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Them! (1954)

Not Rated | | Horror, Sci-Fi | 19 June 1954 (USA)
The earliest atomic tests in New Mexico cause common ants to mutate into giant man-eating monsters that threaten civilization.

Director:

Gordon Douglas

Writers:

Ted Sherdeman (screenplay), Russell S. Hughes (adaptation) (as Russell Hughes) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
James Whitmore ... Police Sgt. Ben Peterson
Edmund Gwenn ... Dr. Harold Medford
Joan Weldon ... Dr. Patricia Medford
James Arness ... Robert Graham
Onslow Stevens ... Brig. Gen. Robert O'Brien
Sean McClory ... Maj. Kibbee
Chris Drake ... Trooper Ed Blackburn
Sandy Descher ... The Ellinson Girl
Mary Alan Hokanson Mary Alan Hokanson ... Mrs. Lodge (as Mary Ann Hokanson)
Don Shelton Don Shelton ... Trooper Capt. Fred Edwards
Fess Parker ... Alan Crotty
Olin Howland ... Jensen (as Olin Howlin)
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Storyline

In the New Mexico desert, Police Sgt. Ben Peterson and his partner find a child wandering in the desert and sooner they discover that giant ants are attacking the locals. FBI agent Robert Graham teams up with Ben and with the support of Dr. Harold Medford and his daughter Dr. Patricia 'Pat' Medford, they destroy the colony of ants in the middle of the desert. Dr. Harold Medford explains that the atomic testing in 1945 developed the dangerous mutant ants. But they also discover that two queen ants have flown away to Los Angeles and they are starting a huge colony in the underground of the city. When a mother reports that her two children are missing, the team and the army have a lead to follow. Will they arrive in time to save the children and destroy the colony? Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

AN ENDLESS TERROR! A NAMELESS HORROR! (Australian daybill) 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:

19 June 1954 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Them See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Regarding the "S.S. Viking" incident, there was no cruiser named "U.S.S. Milwaukee" in commission in the US Navy at the time this film was made. The last ship so named was an Omaha-class light cruiser (CL-5) which was commissioned in 1923 and scrapped in 1949 after service in World War II in both the U.S. and Soviet navies. The next ship named "Milwaukee" would be a Wichita-class replenishment oiler (AOR-2) that would be in service from 1969 until her decommissioning in 1994. Her name was stricken from the Navy's list in 1997, and as of 2007, she is awaiting final disposal at the James River Reserve Fleet, Fort Eustis, VA. See more »

Goofs

While the Army is searching the storm drains of Los Angeles for the new nest of giant ants, they are seen to be using radios for communication. Radios do not work underground - especially in reinforced concrete tunnels. See more »

Quotes

Robert Graham: Is's the only job you ever had?
Railroad Yard Watchman: Yes, sir. I've been with the railroad thirty years and never a blot against my record.
Robert Graham: Well, the yard cop seems to think you made a deal not to see that car broken into.
Railroad Yard Watchman: Pfah! What kind of sense does that make? Is sugar a rare cargo? Is there a black market for it? Did you ever hear of a fence for hot sugar? If I was gonna make a deal with crooks to steal somethin', it wouldn't be for forty tons of sugar. And I'll swear I didn't hear a thing Friday night.
See more »

Alternate Versions

A 2-3 minute segment following the projection sequence was excised from the film in the mid-50s following a lawsuit from a real-life scientist whose name was used in the story for a fictional explanation of atomic energy effects on ants. The scene was removed from the negative and has not been restored though it has turned up in some collector's prints. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Alligator Author (2007) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Gordon Douglas' film was the epitome of the big-bug films…
23 February 2009 | by Nazi_Fighter_DavidSee all my reviews

The marauding ants in "Naked Jungle," advancing across a desert, are matched by the monsters in "Them!" coming out through mists of the white sands of New Mexico after an atomic blast has increased them to giants…

Slowly people start to go missing and the news filters though to the nearest towns that the arid plateau can present a real threat as strange creepy whistles are coming out from that deep desert…

Rather than an atomic movie, the film is about the struggle between humans and species revolt which invade their cities and show their remarkable energy, tenacity and vulnerability…

Just as the Gill Man can only be driven back when he has isolated far from his natural element, the monster ants are all powerful in their own territory and none too easy to destroy outside it…

"Them!" is well acted, frightening, and engaging from start to finish… The cast is pretty damn good, especially James Whitmore as the pretty intelligent cop who found a five year old girl, aimlessly walking through the terrain of the desert— miles from her family's wrecked travel trailer—unresponsive by some catastrophe...

"Them!" is a well-made monster movie, an instant classic nominated for an Oscar for its effects…


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