7.3/10
17,418
216 user 92 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 »
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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 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

The camera Dr. Pat Medford (Joan Weldon) was using in the helicopter was a Stereo Realist, which was a 35mm format stereoscopic (3-D) still camera. This is both perfectly natural and ironic, since the film itself was originally planned as a 3-D release. See more »

Goofs

The Thompson Submachine Gun (TSMG) that Robert Graham (James Arness) uses in the LA sewers is a Model 1928, which had the cocking handle on the top of the receiver, and also had a compensator at the end of the barrel. The Military model of the TSMG at the time was the M1A1, which had the cocking handle on the side of the receiver and had no compensator. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Patricia 'Pat' Medford: [Looking at the walls of the gas saturated ant colony] Look. Held together with saliva
Police Sgt. Ben Peterson: Spit's the only thing holding me together!
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

 
Sci-fi Classic
17 January 2005 | by AwesomeWolfSee all my reviews

If I were to write a review something along the lines of: "Them! is awesome because it depicts giant irradiated ants, and giant irradiated ants are cool", I'd probably be shot. Either way, 'Them!' is a great movie.

'Them!, to my knowledge, would be one of the earliest sci-fi movies to look at the consequences of nuclear technology. 'The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms' was released a year earlier in 1953, and 'Gojira' was released months after 'Them!', and arguably became the most successful of the three, but don't discount the impact 'Them!' had.

The film opens in New Mexico. Several people seem to bitten the desert dust when some police officers find the prototype for Newt from 'Aliens'. After an investigation, a nest of giant ants is discovered. The ants were mutated by atomic testing, and are responsible for the local deaths.

Like the 'Beast From 20,000 Fathoms' and 'Gojira', 'Them!' played on Cold War fears of the consequences of using nuclear weapons. The story may not be as relevant today as it was during the 50s, but as a student of history I find it rather interesting. And as a fan of action and sci-fi, 'Them!' has obviously had influences on 'Aliens', 'Starship Troopers', 'Terminator 2', and other movies.

'Them!' is a great sci-fi movie. It is a shame that many people my age would avoid it due to its age, it being in black and white, and not having special-effects on the level of the 'Matrix' - 9/10


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