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The Thing From Another World

Posted on

The Thing From Another World

Current Status:
In Season
Kenneth Tobey, Margaret Sheridan, James Arness
Howard Hawks, Christian Nyby
Image Home Video
Charles Lederer
Sci-fi and Fantasy, Horror

We gave it a B+

Credited to a fellow named Christian Nyby, this wispy schlock sci-fi B picture is commonly believed to have been directed by its producer, Howard Hawks. The reasoning? It’s just too good to have been made by a novice who spent most of his career in television — rather than by the great mind behind Red River and To Have and Have Not. Whatever his role, Hawks left his deft fingerprints all over this fable about a grunting alien (James Arness, pre-Gunsmoke) that terrorizes the denizens of an Arctic military base before they realize that, yes, he’s basically a walking carrot. (The movie was gorily remade by John Carpenter in 1982.) Sharing a breezy style with the sundry films that we know Hawks directed — the kookiness of Bringing Up Baby, the suspense of The Big Sleep, the wistful adventure of Rio Bravo — The Thing is a rare cautionary Cold War tale that’s also plain fun. Now if only the DVD featured extras beyond a lone, unrestored trailer…