7.2/10
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244 user 102 critic

Them! (1954)

Not Rated | | Horror, Sci-Fi | 19 June 1954 (USA)
Trailer
3:17 | Trailer
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
3,626 ( 1,958)
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:

FANTASTIC MONSTERS ATTACK EARTH! (original ad - all caps) 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

While James Arness starred in this movie, his brother Peter Graves (born Peter Aurness) later starred in one of its many imitators, Beginning of the End (1957). See more »

Goofs

Sergeant Peterson states "so is the disappearance and murder of five people, doctor", but only four of the five murdered had actually disappeared. See more »

Quotes

[Tom Lodge has been found dead, mutilated, with his two young sons missing]
Robert Graham: Mrs. Lodge, was your husband accustomed to taking his boys out so early in the morning?
Mrs. Lodge: [grief-stricken] On Sundays. Tom works on Sundays from 9:00 to 7:00, an extra job he has. He works so hard for us, he doesn't have much time to spend with Jerry and Mike. That's why the three of them get up early on Sundays to go spend someplace to play together for a few hours.
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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

Older television prints show the title card in the opening credits in black-and-white only; current prints have restored the title "Them" in colour, with a black-and-white background, as it was presented during the film's original theatrical showings. See more »

Connections

Featured in Gothika (2003) See more »

User Reviews

 
B-Grade but a real "Lord of the Things"!
1 January 2005 | by pwoods1See all my reviews

As has been my habit of late, I'm catching-up on old movies I remember from my youth seen on the screen at the time of release or remembered from '60s-'80s replays on late-night television. Watching them on a widescreen TV in DVD format with surround sound and, of course, with the benefit of hindsight, it becomes a whole new experience.

THEM! is a wonderful Cold-War era movie which manages, without trying, to prove that modern SF blockbusters owe much to their (especially) '50s progenitors. Given the limited budget of B-Grade movies they manage to thrill across the generations - even while remakes and plagiaristic sequences abound and dazzle contemporary audiences.

The 'storm-drain' sequence in T2 is a prime example, as is the 'egg burning' scenario in ALIEN, complete with flamethrowers. You saw them first in THEM!, folks. The 'isolated and mysteriously-wrecked gas station/general store' is another stolen moment from THEM! and has appeared in many movies - even the X-FILES. Wearing the flame-retardant suits and the breathing-apparatuses to attack 'the nest' pops up in EVOLUTION. And so it goes.

There are some excellent actors in this film - most of whom are B-Grade stalwarts (James Whitmore and James Arness for example) - and they play it straight. No 'camping-it-up' for these heroes! I even spotted a young Leonard Nimoy as an Airforce sergeant. Fess Parker as the confused witness of the 'ant-shaped UFOs' offers both light-hearted humour and the prototype for the innocent caught in a cover-up: he's left in the mental hospital as a deranged psychotic as per the suggestion put to his doctor. How many times have we seen this since? Even the little girl, a traumatised survivor of the attack on her parents' trailer-home, has resonances in the character of a similar survivor in ALIENS.

OK, the irradiated monsters/ants are pretty hokey, but see my remark re small budgets. CGI didn't exist then.

I'd place this production alongside such classics as INVADERS FROM MARS and the British QUATERMASS (trilogy?) which also terrorised my generation. We were children in a time when the world seemed doomed to nuclear destruction and our homes ripe for invasion by THEM!, regardless of who (yes, I know, the Communists) or what (monsters created by our cavalier use of technology) would be invading. And, strangely, nothing has changed, except that postmodern children seem to have lost their innocence in a demonstrably violent and insane milieu. As I stated before, these movies, in hindsight have lost none of their power. The themes remain the same.


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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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