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The Thing from Another World
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Thing from Another World, The (DVD)
With its modest special effects, lean plot, and small cast of lesser stars, this 1951 thriller remains a sturdy blueprint for fusing horror and science fiction. The formula has been employed countless times since, fleshed out with more extensive and elaborate production values, and manned by higher profiled marquee names, but the results have yet to improve on The Thing from Another World, Howard Hawks's lone foray into sci-fi.
The story begins as military airmen are dispatched to a remote Arctic research station where scientists have detected the crash of a spacecraft. An effort to retrieve the saucer-shaped vehicle fails, but the team returns to the station with the frozen body of its sole occupant. When the extraterrestrial pilot is accidentally thawed, the crew, headed by a tough-talking pilot (Kenneth Tobey), grapples with a massive, chlorophyll-based humanoid (James Arness) thirsty for blood and in no mood for galactic diplomacy.
Hawks takes only a production credit for this low-budget exercise, but his filmmaking style transcends Christian Nyby's nominal direction: rapid-fire, overlapping dialogue, an ensemble of comrades whose professionalism is tempered by wisecracks, and unsentimental female characters (embodied by feisty romantic interest Margaret Sheridan) recall Hawks's signature works, while propelling the plot over any potential gaps in credibility. It's hardly surprising, then, that The Thing from Another World remains among the most influential science fiction movies ever shot, or that it remains exciting entertainment a half century later. --Sam Sutherland --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
But not everyone knows that Campbell's novella was adapted once before, but less faithfully. "The Thing From Another World" is a smart, surprisingly progressive sci-fi movie with strong writing and well-developed characters, but it does stray from Campbell's story... which causes a few massive plotholes regarding the alien.
An Air Force crew is sent to a remote outpost in Alaska, since the scientist Dr. Carrington (Robert Cornthwaite) has found a mysterious object that fell from the sky. It turns out to be a UFO, which explodes when the men try to blast it out of the ice. But they do find an alien creature frozen in the ice, which they drag back to the base.
Only problem is, the alien isn't dead. When it thaws out, it goes on a rampage through the base, drinking the blood of the sled dogs and trying to bash in the heads of the people there. Dr. Carrington insists that the creature is intelligent and must be kept alive at all costs, but Captain Hendry (Kenneth Tobey) knows that the only chance is to kill it.
"The Thing From Another World" isn't very faithful to Campbell's original novella -- the main change is that the alien is a mindless vegetable life-form instead of a shape-shifter. This dispenses with the sense of paranoia, and it also opens a massive plot hole. If the alien is a lumbering Frankensteinian bulk with no discernible intelligent, how did it pilot a complicated interstellar spacecraft?!Read more ›
Ably directed by Howard Hawks and with a great cast this thriller/chiller takes us far up north to a snowy and lonely USAF outpost.From the outset we are treated to some characters who seem like they could be someone you know.The use of over-lapping dialogue and read in a relaxed and understated way enhances their "normalcy" and that of the entire atmosphere making it much more believable.
When something crashes a few miles from the station an investigative party is put together and into action.What they find astonishes them.....an object round and big has crashed into the ice with a small part of it sticking forth from its' icy tomb.When they try to blast it out with thermite explosives they inadvertently blow up their precious find but soon after discover something was thrown out of the craft.They dig it out of the ice and take it back to the station where some disagreements over the disposition of their haul erupt between the military,the scientists and the press.In the meantime the ice encased "treasure" is accidenatlly unthawed and starts roaming the local environs and apparently it isn't in a happy mood!
The movie at this point forward is one tense moment after another as the charachters' and OUR nerves are on constant edge wondering where their "friend" is and where it will strike next.
It's a fight to the finish with some questions answered and others not, both practical and ethical.
On the technical side this is a fine grain print and crisp transfer.The contrast could have been improved somewhat but the sound is very good.
In conclusion this is one of a select few movies of this period(see my other reviews)that definitely belong in the classic category and on YOUR movie shelf.
Kenneth Tobey stars as Captain Patrick Hendry, the by-the-book, courageous leader of the Air Force team sent in to investigate the crash of the spacecraft. Robert Cornthwaite plays Dr. Carrington, the scientist who wants to preserve the Thing because he holds progress in science above all else. Douglas Spencer plays journalist, Scotty, who wants to break the big news to the world. Margaret Sheridan plays Nikki, the love interest for Captain Hendry. Hendry's crew includes James Young, Dewey Martin, Robert Nichols, and William Self. James Arness of future Gunsmoke fame plays the Thing. The movie also stars Eduard Franz, John Dierkes, Nicholas Bryon, George Fenneman, and Paul Frees. The DVD offers fullscreen presentation and the theatrical trailer. For an exciting, well-made horror/scifi movie, check out The Thing from Another World!
Most recent customer reviews
Could not play movie in my DVD player as it was an import versionPublished 9 days ago by Steve Lambert
Très bon film de science-fiction. Pour l'époque, le scénario était original et intelligent. Il a donné lieu au remake de John Carpenter en 1982.Published 10 months ago by Lucie Boutet
This is one of those great movies that you can watch over and over again. It is one of the greatest!Published on Aug. 12 2013 by Brian Doyle
What I was looking forward to was seeing James Arness (Gunsmoke) as The Thing. It's an interesting yarn with scary moments.Published on May 15 2013 by Scarberian
un film de howard hawks et christian nyby 1951.une expédition scientifique américaine,installée au pôle nord,decouvre un ovni ecrasé sur la calotte... Read morePublished on Sept. 16 2009 by babar54
Just have to put my two cents worth in. I love this movie and don't care what others have to say. I know it's been picked apart for it's aparent statements about the political... Read morePublished on Sept. 17 2008 by Paul Boudreau
If ever there was an example of less is more, this film is it for it lets one's mind, the greatest special effects instrument ever, conjure up the alien more than any computer... Read morePublished on Aug. 28 2006 by William B. Perry
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