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The Thing from Another World (1951)

Not Rated | | Horror, Sci-Fi | 7 April 1951 (USA)
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4:54 | Clip

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ON DISC
Scientists and American Air Force officials fend off a bloodthirsty alien organism while at a remote arctic outpost.

Directors:

Christian Nyby, Howard Hawks (uncredited)

Writers:

Charles Lederer (screenplay), John W. Campbell Jr. (based on the story "Who Goes There?" by)
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4,903 ( 22)
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Margaret Sheridan ... Nikki Nicholson
Kenneth Tobey ... Capt. Patrick Hendry
Robert Cornthwaite ... Dr. Arthur Carrington
Douglas Spencer ... Ned Scott
James Young ... Lt. Eddie Dykes
Dewey Martin ... Crew Chief Bob
Robert Nichols Robert Nichols ... Lt. Ken Erickson / Lt. Ken (Mac) MacPherson
William Self William Self ... Cpl. Barnes
Eduard Franz ... Dr. Stern
Sally Creighton Sally Creighton ... Mrs. Chapman
James Arness ... 'The Thing'
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Storyline

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 <khunt@eng.morgan.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Where Did It Come From? How Did It Get Here? WHAT IS IT? See more »

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 April 1951 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Thing See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,600,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (re-issue) | (original US 16 mm television syndication prints)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Both John Dierkes and Douglas Spencer would appear together again two years later, in the classic western, "Shane". See more »

Goofs

Considering that a geiger counter was giving high radiation readings in a plane far above the saucer's crash site, the few minutes the recovery crew spent near the saucer should have given them serious and perhaps fatal radiation poisoning. See more »

Quotes

[after a quick encounter with the Thing]
Hendry: Did you get your picture?
Ned "Scotty" Scott: No, you were in the way and the door wasn't open long enough.
Hendry: You want us to open it again?
Ned "Scotty" Scott: NO!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Only technical and production credits precede the film, no acting credits. See more »

Alternate Versions

The original 16mm U.S. television syndication prints were a slightly abridged 85 minute version. About 1980, when Turner acquired the RKO library, the syndication prints were replaced with the 79 minute re-release version. This shorter re-release version was also used for the initial video and laserdisc releases as well as the pay-tv and "colorized" versions. See more »

Connections

Featured in Monster Mania (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

A Lovely Way to Spend an Evening
(uncredited)
Music by Jimmy McHugh
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Classic despite the message
7 December 2002 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

In a remote arctic location, a military unit gets a call from a research unit to come and investigate a reported plane crash. On arrival the unit travel out to the site to find that the plane is actually a disk shaped craft of unidentified metal. However, on trying to remove it from the ice they destroy the craft but salvage it's frozen pilot. Back at base the `thing' defrosts with violent results and the survivors are faced with destroying man's only contact with alien life or being destroyed themselves.

Like many people (I assume) I saw the 80's remake before I saw the original, so I came to it with an idea already formed about what the `thing' meant to me. So it was good to step back to the original and see what made this film stand out from a raft of `reds in the bed' type sci-fi's that were around at the time. The plot is intelligent and interesting enough to sustain interest despite the fact that direct conflict with the thing is limited to a few key scenes. The tension is helped by the thing being sufficiently unseen to create a sense of unknown menace and the shadows are well placed.

The action can't compare to the remake in terms of effects, but it is well staged. As I just said, the limited view of the alien we have means it doesn't lose impact due to poor effects. One scene in particular is very good – the fire scene in the room. It is dramatic and well staged for maximum effect. If the film does have a weakness it is that it is a Hawks film. Most of his touches are good – the romantic banter, the group theme – but for me his political view was a tad heavy.

In many sci-fi's we see the aliens come to earth in peace and it is only mankind's own violence that puts us at risk. Here mankind attacks any alien immediately without any idea of peace or preserving the specimen. The only character who puts this line forward is made to look weak and foolish compared to the rest. No, Hawks is no dove! His line is that any outsiders must e treated with fear and dealt with as strongly as required. I don't agree with this line of reasoning so it took away from the film for me, but the rest of it was very enjoyable.

The acting is top rate – a mix of banter and B-movie, strong jawed American heroes! Overall this may be seen as dull or slow for the generation that has grown up on Kurt Russell freezing in the final scene but it is a classic in it's own right and is a much more accomplished piece of work for my money. Despite some weaknesses in Hawks personal beliefs this is a atmospheric and tense piece of sci-fi.


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