The movie stars Kenneth Tobey, Margaret Sheridan, Douglas Spencer and Robert O. Cornthwaite, and James Arness as The Thing. I love this movie and watch it several times a year. The main reason I like this version is because the plot is simple and moves quickly, the characters are likable people, and the dialogue is witty and flows naturally. The characters are like old friends and are comfortable with each other; they don’t skip a beat when talking to one another.
Set in Alaska, the film opens with Air Force Captain Hendry and his men being sent to a remote Arctic research station to check on a group of scientists who claim a mysterious aircraft has crashed landed near their research facility. Captain Hendry (Tobey) allows a newspaper reporter to accompany them in the airplane along with sled dogs and other equipment.
Once there, Hendry quickly assesses the situation and discovers that the unknown aircraft has melted into the ice and refrozen. My favorite scene is when the scientists and Hendry’s men determine the shape of the craft. They each walk out to the rim of the craft and hold out their hands. Immediately, they realize they have found a round flying saucer. They all agree the best way to melt the ice to get to the craft is by using thermite heat explosives. However, they accidently blow up the spacecraft. Crew chief Bob, played by Dewey Martin, discovers the body of the alien frozen in the ice. (Interestingly, this icy-set scene was filmed at the RKO ranch in the San Fernando Valley in 100-degree heat.)
You won’t find out the fate of the Thing in this review. Just watch the film and enjoy the screenplay and likable, interesting characters. The most famous quote comes at the end when Scotty warns people everywhere to “watch the skies.”
There is a colorized version of The Thing From Another World on video. My father recorded the film from television for me many years ago and I still have it. My husband got me the DVD for Christmas last year. That fact alone tells you how much I love this movie.