The Thing from Another World (1951) starring Margaret Sheridan, Kenneth Tobey, Robert Cornthwaite, Douglas Spencer, James Young directed by Christian Nyby, Howard Hawks Movie Review

The Thing from Another World (1951)   3/53/53/53/53/5

The Thing from Another World (1951) starring Margaret Sheridan, Kenneth Tobey

The Thing from Before The Thing

Close to an Arctic research station a flying saucer is uncovered deep beneath the frozen surface with the scientists believing that they have hit payday as they find an alien inside the icy tomb. After digging the alien out and taking it back to the station the tomb melts despite the militaries best attempts to keep it frozen and this alien thing is set free. With panic already starting to spread within the station those in charge must try to keep calm as the alien goes on the rampage. But when they discover what this alien is made of the severity of the situation suddenly hits them.

If you go looking for opinions on "The Thing from Another World" you will soon become aware of two things. Firstly is that "The Thing from Another World" is adapted from the same story which inspired John Carpenter's "The Thing" as well as the more recent remake. And secondly most of the opinions you will find are from sci-fi fans who can't stop praising this movie highly enough. So with that in mind I had better tell you that I am not a sci-fi fan just a movie fan and as such feel no need to be protective about an old movie popular with many.

With that in mind it is why I shall say straight away that "The Thing from Another World" is certainly entertaining but didn't blow me away. Entertaining in the fact that unlike the more recent versions it is more of a movie about character interactions rather than the action which is understandably kept to a minimum. As such the conflict which becomes apparent between the military and the scientists is easier to understand as we have kill to survive versus protecting the only connection to an alien life form. It is a conflict which forms even before the alien defrosts as the scientists want to defrost the thing whilst the military refuse to let it happen.

The trouble is that whilst "The Thing from Another World" is easy to follow and is nicely put together so that there is suspense and some horror it didn't blow me away. Now in fairness this is something I have often found with popular movies from the 1950s, especially those which are horror and sci-fi movies and have always put it down to not being a huge fan of the genres. But with "The Thing from Another World" it feels in a way to orchestrated, if you like trying too hard and that ended up being a distraction for me.

What this all boils down to is that I can appreciate why for fans of old horror and sci-fi movies "The Thing from Another World" is a classic. But at the same time for a movie fan with a more general interest in old cinema it is good but not great.