Edit
The Thing (1982) Poster

(1982)

Goofs

Revealing mistakes 

While the guy in the chopper with the rifle fires several shots at the dog, and we hear the sound of a gunshot on the soundtrack, at no time do we ever see a muzzle flash from the end of the rifle.
7 of 10 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Audio/visual unsynchronised 

(at around 1h 23 mins) After Palmer's blood leaps from the dish after being scorched by Mac's flamethrower, we see Palmer (David Clennon) morphing into a Thing-monster. Several men tied to a couch are now screaming in terror for their lives. We hear Nauls's (T.K. Carter) screaming loudly but when the camera catches some shots of Nauls, he's just sitting their placidly when the soundtrack simultaneously reveals him to be screaming.
6 of 6 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Boom mic visible 

(at around 1h 6 mins) When Mac yells to Norris in the rec room, "Any of them move you fry 'em," a shadow cast by the crew's boom mic can be seen on the wall above Clark, Copper, and Garry on the couch.
4 of 6 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Character error 

Although Fuchs has told them that the alien organism is highly infective, they don't care about sharing the same knife to get their blood samples.
(at around 1h 3 mins) When MacReady is making the tape recording, he mentions that "Windows found some shredded long johns." It was actually Nauls who found the shredded clothing.
(at around 21 mins) Copper and MacReady find several empty cans labeled "karosin" outside the Norwegian camp. The Norwegian word for kerosene is actually "parafin".

Continuity 

When Macready and the doctor go off to check the Norwegian base, it is said they should only take about an hour to get there, and it is light when they leave. However, there is a night-time scene set at the American base in-between the time it takes for Mac to arrive at the Norwegian base, even though it is daylight when he arrives there.
9 of 9 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
All exterior shots of the tool shed where Blair is imprisoned show the window next to the door has been boarded up with the boards horizontal. However, all interior shots of the shed show that same window with the boards attached vertically.
6 of 6 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
(at around 7 mins) Norwegian pulls the same grenade out of the box twice.
9 of 10 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
(at around 38 mins) When viewing the ruined flying saucer from the cliff, the hoods on Norris and Palmer's coats alternate between being on and off between shots.
5 of 5 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
(at around 5 mins) The chess moves spoken by the computer don't match the ones on the screen; also screens are shown from different games.
(at around 1h 15 mins) When the Doctor goes to hit Norris with the defibrillator the second time, his hands change position as the camera cuts from one angle to another. As he starts the move the paddles are coming down side-by-side on the man's chest, just like the previous time. The camera cuts to a close up, an effects shot where the chest cavity opens up as a sort of mouth and swallows Dr. Copper's arms. This time the paddles are coming down laterally aligned with Norris' sternum, rather than side by side, as they started.
4 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
(at around 1h 11 mins) When Nauls is let back inside and the men question him, there are multiple continuity goofs with where Palmer is standing and how he is holding the flamethrower.
4 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
(at around 18 mins) At the Norwegian base, when Mac and the doctor enter the room with the ax in the door, you see the door closing in the background, but in a later camera shot, you see the door still wide open.
4 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
(at around 1h 5 mins) When MacReady visits Fuchs in his room, and Fuchs mentions preparing their own food, et cetera, there is a beaker of dark brown liquid on his desk. When the lamp flickers we get a close-up of the beaker and it now contains clear liquid.
6 of 7 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
(at around 1h 13 mins) As Mac comes out of the supply room with the flare and dynamite, the TNT sticks he is holding are almost falling apart and he is holding them by one stick. In the following shots of Mac the TNT sticks are suddenly wrapped tightly with black tape again and he holds all the sticks.
3 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
(at around 8 mins) When the helicopter explodes there are almost no parts near it. Later while it is getting extinguished, there are many small parts burned near it. Also the whole main rotor-blade is missing. It was on the helicopter just after the explosion.
3 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
(at around 12 mins) When the men are gathered around the dead Norwegian, Fuchs is seen standing among the group and Palmer is also there offering Copper a ride. In the very next scene, Copper is walking towards the helicopter wreck telling Mac to get his things on and Fuchs and Palmer are already standing by the wreck dressed in their snow parkas.
3 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
When MacReady is administering the blood test with the hot wire, we see the characters cut their thumbs and let some drops of blood into the dishes. However, when he glances down at them a lot more blood has appeared in some of the dishes.
3 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
(at around 1h 15 mins) As Dr. Copper puts the defibrillator onto Norris' "chest mouth", in the next shot when the mouth bites Copper's arms, the defibrillator cord disappears.
3 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
We see McCready drinking at the beginning of the film. He is shown in a camera shot from below and we see what appears to be a long, messy, shaggy beard. A few minutes later when he gets into the helicopter his beard is neatly trimmed and combed.
3 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
(at around 55 mins) When Mac is in the tool shed talking with Blair, the bottle of vodka from which he drinks mysteriously spins 180 degrees. He sets it down with the label facing the camera but in the following shots the label now suddenly faces away.
5 of 6 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
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.
4 of 5 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
(at around 1h 15 mins) Copper's sleeves suddenly roll up when Norris' jaws clamp down on his forearms, and one of his arms sever and tear away above where the jaws clamp down on them.
4 of 5 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Between the time Fuchs talks to Mac about Blair's notes, calling the snowcat 'the Thiokol' (another brand of snowcat) the logo and model changes from a Skidozer 301, with its model name between the headlights, to a 302, with the Bombardier lettering between the headlights and the model name lower down to the left side (screen right). When they take Blair out to be locked up, the snowcat is again a 301 (you can see the blue model-plate between the headlights, not the black-on-yellow of the 302's Bombardier lettering).
4 of 5 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
(at around 5 mins) When MacReady plays Chess Wizard and spills his drink into the circuit board, we see one big ice cube. The problem is he had taken three small ice cubes for his drink, which had also almost fully thawed right before he spilled it.
4 of 5 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
(at around 1h 17 mins) When the "Head Bug" is shown trying escape the facial features still retained by creature are facing away from the group as it crawls toward the door. However in the very next shot just before Mac torches it the creature has suddenly stopped running and facing into the room.
2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
When the Norris-Thing's chest erupts, Dr. Copper's chewed-off arms and the defibrillator paddles that were all "swallowed" by the chest should all spill out as the new thing shoots upward.
2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
(at around 9 mins) Macready's bottle of whisky is completely covered in snow when he leaps into the snowdrift as the chopper explodes, but when he runs to help Bennings in the very next shot, it is totally free of snow.
3 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
(at around 52 mins) When MacReady goes to check the helicopter after he sees Blair, he is wearing a protective hood. After he hears the gun shot and runs out of the helicopter, his hood has disappeared.
4 of 6 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
(at around 1h 23 mins) When one of the characters turns into the thing, he flies upward onto the ceiling, causing the panel to break apart, but in the next shot the panel is undamaged.
4 of 6 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The front part of the rifle used by the Norwegian at the beginning is different than the rifle shown when he is seen from the front.
4 of 6 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Crew or equipment visible 

