ABC Film Challenge – Sci-Fi – T – The Thing from Another World (1951) Movie Review

Director: Christian Nyby, Howard Hucks

Writer: Charles Lederer (Screenplay) John W Campbell Jr (Story)

Starring: Margaret Sheridan, Kenneth Tobey, Robert Cornthwaite, Douglas Spencer, James Young, Dewey Martin

Plot: Scientists and American Air Force officials fend off a bloodthirsty alien organism while at a remote arctic outpost.

Runtime: 1 Hour 27 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Vintage Sci-Fi

Story: The Thing from Another World starts when Captain Patrick Hendry (Tobey) is assigned to take a team deeper in to the Arctic from an Alaskan post to join Dr Arthur Carrington (Cornthwaite) on his latest research mission, which includes the discovery of an unidentified object frozen beneath the ice.

When the crew discover a being inside the ship they return it to the facility, only it wasn’t dead, it escapes with Hendry wanting to destroy it and Carrington wanting to research it. Is the alien evil though, that is the question left for the team to discover?

Thoughts on The Thing from Another World

Characters – Captain Patrick Hendry is assigned to help on the facility, he takes his men up there, where he gets to meet his girl and clash with the scientist running the facility once the alien escapes from its frozen prison, he wants to make sure every human makes it back alive. Dr Arthur Carrington runs the facility, he plays the science side behind the discovery, he wants it alive, trying to understand how it could have survived for so long. Ned Scott is the journalist that gets allowed to join the mission, he is looking for the next big story which his time here could give the world. Nikki Nicholson is the secretary to Carrington, she has a past with Hendry and is the person who must give him the answers to what has been happening before he arrived.

PerformancesWe have a very big cast in this film, which is one of the weaknesses the film has, it doesn’t mean anybody is bad, it just gives too much for the small supporting roles to do, when they don’t need to be around, not letting the leads shine the way they could.

StoryThe story here follows a military team joining a scientific team on an Arctic research outpost where they discover a strange object in the ice, only for an alien to come out of the ice looking to kill the people on the base, forcing them to find away to survive. This is famously the original version of The Thing, which was the excellent remake, this story for the time does play into the unknown of exploring new locations, what you could find and whether they could be a threat or not. It does do a good job at showing the balance between military looking for safety and science wanting to answer everything despite the dangers involved.

Horror/Sci-FiThe horror in the film comes from the different attacks the thing does, we don’t see many, it is more implied just what it might have done, with the sci-fi side of the film focusing on the idea an alien craft could have crash landed and frozen in the ice.

SettingsThe film is set in the one location with the Arctic base which shows how the people there are stranded when they come under attack.

Special EffectsThe effects for the time are great, it shows how the work was still brilliant to keep Thing look like a threat.

Scene of the Movie – The Thing comes for the team.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Some of the fights are disappointing with the shock we could have seen.

Final Thoughts This is a classic sci-fi film that is easily one for the time that would have strike fear into the audience.

Overall: This is a classic of the time.

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