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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Popularity
3,970 ( 2,285)
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 ... Trooper Ed Blackburn (as Chris Drake)
Sandy Descher ... The Ellinson Girl
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:

KILL ONE - AND TWO TAKE ITS PLACE (Australian daybill) See more »

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is the film that set the often used scene of the chief scientist showing a documentary film outlining the scientific basis for the sci-fi menace. See more »

Goofs

Robert Graham's right arm is on the back of Dr. Pat Medford. In the next shot, his arm is at his side. See more »

Quotes

Police Sgt. Ben Peterson: [appraising the ruination of a trailer] This wasn't caved in, it was caved out.
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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

Referenced in Rewind This! (2013) See more »

User Reviews

 
One of the best of the 1950's science fiction golden age
11 July 2005 | by mbryanbookSee all my reviews

This is the kind of stuff I grew up on as a kid, watching science fiction and horror movies on TV which had been originally released in the 1940s and 50s. The 1950s was a golden age of science fiction movies, and THEM! was one of the very best. Good casting, dialog, and storyline, and commendable special effects for the time. Although the "atomic-radiation-causing-terrible-mutations" was a standard device in 50s sci fi (THE DEADLY MANTIS, IT CAME FROM BENEATH THE SEA, and others), it was a workable one, and given that the ants were from the same area of desert where the first atomic blast occurred, it had just enough plausibility. I also like the little touches of humor and banter between characters. There was even a little bit of cheesecake when the young Dr. Medford (Joan Weldon) gets her skirt caught when descended from the plane, revealing a pair of shapely legs. This is one I keep going back to on rainy Saturday afternoons! A gem of its kind.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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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:

1.33 : 1
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