(at around 15 mins) As the camera pans through the empty camp, after Bennings calls Nauls on the intercom, it casts a shadow next to the blood storage.
3 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
(at around 1h 15 mins) When the creature comes out of Norris's chest, there is a wide-shot with Mac in the foreground. In the air ducts on the ceiling, a crew members hand can be seen moving.
5 of 7 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
When Norris and Mac climb down into the crater and are walking towards the open hatch in the center, look on the far right hand side of the screen and you will see the head and arm of somebody come into shot and then disappear again.
3 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
(at around 15 mins) Right after Bennings yells on the intercom to turn the music down and we see his request ignored by Nauls in the kitchen, the following scene that slowly dollies from right to left in the empty medical room, the moving wheels of the dolly and a man in a light blue shirt pushing the dolly are clearly seen in the reflection of bottom and top pane of glass of the stainless steel and glass medical cabinet. Especially visible on the Blu-ray version.
3 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
(at around 1h 30 mins) As the men come down the stairs into the generator room, Nauls and Garry head down a second flight of stairs as Mac holds up a flare. The shadow of a crew member is clearly visible on the floor holding a boom mic. The shadow even moves as the men walk away from the camera.
2 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Errors in geography 

On the "first day of winter" (June 21st) there is no daylight south of the Antarctic Circle.
9 of 10 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Factual errors 

