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The Thing from Another World (1951)

Not Rated | | Horror, Sci-Fi | 22 July 1951 (Brazil)
Scientists and American Air Force officials fend off a bloodthirsty alien organism while at a remote arctic outpost.

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

(screenplay), (based on the story "Who Goes There?" by)
Reviews
Popularity
3,523 ( 237)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
... Nikki Nicholson
... Capt. Patrick Hendry
... Dr. Arthur Carrington
... Ned Scott
... Lt. Eddie Dykes
... Crew Chief Bob
Robert Nichols ... Lt. Ken Erickson
William Self ... Cpl. Barnes
... Dr. Stern
Sally Creighton ... Mrs. Chapman
... '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:

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

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 July 1951 (Brazil)  »

Also Known As:

Howard Hawks' Production The Thing from Another World  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,600,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$4,251,000, 31 December 1951
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

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

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Howard Hawks asked the U.S. Air Force for assistance in making the film. He was refused, because the top brass felt that such cooperation would compromise the U.S. government's official stance that U.F.O.s didn't exist. See more »

Goofs

Near the end of the film, when the Thing breaks through the door to confront the airmen for the last time, the wood planks that had been used to reinforce the door are broken off and dispersed. Then the camera quickly cuts to the airmen and then back to the Thing. Only now there is a new large piece of wood that appears next to the Thing, which he proceeds to pick up. This piece of wood was not there when he initially broke through the door. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Arthur Carrington: Well Captain, can we start now?
Hendry: You mind telling me where we're going, Doctor?
Dr. Arthur Carrington: Forty-eight miles due east from here.
Hendry: Your message said an airplane had crashed. Is that what we're looking for?
Dr. Arthur Carrington: I don't know, Captain.
Hendry: I think you'd better explain, Doctor.
Dr. Arthur Carrington: Oh, I'm sorry. Miss Nicholson, would you mind reading Captain Hendry my first notes?
Nikki: Surely.
Dr. Arthur Carrington: I was thinking only of the vagueness of my information. I dislike being vague.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Will Mankind Prevail? Or will we all become produce?
8 December 2003 | by See all my reviews

This fast paced thriller set in an Arctic research outpost has the familiar elements for the 1950's sci-fi movie: a hideous monster unleashed upon mankind, the U.S. military trying to cope with it, and the ever present scientist who wants a chance to glean the "wonders of the Universe" from said creature, all at the same time.

Howard Hawks' adaptation of John Campbell Jr.'s short story, "Wh o Goes There?" may not be completely faithful, but nonetheless, the suspenseful plot about an Arctic research team's discovery of a recently landed spaceship embedded in the ice, and more importantly, it's lone occupant is still gripping today.

When this frozen alien carcass is accidentally thawed out back inside the research station, all hell breaks loose. As soon as the Air Force contingent(led by Kenneth Tobey) realizes that their visitor from space is bent on "feeding" on the human residents there, a "cat and mouse" situation is set up.The Thing is first repelled out into the Arctic blizzard, giving the lead scientist (Robert Cornthwaite) enough time to theorize that it's a highly evolved vegetable from outer space, and therefore, MUST be advanced enough to impart the answers to all man's questions if given a chance to communicate.

Therein lies a major conflict between the Air Force personnel and this scientist... the military sees The Thing as a threat, and the scientist sees The Thing as a fountain of knowledge in disguise. Some disguise! James Arness plays the E.T. visitor which appears at key moments through the film as a menacing humanoid with unusual claw-like hands, and though it is inferred that it is vegetable rather than animal, you're left to your imagination as to what exactly the creature is composed of. The brief encounters with the Thing as it returns from the unseen depths of the storm to feed on human blood is heralded with the ominous ticking of the crew's Geiger counter. Tension mounts as it draws nearer and nearer to the vulnerable wooden buildings of the outpost.

Once it has been revealed that Science wants to "protect" the Thing (as the Dr. Carrington has planted seedlings from the Thing's tissue remains into their greenhouse lab for an eerie result of reproduction), the military binds together with a plot to destroy It.

Although lacking in modern sophistication and effects, this film allows the viewer to be marooned with the hapless research and Air Force crew to face an Unknown, a common enemy... a theme so highly epitomized by the McCarthy era of anti-Communism that engulfed the nation at that time. I say this will always be a classic unto itself, and though not in any way comparable to John Carpenter's 1982 re-make in terms of gore, horror and psychological perspective, it still carries its own due to the snappy script and sense of foreboding.


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