Film Review – THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD (1951)

Thing from Another World, The (1951; USA; B&W; 87m) ∗∗∗∗½  d. Christian Nyby; w. Charles Lederer; ph. Russell Harlan; m. Dimitri Tiomkin.  Cast: Kenneth Tobey, Margaret Sheridan, Robert Cornthwaite, Douglas Spencer, James R. Young, Dewey Martin, Robert Nichols, Eduard Franz, John Dierkes, William Self, Sally Creighton, Edmond Breon, Paul Frees, David McMahon, James Arness. Scientists and American Air Force officials fend off a blood-thirsty alien organism while at a remote Arctic outpost. Although it plays loose with the source material this is a tense, well scripted and acted sci-fi that bears all the hallmarks of producer Hawks despite being directed by his long-time editor Nyby. Arness in heavy make-up is “The Thing” and Spencer’s warning to the world “Watch the skies” captures the political paranoia of the period. Eerie score by Tiomkin. Based on the short story “Who Goes There?” by John W. Campbell Jr. Re-issue version runs 81m. Highly influential it was remade in 1982 by John Carpenter who followed the source material more closely. This in turn generated a prequel in 2011. [PG]

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