know who may already have been taken over. Written by Goth <brooks@odie.ee.wits.ac.za>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Look closely at your neighbour ... Trust no-one ... They might be THE THING [UK video box] See more »


Horror | Sci-Fi


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

25 June 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

John Carpenter's The Thing  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$3,107,897 (USA) (2 July 1982)


$13,782,838 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(35 mm prints)| (70 mm prints)


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Opened on the same day as Ridley Scott's Blade Runner (1982). The similarities don't end there: both movies met with unfavorable reactions at the premiere but became widely loved sci-fi classics in the years to come. See more »


Childs breaks down the door with an ax, doing extensive damage to it, but several scenes later, the door is intact except for one ax hole. See more »


Palmer: [forced at gunpoint to tie up the corpses of Clark and Dr. Copper] This is bullshit, Mac!
MacReady: Finish it, Palmer.
Palmer: They're dead, Mac!
See more »


Referenced in The Smiling Man (2014) See more »


Performed by The Four Tops
Courtesy of MCA Records, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Finally getting recognition.
29 September 2001 | by (Melbourne, Australia) – See all my reviews

I am ashamed to say it, but I have to admit, the first time I saw this film was only about a year ago. After seeing it, I immediately rushed out and bought the DVD collectors' edition and have watched it many times since.

The film is terrific on many levels. It works as your straight monster or action type film, as a horror/sci-fi and also as a very intriguing look into the human psyche. The incredible sense of paranoia, mistrust and fear, lent not only by Carpenter's direction (which is stunning) but also by the incredible acting of the cast in general. Kurt Russell (obviously) is spectacularly understated in the lead role of MacReady, and, as a direct result he "feels" like a real person, rather than a hollywood "all american hero". The other cast members all carry off their roles with style, and the net result is an intensely believable atmosphere, and a truly fantastic film.

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