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Them! (1954)

Not Rated | | Horror, Sci-Fi | 19 June 1954 (USA)
3:17 | Trailer
The earliest atomic tests in New Mexico cause common ants to mutate into giant man-eating monsters that threaten civilization.


Gordon Douglas


Ted Sherdeman (screenplay), Russell S. Hughes (adaptation) (as Russell Hughes) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »





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)


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


AN ENDLESS TERROR! A NAMELESS HORROR! (Australian daybill) See more »


Horror | Sci-Fi


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Was originally to have been shot in 3-D. Some elements of the 3-D effects, such as the ants having extreme close-ups and the flame throwers shooting straight into the camera, were used. Although the second eye print was filmed, it was never struck,and likely destroyed later. See more »


The press conference given before martial law is declared in Los Angeles takes place at 5 pm on a Sunday, yet the street scenes seen during this time show people thronging the streets shopping, eating ice cream, and getting their shoes shined, all of which are doubtful activities to be taking place on a late Sunday afternoon, even in Los Angeles. See more »


Coroner Putnam: I finished the autopsy on Gramps Johnson. Do you want it technical or plain?
Trooper Capt. Fred Edwards: Just plain, Doc. Get to the verb.
Coroner Putnam: Well, Old Man Johnson could've died in any one of five ways: His neck and back were broken, his chest was crushed, his skull was fractured... and here's one for Sherlock Holmes - there was enough formic acid in him to kill twenty men.
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

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 »


Referenced in Eight Legged Freaks (2002) See more »

User Reviews

50's Sci-Fi Classic
28 November 2013 | by dougdoepkeSee all my reviews

No science-fiction library is complete without this 1954 classic, probably the best of the mutant creature craze. Sure, the special effects have long been eclipsed by digital, but the suspense holds up as LA mobilizes to defeat the giant killer ants in a battle of the sewers. The opening scenes are among the best of any era. I don't know how director Douglas got little Sandy Descher to emulate wide-eyed speechless shock, but from that moment on the tension rarely lets up. Then too, her single word eruption in the van may be the single scariest moment and a genuine inspiration on somebody's part. I guess it takes a big man to defeat big ants and thank goodness James Arness has switched to our side since menacing the North Pole in The Thing (1951). He, Whitmore, and Gwenn prove to be great pest exterminators though their methods are a little unorthodox, while poor pretty Joan Weldon sort of tags along after the guys in typical 50's style. Note the many nice touches from both the producer and director-- the well-stocked press conference, the army units deploying in the background, the humorous aside from the ugly guy in the hospital. These are the kind of additions that turn a good movie into a memorable one. It's certainly one I've remembered fondly since its enthusiastic 1954 reception, and so will you if you haven't seen it.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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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


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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