During the many interior scenes where the flamethrowers was used, resulting in large fires being started and then extinguished by the characters, the rooms the fires were in would be left with thick choking & blinding smoke, yet you see the rooms are always smoke free after the fires are put out.
9 of 9 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
(at around 5 mins) The chess game McReady plays vs what appears to be a dedicated chess-playing computer (ie a computer built specifically to play chess, period) is totally bogus. There is no "check" much less checkmate possible in the position we see immediately before McReady is "checkmated" there is no "Rook to Knight 6" with check possible and even that's inaccurate - correct is "Rook to King or Queen) Knight Six" although even using English Notation was dubious - chess programs use Algebraic Notation.
7 of 8 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
(at around 44 mins) Macready says "It's forty below outside." That would be a freakishly warm winter day in inland Antarctica, where winter temperatures are closer to minus 80 Fahrenheit (minus 62 Celsius).
8 of 10 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The overwhelming majority of people from Norway are taught English from a young age, and as a result, most Norwegians can speak fluent English or at least know very basic English vocabulary. In reality, it's practically impossible that there would be a language barrier between the Norwegians and the Americans like shown at the beginning of the film.
4 of 5 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Characters wearing glasses go from the severe cold outside, to the apparently toasty warmth inside the buildings, without their glasses fogging over.
2 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Flamethrowers would be useless in Antarctica, especially outside. Gasoline (even in the form of napalm) has too high a freezing temperature to forced out of a tank without solidifying. While there may be heating torches used, these would probably be LNG (liquified natural gas) and not napalm. They also wouldn't shoot flames out as far as a flamethrower.
1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Miscellaneous 

The profusion of pistols, shotguns, automatic weapons, flamethrowers and explosives is entirely ridiculous for an Antarctic research facility.
The alien Norwegian dog is caged with the American dogs and starts mutating while attacking the other dogs. When the crew check out the ruckus, first seeing the mutated dog, they start their counterattack and the alien jumps up to the ceiling of the cage. While this is happening, in the audio of barking dogs and people shouting, you can hear the sound of a rope or chain pulley in operation to raise the creature up.
0 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Plot holes 

The UFO is around 60 feet under ice. We are told it has been buried for 100,000 years. But the creature that crawled from it was found only a few feet under the ice.
When Mac, Garry and Nauls are underground, they split up and go alone to separate areas to plant the explosives. They do this instead of staying together despite knowing full well "The Thing" usually attacks a human while they're alone.
1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
When the characters are burning the bodies of Bennings, the dog monster and the two-headed human, Blair is missing from the group for story purposes. But Clarke is conspicuously absent, as well.
1 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
While burning the creatures might destroy the outside cells of what they were imitating, it would do nothing to destroy the cells on the interiors of the body. In fact, the body would act as an "insulator" protecting the inner cells from the excessive heat. Doc would have realized that and made mention of it.
1 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Revealing mistakes 

(at around 1h 23 mins) When one of the characters is slammed into the ceiling, a piece of the ceiling breaks off, but instead of falling to the ground, it "falls" upwards into the ceiling, revealing the scene was shot upside-down.
(at around 8 mins) When the Norwegian is firing on the American scientists at the beginning of the movie, we clearly see that Childs has already jumped into the snow in previous takes of the scene. We can see a shape on the snow.
9 of 9 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
(at around 25 mins) When Blair does the autopsy on the burned creature he takes out the inner organs like they were lying loosely in the body.
6 of 6 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
(at around 18 mins) While they are looking at the ice block in the Norwegian base, several of the icicles can be seen swinging.
4 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
At one point they are looking out the window at the thermometer which reads well below zero. There sure is a lot of moisture and water drops out there for being so cold.
7 of 9 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
(at around 39 mins) When MacReady and Norris are approaching the hole in the ice next to the spaceship, Norris's head is partially obstructed by an obvious matte-line during the dissolve-in part of the establishing shot.
2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
(at around 1h 6 mins) When Fuchs goes outside following the mysterious figure outside the lab, there is already snow on his knees as he drops to pick up Mac's shredded clothing.
3 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
(at around 53 mins) When Blair is destroying the radio room he drops the axe to the floor and fires his gun. When they rush him with the table he suddenly has the axe back in his hands and hits the table with it.
3 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Spoilers

The goof items below may give away important plot points.

Crew or equipment visible 

(at around 1h 23 mins) When Windows is being eaten and mauled by Palmer a brief shot reveals a man holding him above his head in a green tank top.

Plot holes 

The alien dog apparently runs from the Norwegian science station to the American station. Considering that helicopters, and not snow cats, are used to travel the distance between the two, it's likely that they were at LEAST 75-100 miles apart. How did the dog make it that far (or farther) simply being a "dog" and why wasn't the much faster helicopter able to land ahead of the dog and wait for it?
1 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

See also

Trivia | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

Contribute to This Page