Scientists at an Arctic research station discover a spacecraft buried in the ice. Upon closer examination, they discover the frozen pilot. All hell breaks loose when they take him back to their station and he is accidentally thawed out!Written by
KC Hunt <email@example.com>
As all lovers of the SciFi film genre knows, The Thing (1951), is undoubtedly one of the the finest ever produced. It's almost a perfect movie from a purely technical standpoint. The direction, no matter who it was, was scintillating, moving from moment to moment at breakneck speed. Tiomkin's gut-wrenching score, highlighted by the extremely futuristic Theremin, crushing basses and bleak windswept strings are the epitome of horror/sci-fi film scoring. The acting is legendary for it's naturally fluid feel, it's backhanded asides and well documented over-speak not matched in many movies before or since. Unlike today's boringly formula rip-offs the station is usually "well lit", at least as well lit as you would imagine a 1950's Arctic Lab to be; aided by the superb efforts of the film makers own lighting crew. This allowed for those brief moments of darkness when the lights were out to have a very real panicking effect. Not only on the audience but the besieged occupants of our Arctic fortress. I also found it refreshing that after the one incident where the "Thing" is carelessly freed, the expedition members subsequently and intelligently arm themselves as best they can and form into groups. I believe that the creature's first close up appearance is only 3 seconds long but it was enough to make me rapidly exit the living room and stop me from watching this film from when I first saw it at age 7 in 1958 until I was about 15. This chilling scene when viewed in a stop frame mode is astonishing in it's precision and choreography, check this out my sci-fi brethren. A scene my own dear father managed to duplicate with great effect, as a joke, using our dark and seldom used front porch door, which reduced me to a sniveling jelly-legged puddle when I was about 10!, which, in homage to both Dad and Arness, I duplicated some 20 years later on not only my son, but the cleaning lady and my wife with equally devastating effect. You know , they even manage a little romance without destroying the story, truly amazing. Don't we all wish Margaret Sheridan was our girl?
But I have written this comment not to just rehash what we all know to be true; but rather to pay homage to the one man who ultimately is responsible for the survival of the human race. Bob, the crew chief. Yes, Bob. In a situation where we have a rafter of genius scientists, alongside of battle hardened veteran Air Corps officers and a smart funny, gritty, albeit nerdy, newspaper reporter; we are all very lucky to have had BOB, the crew chief on the job. I will not enumerate (and spoil the fun) but his mighty contributions to the survival of this hearty group are something to behold. If you veterans who love this movie as much as I do watch this movie again, as we all will, watch it this time and see if you don't agree that Bob comes up with 90% or better of the intelligent suggestions.
For those of you who have not had the pleasure of seeing this movie it is a "must see". From a time when movies gave free rein to our own fertile imaginations; it terrified without graphic gore; amazed without a gazillion dollars of special effects and best of all entertained at a pace rarely attained by any movie from any genre in any generation.
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