Posted in U.S. Film

THE THING FROM AN OTHER WORLD (1951)

A film by Christian Nyby.

Stars: Kenneth Tobey, Margaret Sheridan and James Arness.

Scientist at an Arctic research station discover a spacecraft buried in the ice. Upon closer examination, they discover the frozen pilot. All hell breaks loose when they take him back to their station and he is accidentally thawed out! It is generally believed that Howard Hawks took over direction during production, and it has always been acknowledged by director Christian Nyby that Hawks was the guiding hand. However, in an interview James Arness said that while Hawks spent a lot of time on the set, it was Nyby who actually directed the picture, not Hawks. Partly filmed in Glacier National Park and at a Los Angeles ice storage plant. This film was based on the short story “Who Goes There?” by Don A. Stuart. The credits on this film list the author by his real name, the science fiction editor/writer John W. Campbell Jr. Howard Hawks asked the US Air Force for assistance in making the film. He was refused because the top brass felt that such cooperation would compromise the U.S. government’s official stance that UFOs didn’t exist. When producer Howard Hawks attempted to get insurance for the creature, five insurance companies turned him down because “The Thing” was to be frozen in a block of ice, hacked by axes, attacked by dogs, lit on fire, and electrocuted. This was the first of only two films made by Howard Hawks’ own production company, Winchester Pictures Corporation. Winchester was Hawks’ middle name. Cost of the “Thing”: 40,000 dollars. Directors Ridley Scott, John Frankenheimer, Tobe Hooper, and John Carpenter, who remade “The Thing,” all cited the movie as a key, influential film in their lives.

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