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The Thing from Another World (1951)

Approved | | Horror, Sci-Fi | 7 April 1951 (USA)
1:35 | Trailer
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)
4,254 ( 340)
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 <khunt@eng.morgan.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


WHAT IS IT? (original print ad - all caps) See more »


Horror | Sci-Fi


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Scotty (Douglas Spencer) mentions being at the execution of Ruth Snyder and Judd Gray. This was a real case. The couple were tried for, and convicted of, the murder of Snyder's husband in 1927 and were executed in New York by the electric chair. See more »


Beginning at 1:12:17 and lasting through 1:12:53 when kerosene is splashed on the Thing, the tea pot on the stove continually changes positions. The coffee pot moves twice. See more »


Hendry: Wait a minute, Scotty. You won't need any boots. When it comes you go back with the others. You don't belong out here.
Ned "Scotty" Scott: I didn't belong at Alamein or Bougainville or Okinawa. I was just kibitzing. And I write a very good obit, a obituary to use.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Alternate Versions

There is a version which shows Dr. Carrington wandering through his "nursery" of baby "things" on his way to the generator to shut it down as the others prepare to fry the creature. The "things" have grown to a height of over 12 inches. See more »


Referenced in The Thing (1982) See more »


The Dying Cowboy aka Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie
Portion whistled by William Self
See more »

User Reviews

The Thing from another World 1951
22 December 2013 | by fred_philSee all my reviews

One of a very few movies I would rate a 10. It's perfection was mostly due a Charles Ledera script based on the story "Who Goes There?" and the director talents of Christian Nyby and Howard Hawks. The cast was marvelous.

The opening scene of the reporter Scotty walking his way through blizzard like snow and below zero temperature to enter a warm and cozy officers club is special. The beautiful soft music of the late 40's plays as Mr. Scott warms up by the fireplace. We get introductions underway to the main characters, pilot Captain Henry and his flying mates. A page by the general for the Captain and we are off to join a group of scientists at the north pole to explore a mysterious plane crash.

Some of the scenes at the North poll station scared the pants off me when I first saw the movie. In between the scary stuff Captain Henry and a secretary Nikki added a few romantic moments, one scene with a band playing "A lovely way to spend an evening". It's a shame that the movie sound track had none of the soft music numbers that also played in the mess hall scenes.

A great ending had me "looking at the skies" for years after.

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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)
See more on IMDbPro »

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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