7.2/10
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232 user 98 critic

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 »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
James Whitmore ... 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
Christian Drake Christian Drake ... Trooper Ed Blackburn (as Chris Drake)
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:

A horror horde of crawl-and-crush giants clawing out of the earth from mile-deep catacombs! 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

The viewer never sees more than three giant ants at any one time. That is all that were constructed. See more »

Goofs

If food is scarce in the desert, then why did an ant merely kill Gramps Johnson and leave his body in the store, instead of taking it back to the colony to be eaten as had been the other three killed up that point? See more »

Quotes

Dr. Patricia 'Pat' Medford: [observing the tunnel walls] Look! Held together with saliva!
Police Sgt. Ben Peterson: Yeah! Spit's all that's holding me together right now, too.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Although the movie was shot in black and white, the film title at the opening credits appears blood red and blue! This was accomplished by Warner's Eastman Color process. 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

Featured in TCM Guest Programmer: 20 Fan Programmers (2014) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Highly recommended 50's giant bug film
8 September 2005 | by StanleyStrangeloveSee all my reviews

Them stars James Whitmore as New Mexico Police Sgt. Ben Peterson who discovers a little girl wandering in the desert. He finds her trailer ripped apart and her parents missing. Casts of the strange footprints found at the crime scene are sent to a lab where they catch the attention of father/daughter doctors Medford (Edmund Gwenn and Joan Weldon) who come to New Mexico along with FBI agent Robert Graham (James Arness) to investigate. Dr. Medford has a theory but won't tell Peterson or Graham until he has more proof.

If you are a fan of sci-fi films, Them is one of the four essential sci-fi films of the 1950s along with The Thing, Day the Earth Stood Still, and Invasion of the Body Snatchers. It's part crime story, part sci-fi, part horror with crisp dialog and it moves along at a brisk pace. Veteran director Gordon Douglas put together a solid cast of actors and the characters are totally believable. The story is interesting and the sets are outstanding.

Them was a box office hit in 1954 and it still holds up today if you can forgive the special effects. Them is a movie where any remake would always pale with the original. Highly recommended.


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