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The Thing from Another World
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Thing from Another World, The (DVD)
A UFO crashes near an isolated military base in the far Arctic.Scientists recover the craft's now-frozen alien pilot and take it back to their base. While debating whether to study the alien, try to communicate with it or kill it, the pilot awakens--and the scientists' question of if it is friend or foe is quickly answered.Now, trapped in a frozen wasteland with an unstoppable, nonhuman creature that sees them as prey, the small band of scientists come face to face with The Thing.]]>
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Here's the scoop. Captain Patrick Hendry (Kenneth Tobey) is ordered up to the arctic circle because the scientists up there found something strange. He grabs his crew and a newsman looking for a scoop and heads up. Once there they go to the site and find not only a flying saucer imbedded in the ice, but the occupant as well who was frozen ion the ice while attempting to crawl from the wreckage. They cut the block of ice around the creature and haul it back to the base. Said creature thaws out and the doo-doo hits the fan.
As in the better sci-fi efforts of this period the writing and directing are very efficient. Most of the actors do a fine job and there is enough humor present to balance out the sense of menace. Margaret Sheridan is on hand as the love interest. She is surprisingly well written as a smart, tough gal who can hold her own with the guys in both the drinking and romance arenas. She's nobody's fool and adds her two cents when it comes to ideas on how to get out of this tough situation. This is another thing I like about the script. Tobey's character isn't the "my way or the highway" kind of commander. He doesn't pretend to know everything and defers to his men (and Sheridan) on ways to get things done. But the safety of his men comes first which puts him at odds with the head scientist who wants to learn and communicate with the visitor at the probable expense of those around him.
This was released in 1951. And, as the modern UFO era began in 1947, the subject was quite present in the minds of many Americans. So the final words, uttered by the newsman "watch the skies" ended up being prophetic.
If 50s Science Fiction films are your poison, this is a must see.
John Carpenter's shot at it is better - at least it includes Campbell's concept - but it is too dosed with FX to get the real impact of the original story.
Same problem with the newest attempt to stick a finger in Campbell's pie.
Get the book and see what the story is really about.