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Thing From Another World
     

The Thing From Another World

5.0 15
Director: Christian Nyby, Margaret Sheridan, Kenneth Tobey, Robert Cornthwaite

Cast: Christian Nyby, Margaret Sheridan, Kenneth Tobey, Robert Cornthwaite

 
The Thing (or The Thing (From Another World), as it is also called) had some confusion inherent in its basic make-up from its origins. The movie is officially credited to Christian Nyby as director, but nobody has ever really believed that, since it doesn't remotely resemble the feel, style, or approach that Nyby ever took in any of his subsequent movies

Overview

The Thing (or The Thing (From Another World), as it is also called) had some confusion inherent in its basic make-up from its origins. The movie is officially credited to Christian Nyby as director, but nobody has ever really believed that, since it doesn't remotely resemble the feel, style, or approach that Nyby ever took in any of his subsequent movies, but does thoroughly match the directorial approach of its producer, Howard Hawks; additionally, Hawks all but admitted in at least one interview that he gave Nyby -- a longtime associate of his as an editor -- the director's credit in order to get him his Directors Guild card. Furthermore, in its release history, the movie has appeared with at least three different running times over the years, ranging from 81 to 87 minutes. And to make matters worse, it was out in at least three separate videocassette versions and three further, separate and distinct laserdisc editions in the United States in a 10-year period from the early 80's through the early 90's -- the first of the laserdiscs, from VidAmerica by way of Pioneer, was one of the most notoriously awful laser releases in the history of the format, mastered from a worn, washed out 16mm print that was also cut; it looked like the re-release trailer on this DVD looks, and sounded worse. The second version, from the early 1990's, looked far better but was still missing some material, ranging from a few seconds to two minutes in length. Finally, that mistake was fixed without a lot of fanfare, and a complete version of the movie did appear on laserdisc around 1992. This DVD is stunning -- in every detail, it runs circles around all prior home viewing releases of the movie and even surpasses the theatrical prints that this reviewer has seen; it also easily outclassing the current Region 2 disc released by Manga Films in Spain. It's sharp, clean, and complete, and even the one section that often looks and sounds the roughest, at 36 minutes in -- the romantic interlude in which Margarent Sheridan ties Kenneth Tobey's hands -- meshes with the rest of the movie seamlessly, which is a big improvement over older editions of the film. In fact, the movie looks almost too good at times, the clarity of the image very slightly undoing a bit of the impact of the make-up worn by James Arness as the alien invader. The volume has been set reasonably high and it is mastered cleanly, giving excellent play to the taut dialogue and Dimitri Tiomkin's eerie, unsettling score. And the 87 minute movie has been given a very generous 25 chapters. The disc opens automatically to a simple menu that includes scene selections, the reissue trailer, and language selection (Spanish and French subtitles). All of that is actually a bit of a disappointment -- one does wish that Warner Bros. had devoted as much attention to this DVD edition as Image Entertainment did to its special laserdisc release of the movie a decade earlier, which came with explanatory essays and a history of the production. The Thing had a fairly convoluted pre-history, as well as being based on one of the most famous and respected science fiction stories ever written; additionally, the dispute over whether Hawks or Nyby directed, and the extensive cuts made in the film before release are highly relevant to what we're seeing. All of it would be of interest, and would have enhanced the disc. Additionally, The Thing is very obviously as important a movie (if not more so) than Warner Bros.' Them! (1954), which did get some special treatment on DVD. This reviewer would happily have paid $10 more for this release with those extras -- in view of some of the extras that Warner Bros. has put on its classic titles, for all of the care that went into what is here, the disc is still something of a lost opportunity.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Gregory Baird
Suspense comes with an arctic chill in the 1951 horror classic The Thing From Another World, the tale of a polar expedition terrorized by the alien occupant of a crashed flying saucer. Directed by Christian Nyby and produced by Howard Hawks, The Thing From Another World is a superbly told story based on the John W. Campbell Jr. story "Who Goes There?" A slow-burning fuse of tension gives the audience plenty of time to squirm and second guess and the characters plenty of room to gel. They turn out to be an interesting group, including a stern army captain (Kenneth Tobey), a brilliant and passionate old scientist (Robert Cornthwaite), his attractive assistant (Margaret Sheridan), and a jaded reporter (Douglas Spencer). Conflicts and flirtations within the group give the film its texture, as the military and scientific elements clash archetypally over how to deal with the "Thing," even as the captain and the attractive scientist come together to pursue their own romantic spark. Interestingly, though the "Thing" feeds on blood, there's hardly a drop of it actually on display in this remarkably gore-free film. And the "Thing" itself (James Arness in Frankenstein-esque makeup) could have stood a bit more monster magic. Nonetheless, the overall effect is still quite terrifying. The Thing From Another World has been remade since (John Carpenter's 1982 version), with more gore and special effects but considerably less elegance. Ultimately, the original has more than enough arctic atmosphere and extraterrestrial mystery to make it a classic.
All Movie Guide - Mark Deming
To this day, film buffs argue about whether or not Howard Hawks, the credited producer for this low-budget sci-fi classic, actually directed it; if he didn't, Christian Nyby (who got sole screen credit) certainly learned the master's style very well indeed. With its rapid-fire, often overlapping dialogue, matter-of-fact presentation of scientific jargon, independent-minded women who can give as good as they get in an argument, and admiring but unglamorized portrayal of men in uniform working together, The Thing certainly feels like a Hawks movie, which is to say smarter and snappier than most B-movies of its day. More important, The Thing was one of the few films in the era of Guys In Rubber Monster Suits that understood that less can be more. We rarely get a good look at the mean-spirited invader terrorizing a military outpost in the Arctic wastes, but the results give the creature an air of threatening mystery more powerful than any explicit presentation. And while the premise -- a cognizant vegetable from another planet that feeds on human blood -- is absurdity itself, the film plays down its thematic incredulity in favor of a tense tale of isolated individuals who must come together to defeat an angry foe; it's elementary filmcraft, but well-executed and boasting fine work from a cast whose talent exceeded their fame.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/05/2003
UPC:
0053939668629
Original Release:
1951
Rating:
NR
Source:
Turner Home Ent
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[B&W]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital Mono]
Time:
1:27:00
Sales rank:
13,966

