Movie Title: The Thing from Another World
Director: Christian Nyby, Howard Hawks (uncredited)
Writer: Charles Lederer (based on the story "Who Goes There?" by John W. Campbell Jr.)
Starring: Margaret Sheridan, Kenneth Tobey, Robert Cornthwaite, Douglas Spencer, James Young, Dewey Martin, Robert Nichols, William Self, Eduard Franz, Sally Creighton, James Arness
Review: Arctic researchers and Airmen discover a huge, frozen alien near a crash-landed UFO, then fight for their lives after the murderous creature (James Arness, of Gunsmoke fame) thaws out. Keep watching the skies for...The Thing from Another World!
The Thing from Another World is one of the very best sci-fi classics of the '50s! From the memorable cast of characters, the stylish photography, the quick Hawksian dialogue, thrilling suspense, and the frighteningly good score from Dimitri Tiomkin.
Kenneth Tobey is strong and sure as Capt. Patrick Hendry, lead of the ensemble cast. Douglas Spencer is great comic relief as newspaperman Scottie, and James Arness is monstrously threatening as the title creature. The cast is rather large and really do a tremendous job selling the story, the stress, and the seriousness of the situation, even though the monster does look a bit hokey.
I especially enjoy the scenes where the scientists explain the creature and how it survives. Plus, there's a startlingly effective scene where the "Thing" attacks and our heroes attempt to burn it with kerosene; I'm surprised that no one was severely hurt during such an incredibly dangerous fire stunt.
The Thing from Another World does what all great sci-fi and horror films do right - establishing your characters, your setting, and the stakes! It's an engaging masterpiece that is just as good now as it was back in the '50s. A true classic! Experience a sci-fi classic that you'll want to watch again and again.
Fun Fact: James Arness complained that his "Thing" costume made him look like a giant carrot and he reportedly regarded his role as so embarrassing, that he didn't attend the premiere.