Them! (1954)

Movie Title: Them!

Year Released: 1954

Rated: Not Rated

Runtime: 1h 34min

Genre: Horror, Sci-Fi

Director: Gordon Douglas

Writer: Ted Sherdeman

Starring: James Whitmore, Edmund Gwenn, Joan Weldon, James Arness, Onslow Stevens, Sean McClory, Chris Drake, Sandy Descher, Mary Alan Hokanson, Don Shelton, Fess Parker, Olin Howland

Review: "Man has split the atom and ushered in a new era. But how could he know he would also create Them!"

Them! is the very first "giant bug" and it's definitely one of the best! The Oscar-nominated special effects help to sell the incredible story of giant radiation-mutated ants that prey upon humans to become the dominate species on earth.

Besides the masterful creature effects, there is a great screenplay that uses mystery, suspense, and science to get the audience invested, plus the interesting characters played by great actors including James Whitmore, James Arness, Joan Weldon and Edmund Gwenn keep us rooting for humankind to stop these creepy-crawly critters from taking over.

From the opening scene with the little girl walking alone through the desert, I was hooked. The mystery and suspense is what really got me. Them! takes its time to tell you a story and give you characters to invest in as they come to realize what this unexpected discovery could truly mean to the world. It's very smart, more than a giant bug movie has any right to be. And the smart over silly approach makes Them! a classy sci-fi production. I really think that is why is has stood the test of time and became a classic. It's a compelling story that's told very well and is endlessly entertaining. I recommend it to all fans of monster, sci-fi, and giant bug movies. Them! is perfect fun for kids and adults - heck, even your aunt might enjoy it!

Stars (out of 4):

Fun Fact: Walt Disney screened the movie because he was interested in casting James Arness as Davy Crockett. However, he was so impressed by Fess Parker as the "Crazy Texan Pilot", that he chose him for the part.


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