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The Thing (BFI Modern Classics) Paperback – October 1, 1997

ISBN-13: 978-0851705668 ISBN-10: 0851705669

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Product Details

  • Series: BFI Modern Classics
  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: British Film Institute (October 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0851705669
  • ISBN-13: 978-0851705668
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 5.4 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,316,669 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A stunning account of the facts and theory behind Carpenter's classic yuckfest." -- Empire

About the Author

Anne Billson is the Sunday Telegraph's film critic. She is the author of the novels Suckers and Stiff Lips as well as several works of nonfiction.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 24, 1998
Format: Paperback
Ms.Billson's book is an invaluable resource to anyone who has recognized the true genius of Mr.Carpenter's movie. I have been haunted by the themes and images of this film ever since I first saw it over 15 years ago. The greatness of this true horror classic is wonderfully defended by Ms.Billson with a style that not only makes for easy reading but allows the film's fans to once again relive the heart pounding brilliance of Mr.Carpenter's masterpiece.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 30, 1998
Format: Paperback
As a devoted fan of John Carpenter's The THING, I was thrilled to come across Anne Billson's definitive tome about Carpenter's greatest film. Here Ms. Billson eloquently defends what she deems a horror classic. Describing the film scene by scene and injecting a lot of personal theory, Anne Billson has lovingly penned a tribute to the best monster movie of the last 30 years. A must for any fan of John Carpenter and horror films. Only Paul M. Sammon's wonderful Future Noir comes close to equalling the excellence of Billson's book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John S. Harris VINE VOICE on July 3, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bilson is obviously a fan of the film. This isn't one of the more in-depth or scholarly analyses in the BFI series, but it does make a good companion piece to the film (and to the 1952 "The Thing From Another World" film version of the short story - "Who Goes There?" - that Carpenter's 1982 film is based on).

In a nutshell, Bilson asserts that the film critics who panned the film upon its initial release completely missed the boat and the point. This film was original in so many underappreciated ways, and it remains to this day a standard-bearer.

The author explores the idea that the titular Thing may as well be, for all intents and purpose, female. That, and that Carpenter and screenwriter Bill Lancaster were both very brave and correct to dodge conventional Hollywood wisdom by casting the film with all-male and mostly lesser-known actors, and that the timing of the making of the film thankfully preceeded the political-correctness period that now practically mandates a Rainbow Coalition of skin colors. Clearly, Carpenter was focused solely on the story, and kept all other interferences at bay.

One of my favorite assertions that Bilson makes, and I am certainly in agreement with her, is that if the AFI list of Greatest Film Quotes of All Time allowed for profanity, "The Thing" would be well-represented!

This isn't the most thought-provoking BFI entry, but it is affectionately written, for sure, without being kissy-kissy.

I still love this book series, however. I always ask for a BFI book for my birthday. Next BFI books up for me: "The Shawshank Redemption", "Crash", and "The Thin Red Line".

Stay tuned.
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