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The Thing from Another World (1951)

Not Rated | | Horror, Sci-Fi | 22 July 1951 (Brazil)
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ON DISC
Scientists and American Air Force officials fend off a bloodthirsty alien organism while at a remote arctic outpost.

Directors:

Christian Nyby, Howard Hawks (uncredited)

Writers:

Charles Lederer (screenplay), John W. Campbell Jr. (based on the story "Who Goes There?" by)
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Popularity
3,914 ( 401)
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Margaret Sheridan ... Nikki Nicholson
Kenneth Tobey ... Capt. Patrick Hendry
Robert Cornthwaite ... Dr. Arthur Carrington
Douglas Spencer ... Ned Scott
James Young ... Lt. Eddie Dykes
Dewey Martin ... Crew Chief Bob
Robert Nichols Robert Nichols ... Lt. Ken Erickson
William Self William Self ... Cpl. Barnes
Eduard Franz ... Dr. Stern
Sally Creighton Sally Creighton ... Mrs. Chapman
James Arness ... 'The Thing'
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Storyline

Scientists at an Arctic research station discover a spacecraft buried in the ice. Upon closer examination, they discover the frozen pilot. All hell breaks loose when they take him back to their station and he is accidentally thawed out! Written by KC Hunt <khunt@eng.morgan.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Where did it come from? How did it get here? What is it? Will it destroy us all? Can we escape it? (Newspaper ad). 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:

22 July 1951 (Brazil) See more »

Also Known As:

The Thing See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,600,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$4,251,000, 31 December 1951
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (re-issue) | (original US 16 mm television syndication prints)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie was Margaret Sheridan's film debut after Howard Hawks signed her to a five-year deal. However, her follow-on roles were less-than-stellar and Hawks often lent her out to friends exploring the new medium of television. She left Hollywood in 1955 to have a family, briefly returned in 1964 (resulting in two TV guest spots and an uncredited movie role) and finally retired from acting in 1965. See more »

Goofs

During the poker game in the officer's club, MacPherson starts to lay some money on the table, then seconds later, does it again. See more »

Quotes

Hendry: Wait a minute, Scotty. You won't need any boots. When it comes you go back with the others. You don't belong out here.
Ned "Scotty" Scott: I didn't belong at Alamein or Bougainville or Okinawa. I was just kibitzing. And I write a very good obit, a obituary to use.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Only technical and production credits precede the film, no acting credits. See more »

Alternate Versions

There is a version which shows Dr. Carrington wandering through his "nursery" of baby "things" on his way to the generator to shut it down as the others prepare to fry the creature. The "things" have grown to a height of over 12 inches. See more »


Soundtracks

Can't Get Out of This Mood
(uncredited)
Music by Jimmy McHugh
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

After a Half-Century, Still a Joy!
8 August 2003 | by cariartSee all my reviews

THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD...the title conjures up lurid images from the countless 'B' SciFi flicks of the 50s, but as many SF, Howard Hawks, and Classic Cinema fans can attest, this is no sleazy schlockfest, but one of the most entertaining and exciting films ever made, by one of Hollywood's greatest directors.

Yes, the credits list Christian Nyby as director, but Howard Hawks was on the set nearly every day, each scene has elements of style unique to Hawks, alone, and even the cast members, when interviewed, have said Hawks ran the entire show. Perhaps, as Science Fiction films were not highly regarded in the early 50s, he felt his reputation might suffer if he acknowledged his contribution; perhaps he thought it might help Nyby's credentials if he were given credit for this masterfully crafted tale. Who knows? But rest assured...this IS a Howard Hawks film!

The story, based on John Campbell's short story, 'Who Goes There?', is a nifty, claustrophobic tale of a group of soldiers and scientists in the Arctic, discovering a giant 'flying saucer' under the ice. When the ship blows up during the excavation, the 'pilot', a huge green chlorophyll-based humanoid (played by a young James Arness), is recovered, frozen in a block of ice. Bringing the ice-encased figure back to the base, it is then accidentally thawed out...and all Hell brakes loose!

While the cast lacks big-name stars, each actor is wonderful, delivering wryly funny Hawks' dialogue at a breakneck pace. The military commander, Capt. Hendry (Kenneth Tobey), is a no-nonsense boss, respected and lovingly chided by his men, led by Dewey Martin, who constantly try to 'set him up' with a pretty scientist he had 'struck out' with, on leave in Anchorage (Margaret Sheridan). She is now at the base, assisting brilliant yet blissfully naive Dr. Arthur Carrington (Robert Cornthwaite), who, naturally, assumes 'the Thing' is only homicidal because he is misunderstood! As the truly frightening potential of the creature reveals itself, it becomes a race against time to destroy it, before it kills everyone, leaves the base, and reproduces countless seedlings of itself to conquer the world!

The FX are low-budget, but very effective, as is the extensive use of light and shadow, sound effects, and an eerie Dimitri Tiomkin score. Unlike the benevolent 'visitors' of THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL, this alien doesn't warn of total annihilation as the final option, should we carry our nuclear weapons into space; it's ONLY agenda is to kill!

This is a truly amazing film, one that has aged little, and is every bit as enjoyable today as when it was released.

As the tag line to the film warns us, "Look to the sky..."


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