7.2/10
18,364
228 user 95 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 ... 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:

The Amazing New Warner Bros. Sensation! 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

Warner Brothers initially passed on this picture and expressed little interest. However, when Paramount offered to pick it up, Warners dropped their objection, although they eventually eliminated the 3-D and color aspects. It's hard to understand their little faith in the picture, since The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, Ray Harryhausen's first solo effort, had been one of Warner's biggest hits just the year before (1953). See more »

Goofs

The first aerial shot of the ant nest, which is supposedly in the middle of empty desert, reveals not only a well-maintained road but at least 3 clean parked cars within a hundred feet of the as-yet undiscovered nest. See more »

Quotes

Robert Graham: And I thought today was the end of them.
Dr. Harold Medford: No. We haven't seen the end of them. We've only had a close view of the beginning of what may be the end of us.
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 »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Often imitated, rarely bettered.
23 April 2008 | by SpikeopathSee all my reviews

Weird deaths are occurring in the New Mexico desert, it is revealed to be the work of giant mutated ants born out of the "A Bomb" tests that took place there. Trouble escalates to the big city of Los Angeles when one of the giant queen ants escapes to L.A. and starts laying eggs that could lead to the end of mankind as we know it.

This is a cautionary tale about scientific tampering fused with a Cold War theme of destroying a threat to the country. Boasting some wonderful scenes such as the first desert encounter (cloaked in a sandstorm) and the final underground battle, Them! is a truly enjoyable viewing experience. It oozes the right amount of paranoia that became ever more prominent as the nuclear age began grow. The puppetry and special effects on show is of a very high standard for the time (well done Academy Award Nominee Ralph Ayres), and the direction from Gordon Douglas is one of the better efforts in the genre.

The tight story vanquishes any gripes about the plausibility factor, while the acting is, perhaps given the type of genre piece it is, of a surprisingly good standard. With James Whitmore, Edmund Gwenn, and Joan Weldon giving it a bit of oopmh. It went on to become Warner Brothers highest grossing film in 1954, and it's really not hard to see why. Because this firmly stands up as one of the better films of what is sadly a much maligned genre. 8/10


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