History of Sci-Fi Cinema 11: “The Thing From Another World”

The Thing From Another World (1951)
Written by Charles Lederer, Howard Hawks & Ben Hecht, based on the novella Who Goes There? by John W Campbell, Jr.
Directed by Christian Nyby (or possibly Howard Hawks)
Starring Kenneth Tobey, Douglas Spencer, Dewey Martin, James Arness
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One of the most influential films of all time, this is the quintessential “base under siege” story. A group of military personnel along with a “newspaper man” (as he’s repeatedly referred to) are sent to the north pole to investigate reports, by a team of scientists stationed there, of a crashed suspected UFO. The destroy the flying saucer but learn that it had an occupant, which has survived. It was, according to Wikipedia, the 46th most successful movie of 1951, but the most successful sci-fi movie, outselling both The Day the Earth Stood Still and When Worlds Collide (which we’ll take a look at next). Critics at the time weren’t too kind to it, but over the decades it has become regarded as one of the milestones in sci-fi cinema.

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