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The Thing (1982)

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A research team in Antarctica is hunted by a shape-shifting alien that assumes the appearance of its victims.

Director:

John Carpenter

Writers:

Bill Lancaster (screenplay), John W. Campbell Jr. (story)
Popularity
335 ( 176)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kurt Russell ... MacReady
Wilford Brimley ... Dr. Blair (as A. Wilford Brimley)
T.K. Carter ... Nauls
David Clennon ... Palmer
Keith David ... Childs
Richard Dysart ... Dr. Copper
Charles Hallahan ... Vance Norris
Peter Maloney ... George Bennings
Richard Masur ... Clark
Donald Moffat ... Garry
Joel Polis ... Fuchs
Thomas G. Waites ... Windows (as Thomas Waites)
Norbert Weisser ... Norwegian
Larry Franco ... Norwegian Passenger with Rifle
Nate Irwin Nate Irwin ... Helicopter Pilot
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Storyline

A US research station, Antarctica, early-winter 1982. The base is suddenly buzzed by a helicopter from the nearby Norwegian research station. They are trying to kill a dog that has escaped from their base. After the destruction of the Norwegian chopper the members of the US team fly to the Norwegian base, only to discover them all dead or missing. They do find the remains of a strange creature the Norwegians burned. The Americans take it to their base and deduce that it is an alien life form. After a while it is apparent that the alien can take over and assimilate into other life forms, including humans, and can spread like a virus. This means that anyone at the base could be inhabited by The Thing, and tensions escalate. Written by grantss

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Anytime. Anywhere. Anyone. See more »

Genres:

Horror | Mystery | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Norwegian

Release Date:

25 June 1982 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

John Carpenter's The Thing See more »

Filming Locations:

Juneau, Alaska, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,107,897, 27 June 1982, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$13,782,838
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (VHS)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo (35 mm prints)| 70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

(at around 41 mins) The computer sequence showing how the alien takes over its prey was designed by John C. Wash, a friend of John Carpenter's from USC, who also designed the opening computer graphics in Escape from New York (1981). During an early test screening, someone made a note that those type of graphics and the program didn't exist at the time. Likewise, Carpenter and Kurt Russell remember playing a lot of Pong (1972) on set. See more »

Goofs

(at around 1h 23 mins) When one of the characters turns into the thing, he flies upward onto the ceiling, causing the panel to break apart, but in the next shot the panel is undamaged. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
MacReady: Poor baby, you're starting to lose it.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The version broadcast on television in the eighties ended with a few shots of a dog running, stopping to look around and heading off into the distance, leading the spectator to believe the Thing had survived. Also, the scene where a man's head tears itself apart from his body, grows legs and eyes and runs off, was cut. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Film Geek (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

One Chain Don't Make No Prison
(uncredited)
Performed by The Four Tops
Courtesy of MCA Records, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Today it's still one of the best horror films
11 July 2005 | by StibbertSee all my reviews

Antarctica, winter 1982. The team on an American research base get surprised by a couple of mad Norwegians who is chasing a dog with a helicopter, trying to kill it. All the Norwegians are killed and the Americans are left with nothing, but a dog, a couple of bodies and questions. That's the beginning of the greatest horror/thriller film I've ever seen.

From the very beginning all to the end you feel the tense, paranoid mood. Helpless and alone out in no-mans land. Ennio Morricone was nominated for a Razzie Award for his score. Why I don't know 'cause as far as I can see his score is simple, creepy and very good. It really gets you in the right mood.

The acting is great! The best performance is probably given by the dog who's just amazing. As for Russell and the others on two legs I can say nothing less.

You may think 1982 and special effects are not the most impressive? Well, think again! You haven't seen it all until you've seen this. Bodyparts falling off and creatures changing forms... Rob Bottin has done a great job witch today stands as a milestone is special effects makeup.

The movie didn't get a big response when it first hit the big screen due to other alien films at the time and so it's not very well known. In fact you can almost consider it an unknown movie. Nobody I've asked have heard of it. However the movie has managed to survive for over twenty years as a cult film on video and DVD. Twenty years is a long time and except for the haircut the movie is still pretty much up to date. This movie is to be considered a classic.

The movie is without doubt one of my, if not my favorite. I've seen it several times, but it's just as good as the first time I saw it. As a Norwegian the only thing I don't like about this movie is that MacReady keeps calling the Norwegians swedes!


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