Special Features

Closed Caption; Interactive menus; Theatrical trailer; Scene access; Subtitles: English, Français & Español

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Margaret Sheridan Nikki Nicholson
Kenneth Tobey Capt. Patrick Hendry
Robert Cornthwaite Dr. Arthur Carrington
Douglas Spencer Ned "Scotty" Scott
Dewey Martin Bob
James Arness "The Thing"
Robert Nichols Lt. MacPherson (Erickson)
Bill Self Corporal Barnes
Eduard Franz Dr. Stern
Sally Creighton Mrs. Chapman
Billy Curtis The Thing While Shrinking
Tom Steele Stuntman
James Young Lt. Eddie Dykes
Walter Ng Cook
Robert Bray Captain
Edmund Breon Dr. Ambrose
Ted Cooper Lieutenant
John Dierkes Dr. Chapman
George Fenneman Dr. Redding
Lee Tung Foo Cook
Everett Glass Prof. Wilson
Milt Kibbee Actor
Ray McDonald Actor
David McMahon Gen. Fogarty
William Neff Olson
Allan Ray Officer
Norbert Schiller Dr. Laurenz
Robert Stevenson Capt. Smith
Paul H. Frees Dr. Maurice Vorrhees

Technical Credits
Christian Nyby Director
Phil Brigandi Sound/Sound Designer
Dick Crockett Stunts
Billy Curtis Stunts
Albert S. D'Agostino Art Director
Linwood G. Dunn Special Effects
Lee Greenway Makeup
Roland Gross Editor
Russell Harlan Cinematographer
Howard Hawks Producer
John Hughes Art Director
Charles Lederer Screenwriter
Teddy Mangean Stunts
Bob Morgan Stunts
Clem Portman Sound/Sound Designer
Charles Regan Stunts
Darrell Silvera Set Decoration/Design
Tom Steele Stunts
William L. Stevens Set Decoration/Design
Don Steward Special Effects
Dimitri Tiomkin Score Composer
Michael Woulfe Costumes/Costume Designer

