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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:

This city is under martial law until we annihilate THEM! 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 sound that the giant ants make as they approach their prey is a recorded chorus of bird-voiced tree frogs (Hyla avivoca) of the southeastern U.S. Occasionally, a gray tree frog (Hyla chrysoscelis) can be heard on the soundtrack as well, as these species can often be heard together at the same wetland. These distinctive whistling-type sounds were re-used in various other films in the years that followed, particularly in Mohawk (1956) and The Black Scorpion (1957). See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Dr. Harold Medford: None of the ants previously seen by man were more than an inch in length - most considerably under that size. But even the most minute of them have an instinct and talent for industry, social organization, and savagery that makes man look feeble by comparison.
See more »

Connections

Edited into Encounters at the End of the World (2007) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The best giant bug movie ever
7 March 2006 | by Dave (freaky_dave)See all my reviews

Them was the best giant bug movie. It was about giant ants and started a horde of pathetic clones that followed it, but none have even come close to matching this movie's effectiveness.

Atomic testing in New Mexico that went on in 1945 creates a horde of giant ants. It is up to a group of scientists, a police officer, and the military to stop these creatures from spreading throughout the USA and killing off the human race.

This movie is not only a horror movie, but it also makes a point about the dangers of atomic testing. Much like Japan's Godzilla, Them finds nothing good in radiation testing or atomic bombs. There is even a monologue at the end of the movie which explains that things have changed now that we have entered the Atomic age.

James Whitmore, James Arness, Joan Weldon, and Edmund Gwenn give good performances as the heroes who are out to save mankind, along with the U.S. military police. The pacing was rather good as well, slowing down when things need to be explained, and then picking up when the giant ants are on screen.

Though the special effects seem cheesy by todays standards, I thought they were rather effective in this movie and memorable for 1954. This movie definitely looks best in black and white because it adds a haunting feeling to the desolation of the desert where the creatures are first found, and it also makes other scenes in the movie seem darker and sinister. Definitely a thumbs up in my opinion.


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