The Thing from Another World (1951) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Thing from Another World (1951)



Critic Consensus: As flying saucer movies go, The Thing From Another World is better than most, thanks to well-drawn characters and concise, tense plotting.

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Movie Info

This film is set at a distant Arctic missile base, where a UFO has crashed. The frozen body of the pilot is taken to base headquarters, where it is inadvertently thawed out. The alien escapes into the snowy wastes and proceeds to wreak murderous havoc all over the base.

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Margaret Sheridan
as Nikki Nicholson
Kenneth Tobey
as Captain Patrick Hendry
Robert Cornthwaite
as Dr. Arthur Carrington
James Arness
as The Thing
Douglas Spencer
as Ned 'Scotty' Scott
James Young
as Lt. Eddie Dykes
Dewey Martin
as Crew Chief Bob
Robert Nichols
as Lt. Ken 'Mac' MacPherson
Bill Self
as Corporal Barnes
William Self
as Corporal Barnes
Eduard Franz
as Dr. Stern
John Dierkes
as Dr. Chapman
Sally Creighton
as Mrs. Chapman
George Fenneman
as Dr. Redding
Billy Curtis
as The Thing While Shrinking
Everett Glass
as Dr. Wilson
Tom Steele
as Stuntman
Norbert Schiller
as Dr. Laurenz
Edmund Breon
as Dr. Ambrose
David McMahon
as Gen. Fogarty
Robert Bray
as Captain
Ted Cooper
as Lieutenant
Allan Ray
as Officer
Robert Stevenson
as Capt. Smith
Paul H. Frees
as Dr. Maurice Vorrhees
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Critic Reviews for The Thing from Another World

All Critics (66) | Top Critics (17)

Scenarist Charles Lederer has maintained an amazingly even keel, loading the dialogue with scientific jargon which sounded all right to these unscientific ears keeping it surprisingly natural under highly unnatural circumstances.

September 21, 2021 | Full Review…

On the whole the movie is far and away the most original and ingenious in this new category of pseudo-scientific entertainment.

September 21, 2021 | Full Review…

Most of the principal roles are well handled, and the script is brightened by occasional bits of rather humorous banter. If you have a taste for this sort of pseudo-scientific stuff, this film is a fair sample.

September 21, 2021 | Full Review…

You had better see it soon, right away, before you hear too much about it from those who have had the pleasure. And the thrills and chills.

September 21, 2021 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

While the Thing is encased In ice, the picture has a disturbing quality that is heightened by the objective, documentary treatment of the camera -- a real, ominous "What is it?" feeling.

September 21, 2021 | Full Review…

It should scare the shirt off anybody who gets caught in its spell, and delight connoisseurs of the Jules Verne type of thrill fiction.

September 21, 2021 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Thing from Another World


Classic horror - as dreamed for alien contact discovers not revelations for science, increased understanding and technological advancement but instead, in true 50s style, a thirst for human blood from a walking carrot (a comical riposte to veganism decades before the fact). Howard Hawks fingerprints are all over this, with sharp, intelligent writing, editing and direction raising this above the usual run-of-the-mill shock fest. And there's still time for some obligatory pointy sweater little romance before the ultimate showdown with fate. All the female cast, both of them, want to know if anyone wants coffee.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer


The legendary director Howard Hawks was both an uncredited co-writer and co-director for this above average B-movie (which has subsequently spawned two re-makes). At the frozen north pole, scientists and the US airforce have found a genuine flying saucer. When the alien is accidentally thawed out, it turns on the people of the camp. Isolated up at the tiny base, and against a creature that can't be harmed or die by traditional means, the humans must figure out a way to survive the invasion of a plant-based creature that requires their blood to reproduce. Really, it's all a metaphor for the "red scare" brewing at the dawn of the cold war. The scientists and the air force officers are seen as being at odds, while the soldiers want to destroy the harmful creature that might doom the entire human race, the "intellectuals" want to study it, preserve it, and even welcome it as a superior life form. Of course, when the menacing creature gets ahold of them, it recognizes neither friend nor foe, but lashes out with impunity. But metaphor or not, there is a creepy vibe that runs throughout the movie. Maybe it's that theremin-heavy soundtrack or maybe it's the feature-less creature itself (played by Gunsmoke's James Arness), an indistinct frankenstein's-monster-from-space that has razor blades for fingertips and grows back limbs as quick as you can lop them off. Or maybe it's the claustrophobic atmosphere that keeps you on your toes, where on a tiny base surrounded by miles of frozen wasteland where no human could survive for very long, the victims are given no chance of escape. From a personal standpoint, John Carpenter's re-make from 1982 is still tops for one of the most frightening movies I'd ever seen as a kid, but for classic 50s sci-fi, The Thing From Another World is a lot of fun. Now, who wants some coffee?

Devon Bott
Devon Bott

Super Reviewer

As a group of scientists travel into the arctic regions on a normal investigation, which turns into one of the greatest discoveries in the history of mankind. They find that a UFO has crash landed on their planet and as they find another life form, they intend to bring it back for testing, unaware of what this "thing" truly is. They are now on the run, trying to corner and kill this "thing" and the suspense, even for 1951, is phenomenal. It really makes you believe that they are being chased by something that has never been seen by the naked eye. It's performances are believable, it's score is threatening, it's story is new, and most importantly, "it" is terrifying. "The Thing From Another World" is an absolute triumph for classic horror cinema. Brilliant!

KJ Proulx
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

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