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The Thing From Another World

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General Information:
Year Released: 1951
Country: US
Director: Christain Nyby
Literary Source: John W. Campbell Jr., Who Goes There?

The audience is not given many visuals to go on; instead, the filmmakers rely on small visual hints to create a feeling of terror.

The Promise of Science: Alien Life

Many films make statements about politics and society -- especially those of the 1950's. The Thing From Another World (1951, US) is one of the first films to express a fear of being taken overtaken by unknown visitors. The film begins with the crash of a UFO near an isolated arctic military research base. The saucer's sole inhabitant is a large, humanoid creature, whose frozen body is taken back to the base. Once the creature thaws out and is revitalized, the base's scientists discover that it is nearly impossible to destroy. It is impervious to cold, escapes heat, ignores bullets, and regenerates lost limbs, lacking both an arterial structure and nervous system.

The Thing's real threat lies in that it reproduces asexually using seeds, so only one creature is needed to begin colonization of an entire planet. The base's head scientist grows some of these seeds, creating a group of miniature Things to study. He is forced to destroy them, as their threat to humanity outweighs the value of any knowledge attained by studying them.

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. erika . .
. last modified: Aug 14, 2000 .