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Credits [1:26]
2. Arctic Mission [4:14]
3. The Flight North [3:33]
4. Smarting From Parting [3:01]
5. Carrington's Recap [3:15]
6. Crash Site [3:10]
7. Flying Saucer [3:17]
8. Explosions and Extracts [4:30]
9. Remaining on Ice [5:35]
10. Spooky Eyes [3:17]
11. His Hands Are Tied [3:00]
12. It's Alive [2:45]
13. Severed Hand [2:06]
14. Our Superior [5:40]
15. Greenhouse Discovery [5:23]
16. On the Attack [3:55]
17. The Experiment [3:21]
18. Blood Buds [2:26]
19. Frightened [3:17]
20. Fiery Confrontation [3:54]
21. Big Chill [4:29]
22. Defense Measures [4:12]
23. Big Shock [3:11]
24. Keep Watching the Skies [3:08]
25. Cast List [:23]

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The Thing From Another World 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
mimikeyw More than 1 year ago
This movie is a must see for anyone interested in science fiction. It is a classic and is much better than the remake.
Guest More than 1 year ago
'The Thing' is undoubtedly one of the best Sci-Fi/Horror films of all time. They certainly knew how to make them in the 1950's, and they did it with terrific acting and brilliant cinematography...not with the computer game-like filming of today.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is absolutely my favorite movie of all time! One of the few movies I've watched over and over again. It captures the mood, and draws me into their tension and sense of isolation like no other movie.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"The Thing" is my favorite scary movie of all time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
A LITTLE KNOWN FACT: JAMES ARNESS HAS A PART IN THIS MOVIE, EVEN THOUGH HE'S NOT LISTED IN THE CREDITS! I LOVE THIS MOVIE!! IT'S ONE OF THE BEST OF THE 1950'S SCI-FI/THRILLERS. I HOPE THE DVD HAS THE MISSING MINUTES THAT THE VIDEO DID NOT HAVE! LEC
Guest More than 1 year ago
this movie is very good and scare you to death sometime.the endding is very climatic.
JC333 More than 1 year ago
This is arguably the greatest sci-fi movie ever made. The cinematography is fantastic and the mood it creates is wonderfully tense. One of my all time favorites.
Guest More than 1 year ago
What is it about this film? Maybe the fast-paced action from Nyby/Hawks..Lederer's crisp overlapping dialogue...the lack of bothersome,flashy special effects...the ominous,barren,ice-encrusted wasteland...or the much-liked,chemistry-dripping cast?? Some sci-fi films 'get it' and many,many others never get off the launch pad. Why don't film directors of today watch and study these gems of action/suspence/terror and LEARN from them?? It's great to see what excellent results can be had from less: effects,creature appearances(no offense Jim Arness),budget,props,big-name stars. Yeah,sure some of what John Carpenter did in color was very good...but come on..this needn't be a Biology 101 class to be scary and suspenseful. Learn from the masters of yesterday..these old 50's films can't be beat. Probably also, why it feels like a live version of Our Town on PCP is that it came from a basic uncomplicated short story. Great stuff!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
THIS IS ONE OF THE TRUE CLASSICS OF ALL TIME. I JUST WISH THAT I COULD FIND IT IN DVD AS I WOULD LIKE TO ADD IT TO MY DVD COPY OF ''THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL(1951)WHICH CAME OUT THE SAME YEAR.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the greatest Sci - Fi high intensity fright movie ever. The setting is ideally remote , and eerily dark. Simple and direct , Hawkes uses psychological terror in the shape of the unknown . A must see for any horror buff. This should definitely be on DVD.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Crisp, Atmospheric & Terrifying. Hawks forces the viewer to experience the fear -- to feel the terror -- to use the imagination -- all without a drop of spilled blood or an ounce of gore. A reminder of what a great ''Sci-Fi'' thriller should still be -- even today -- when ''special effects'' does all the work (The Thing has not one). I love the cold. The original Thing reminds me that there is perhaps more to the North Pole than Santa Claus. Warner Brothers (or whomever) should stop protecting the awful Carpenter blood, guts & special effects remake and put this classic on DVD. Black & White only.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Thing From Another World is my favorite scary movie of all time. The music and atmosphere are chilling without equal in this day of computer animation and blood and guts. It continues to make me look over my shoulder and sends a chill up my spine, fifteen years after first seeing it as a kid. I still enjoy it and want it on DVD. It is an excellent sci fi experience, worthy of a place in anybodies sci fi or classic movie collection.