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The Thing (1951)

aka The Thing from Another World

"Look Out...It's"

Details: 87 mins · English

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Cast:

Small Dr. Vorhees
No_movie_poster Dr. Carrington
No_movie_poster Scotty
No_movie_poster Lt. Eddie Dykes
Small The Thing
Small Captain Patrick Hendry
Small Crew Chief Bob
No_movie_poster Lt. Ken 'Mac' MacPherson
Small Nikki
No_movie_poster Cpl. Barnes
Small Dr. Stern
No_movie_poster Dr. Chapman

Crew:

No_movie_poster Dimitri Tiomkin Original Music Composer
No_movie_poster Russell Harlan Director of Photography
No_movie_poster Ben Hecht Screenplay
No_movie_poster Charles Lederer Screenplay
Small Howard Hawks Director
No_movie_poster Christian Nyby Director
No_movie_poster Roland Gross Editor
No_movie_poster Edward Lasker Producer
Small Howard Hawks Production

Taglines:

"Look Out...It's"

"Natural or Supernatural?"

"Where Did It Come From? How Did It Get Here? WHAT IS IT?"

Plot:

A United States Air Force crew is dispatched by General Fogerty from Anchorage, Alaska at the request of Dr. Carrington, the chief scientist of a North Pole scientific outpost. They have evidence that an unknown flying craft crashed nearby, so Reporter Ned Scott tags along for the story.


Dr. Carrington later briefs Captain Hendry and his airmen, and Dr. Redding shows photos of a heavy flying object moving erratically before crashing; not the movements of a meteorite. Following erratic magnetic pole anomalies, the crew and scientists fly to the crash site aboard the team's C-47. The mysterious craft lies buried beneath refrozen ice, with just the tip of a rounded airfoil protruding from the surface. As they later outline the craft's general shape, they quickly realize they are standing in a circle: they have discovered a crashed flying saucer. They try deicing the buried craft with thermite heat bombs, but only ignite its metal alloy, causing an explosion that destroys the saucer. Their Geiger counter then points to a slightly radioactive frozen shape buried nearby in the refrozen ice.


They excavate a large block of ice around what appears to be a tall body and then fly it to the research outpost, just as a major storm moves in, cutting off their communications with Anchorage. Some of the scientists want to thaw out the body, but Captain Hendry issues orders for everyone to wait until he receives further instructions from the Air Force. Later, Corporal Barnes takes the second watch over the now clearing ice block and quickly covers it with a blanket, an electric blanket that the previous guard left turned on. Later, as the ice slowly melts, the thing inside revives; Barnes panics and begins shooting at it with his .45 caliber sidearm, but the alien escapes into the sub-zero cold of the raging storm.


The thing is attacked by sled dogs and the scientists recover a severed arm. As the arm warms up, it ingests some of the dogs' blood covering it, and the hand begins moving. Seed pods are quickly discovered in the palm, demonstrating that the alien is a form of plant life. Carrington is convinced that it can be reasoned with and has much to teach them, but Dr. Chapman and the others disagree; the Air Force personnel believe the creature may be dangerous.


Carrington deduces their visitor requires blood to survive and reproduce. He later discovers the body of a dead sled dog in the outpost's greenhouse; the alien has forced the lock on the greenhouse's door and bent it back into shape. Carrington has Dr. Voorhees, Dr. Olsen and Dr. Auerbach stand guard overnight, waiting for it to return.


Carrington secretly uses blood plasma from the infirmary to incubate seedlings grown from the alien seed pods. In the greenhouse, the strung-up bodies of Olsen and Auerbach are discovered, drained of blood. Dr. Stern is almost killed by the thing but escapes. Nikki Nicholson, Carrington's secretary, reluctantly updates Hendry when he asks about missing plasma and confronts Carrington in his lab, where he discovers the seeds have grown at an alarming rate. Dr. Wilson advises Carrington that he has not slept, but Carrington remains unconcerned. Hendry rushes to the greenhouse after hearing what happened there: their visitor is behind the door as Hendry opens it, and he immediately slams the door on the thing's regrown arm as it tries to grab him; as the alien pulls the arm back through, its barbed knuckles rip the door's trim to splinters.


It escapes through the greenhouse's exterior door and breaks into another building in the compound. Following Nicholson's suggestion, Hendry and his men set a trap in a nearby room: they set the thing ablaze using a flare gun and buckets of kerosene, forcing it to jump through a closed window into the artic storm.


Nicholson notices that the temperature inside the station is falling; a heating fuel line has been sabotaged by the creature. The cold forces everyone to make a final stand near the generator room. They rig an electrical "fly trap", hoping to electrocute the alien. As it advances, Carrington tries to save it by shutting off the power and reasoning with it; the creature knocks him aside and continues to advance. An airman throws a pick axe at the creature, forcing it to step on their wire fence grid. A switch is thrown and the thing is reduced by arcs of electricity to a smoldering pile of ash upon Hendry's direct order that nothing of their visitor remain.


When the weather clears, Scotty files his "story of a lifetime" by radio to a roomful of reporters in Anchorage. During his report, Scotty broadcasts a warning to the reporters: "Tell the world. Tell this to everyone, wherever they are. Watch the skies everywhere. Keep looking. Keep watching the skies."

Release Dates:

Theatrical : 1951-04-29 : United States of America

DVD : 2003-08-05