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


Christian Nyby, Howard Hawks (uncredited)


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





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'


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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Science-Fiction at its Blood-Curdling Best (1954 Release) See more »


Horror | Sci-Fi


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


James Arness and John Dierkes were 6' 6" tall. But the handsome Arness was chosen to play the monster instead of the much more raw-boned, and cadaverous Dierkes. See more »


When Bob the crew chief fires his gun at the greenhouse door. Six bullet holes appear in the door. But there were only three shots fired - 3 muzzle flashes and 3 ejected cartridges can be seen coming from the gun. See more »


Hendry: [getting ready to go in after The Thing] Ready, Bob?
Bob, Crew Chief: No, but go ahead and open it.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Alternate Versions

Some editions include a scene between Captain Hendry and Nikki right before the Thing escapes. In the scene Hendry "allows" Nikki to tie his hands behind his back. When she tries to give him a drink he slips free grabs her and kisses her. The film then cuts to the Thing in the storage room. This scene is included on the Region 1 DVD release. See more »


A Lovely Way to Spend an Evening
Music by Jimmy McHugh
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User Reviews

Great Howard Hawks production marks this 50's Sci Fi Classic as a must see...
30 May 2002 | by lrcdmnhd72See all my reviews

A scientific expedition, located near the North Pole, sends an urgent message to an Air Force Base in Anchorage, Alaska reporting the near-by crash of a very large, unknown, object and requesting immediate assistance. Air Force Captain Pat Hendry, and his crew, then depart to this expeditionary site. Upon arrival, Captain Hendry meets Dr. Carrington, who's in charge. Preliminary scientific evidence rules out the possibility of a meteor. Also, since this crash, a lot of atmospheric and magnetic disturbance has been generated, making radio communications and aircraft navigation difficult, if not impossible. AT this point, Captain Hendry and his crew, along with Dr Carrington with some members of his staff, depart to the crash scene about 50 miles away. Upon arrival, part of an aircraft structure is protruding above the ice and appears to be "alien" in origin. Attempts to remove this aircraft, using thermal "thermite" heat bombs proves unsuccessful. This "Flying Saucer" is destroyed, but its occupant is thrown clear and becomes frozen under the ice. This body is then removed and taken back to this expeditionary site and put in cold storage. Everything appears to be under control until an unforseen accident occurs endangering not only the lives ov everyone at this expeditionary site, but all human and animal life on the entire face of planet Earth. There are some lighter sides to this Sci Fi drama. I enjoy the good natured kidding that Captain Hendry receives from his men after his girl friend pins an embarrassing not on his chest while he's asleep giving everybody ample opportunity to read it. I also get a kick out of the newspaper reporter Ned "Scotty" Scott's on going battle with Captain Hendry in trying to obtain permission to broadcastcast his "Flying Saucer" story to the media and Captain Hendry's refusal to let him until offical Air Force clearance can be given. Also, keep an eye out for George Fennamen, from Groucho Marx's old TV quiz show "You Bet Your Life."

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Release Date:

7 April 1951 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Thing See more »


Box Office


$1,600,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (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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