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HollywoodGolightly

"The Thing From Another World" (1951)

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Looked for an existing thread on this Howard Hawks classic, but couldn't find any.

 

ThingFromAnotherWorldPoster_02.jpg

 

Anyway, TCM will be showing this today at 4pm ET, for anyone who's interested. If you've never seen it before, you really should give it a try - it's definitely one of the top sci-fi movies of the 50s (and can also be considered a horror classic, although personally I prefer the sci-fi angle).

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The first time I saw this movie on tv I was ten years old and it scared the crap out of me ! A masterpiece of suspense and terror and even modern special effects have yet to equal that great shock when the Thing makes his first entrance- hey Mr Osborne this belongs on The Essentials!

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The third best sci-fi flick from that era. The Day The Earth Stood Still and War of the Worlds numbers 1 & 2 respectively. Unfortunately TCM's print of The Thing From Another World is in really bad shape in places. Definitely needs to be restored.

 

Edited by: CaptAmerica on Sep 23, 2009 5:41 AM

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It's interesting how impressions of films change over the years. I just read the review for THE THING that was printed in Variety on April 4, 1951. While overall they gave good marks for the technical work, the first line of the review starts off with:

 

"The Thing, an exploitation special, lacks genuine entertainment values..."

 

Could it be the reviewer was watching a different film?

 

As for the print quality, I didn't see the latest showing, but I assume that it's the same tape they've run before and I'm pretty sure that's the same as the DVD. I seem to recall, that, some years ago, somebody found a couple of short sequences that were missing, but had to be copied from a 16mm print. It's pretty obvious where they were cut in. I wouldn't mind seeing a full restoration done. I'd sure buy it.

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Yes, the version that now runs on TCM is the one where footage that had be excised have been put back...on the DVD you not only are aware of it due to a drop in video quality, but sound as well. Still, it adds to the movie.

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Personally I think they were wise to excise that footage in the first place. It's all unnecessary dialogue & it slows down the pace.

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I saw this for the first time in the late 1950's. It had to be after Gunsmoke started because someone asked the TV Q&A column of that time what role James Arness played as she could not spot him. I always wondered what she thought when she found out he was The Thing. I liked it then and still do. Have not seen the "re-make" and never will; you can't do-over something this good no matter how hard you try.

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Carpenter's remake is worth a look if. He got the paranoid atmosphere right and some Rob Botin's make- up effects are amazing.

 

Edited by: joefilmone on Apr 21, 2010 6:34 PM

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Yes, Carpenetr's film is truly a remake of the Hawks/Nyby film. It's closer to the book actually & very effective in its own way.

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Harry and Joe: Thank you for reminding me why "never is a long time". You win, I'll give it a look when the chance comes.

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I think Carpenter's film is worth watching, but I almost wouldn't call it a remake, it is rather different. Carrot man James Arness has been replaced by enough goo to fill several railroad cars.

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This one of my favorite movies, not for its content, not for the story line, but rather in appreciation of its cast. Try watching it without caring if the story and the special effects are 2nd rate, but for the genuine fun the cast of this flick were obviously having while making it. kenneth Toby's relationship with his crew and the girlfriend are just a joy to watch. The newspaper man the tongue in cheek dialogue between him and the scientists and military this was good writing, a director wise enough to let his cast enjoy themselves and most of all the most relaxed acting i believe i have ever had the opportunity to enjoy. Carpenters flick has more gore and more edge of your seat, but Hawk's film is the better one.

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I see the edit function disappears here after a spell.

My post should have said that Carpenter's film ISN'T a remake of the Hawks/Nyby film...

 

Edited by: HarryLong on Apr 26, 2010 2:43 PM

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> {quote:title=HarryLong wrote:}{quote}

> I see the edit function disappears here after a spell.

> My post should have said that Carpenter's film ISN'T a remake of the Hawks/Nyby film...

>

> Edited by: HarryLong on Apr 26, 2010 2:43 PM

 

Well, then I withdraw my "almost." I don't think it really passes as a remake either.

 

BTW, Nyby directed some of the best of the classic Perry Mason TV eps.

 

*The Thing* has lots of good lines. I can't do it verbatim, but one of my favorites is when one of the male scientists says 'What can you do with a vegetable?' The female scientist replies, 'boil it, bake it, fry it...' or something close to that. + to the film for having a female scientist, treated by the men as an equal, well mostly, back in that era, but that sort of stereotypical line showed how far that went.

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Ned "Scotty" Scott: Here's the sixty-four dollar question - what do you do with a vegetable?

Nikki: Boil it.

Ned "Scotty" Scott: What did you say?

Nikki: Boil it... stew it...bake it... fry it?

 

These lines were said by Scotty and Nikki, but they were not scientists.

 

Ned "Scotty" Scott played by Douglas Spencer was a reporter.

 

Nikki Nicholson was played by Margaret Sheridan she was Dr. Carrington's secretary and Captain Patrick Hendry's love interest.

 

Now there were some female scientists there, but they didn't play a major role in the story.

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Thanks for the correction. It's been a while since I saw *The Thing*. I was closer to the actual quote than I expected, even if I had the personal details wrong.

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One of my favorite films and I think a difficult film to make as far as dialog goes. People talking over each other at the same time, very natural. There's another film "The Kentuckian" (also co-starring Dewey Martin, with very similar dialog technique. Directed by Howard Hawks, which shows how much he was involved with "The Thing". Christian Nyby got the credit but whose hand was in there was obvious. John

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