The Thing from Another World (1951) – Review, Rating and Synopsis

The Thing from Another World (1951)

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  • Release Date:  1951
  • Genre:  Aliens, Sci-Fi Horror
  • Director:  Christian Nyby
  • Screenwriter:  Ben Hecht, Charles Lederer, Howard Hawks, John W. Campbell Jr.
  • Cast & Crew: Margaret Sheridan, Kenneth Tobey, Robert Cornthwaite, Douglas Spencer, James Young, Dewey Martin, Robert Nichols, William Self, Eduard Franz, Sally Creighton, and James Arness.

The Thing from Another World (1951) Rating:

  • Raoul = 6 / 10;
  • Ronan = 6 / 10;
  • IMDB = 7.2/10;
  • Rotten Tomatoes = 7.3/10.

The Thing from Another World (1951) Synopsis:

A crew of army officials and Antartica’s based scientists discover the remains of a flying saucer as well as the body of its pilot, which they intend to bring back to the facility to study it.

The Thing from Another World (1951) Review:

This early horror/sci-fi movie from the ’50s was inspired by John W. Campbell Jr’s novel Who Goes Thereee?, which is also the ancestor of John Carpenter’s masterpiece The Thing that we all know.

The story of this black & white flick is however quite different from Carpenter’s remake. While it still relates the tale of an Antarctic screw who stumbles upon an alien ship, things are a little different here: nobody snatchers, no crew members infected, etc. Instead, you have this one gigantic alien who looks like a Frankenstein made out of the plant and who attack people in a classic Jason-like fashion. The scientific theory behind this alien form is well developed and one of the most fascinating aspects of the film.

Comparing it with Carpenter’s remake isn’t totally fair, but since the vast majority of us will have seen the remake before the original, I’ll do it anyway. The Thing From Another World is a little bit of a disappointment (especially considering the 7.3 ratings on IMBD). The film atmosphere is great and the characters, especially their relationship with the alien and between themselves, are really interesting. But the movie dramatically lacks a bit of surprise. The alien creature does what the humans expect her to do and so falls into the traps without surprise. Aside from the science-fiction aspect, the plot is mainly one of a simple action/creature movie. To further add to the disappointment, the ending was especially lame.

I guess it remains a decent movie if you do not try to compare it (as I just did) to the remake, but that’s difficult. Instead, try and think of it for what it truly is: one of the great horror successes of the ’50s.

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