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Rate "THEM! (1954)"
10 33%  33%  [ 2 ]
9 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
8 33%  33%  [ 2 ]
7 33%  33%  [ 2 ]
6 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
5 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
4 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
3 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
2 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
1 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Zer0 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Total votes : 6
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 Post subject: THEM! (1954)
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 8:06 am 
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THEM! (1954)


Original Release Date: June 19, 1954
Cast: James Whitmore, Edmund Gwenn, James Arness, Fess Parker and Joan Weldon
Writer(s): Ted Sherdeman and Russell S. Hughes {Based on a story by George Worthing Yates}
Director: Gordon Douglas

A horror horde of crawl-and-crush giants clawing out of the earth from mile-deep catacombs!



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 Post subject: Re: THEM! (1954)
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 8:56 am 
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 Post subject: Re: THEM! (1954)
Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2009 8:37 pm 
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"Them!" is as engaging, if not more so, than most other '50s monster movies. The opening scenes of the shocked little girl walking through the desert along with the discovery of a destroyed trailer builds some nice suspense until the monsters are revealed. The problem with the movie is that the threat posed by "them" never seems nearly as serious as the "end of mankind" speeches dramatically delivered by Dr. Medford. The effects were probably pretty convincing to early 1950's movie goers.

My Rating: 7 - Very Good

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 Post subject: Re: THEM! (1954)
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2009 5:23 pm 
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For me, the reason THEM! (1954) stands out some from among the majority of the fifties monster movies (and even amid all the fifties sci-fi films) is the actors, primarily James Whitmore and Edmund Gwenn. Whitmore plays it straight, as if it's all really happening, and I think this really adds to the tension. Also, bottom line, Whitmore was one of the best film actors around, period (and he preferred the stage). Gwenn played probably the best example of the prototypical investigating head scientist in movies such as this. But, whereas most other such film roles are laughed at nowadays, Gwenn really does come across as a true scientist (I'm still enthralled, after all this time, with his narration of the little documentary within the film that he shows to Washington DC bigwigs).

The rest of the cast is fine; Arness is more of the B-movie style acting found in the typical fifties sci-fi film. I've had arguments with Arness fans in other forums who opined that he's just as good as Whitmore, but that just isn't the case. The giant ant FX - OK, very outdated and probably not too impressive even back in 1954. Still, this is the first film I checked out in this forum; there's a reason for that.


I give this one an 8.


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 Post subject: Re: THEM! (1954)
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2009 11:19 pm 
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Kaptain Kirk wrote:
Still, this is the first film I checked out in this forum; there's a reason for that.


:clap: Good choice to start with, Kaptain.

I have always loved this film, personally. It brings backs scores of memories from bygone years - people, places, childhood, etc. I'm still not sure what I would consider this movie, Action, Drama, Sci-fi ... it's just engrossing as hell.

As mentioned, Sandy Descher, the little girl in the desert walking through the sage and sand. Whitmore straight and true protector of the law, women, and slayer of large insects. Edmund Gwenn as the slightly mad and all too serious Doc Medford, perfectly cast. Come on, who doesn't remember his "Gotta Find the Queens" speech? The Doc really enforced the whole end of days mood throughout this film, warning of atomic peril, end of days, etc. Last, but not least, the Ants themselves. Visually, not as threatening as the sound they made. Their screech has the adrenaline pumping more - because you know they're near.

8!
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 Post subject: Re: THEM! (1954)
Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2011 9:47 pm 
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I just checked out THEM! again during the TCM sci-fi marathon a couple of hours ago.
I was struck by a different impression this time - I felt a little sorry for the ants this time around.

These giant ants were created by mankind indirectly or inadvertantly by their atomic bomb tests.
Then, during the course of the film, mankind seeks to destroy the ants (succeeding, for now).

The ants didn't ask for this.

In essence, mankind in this film is the creator, then destroyer, taking over from God.
So, there might be more levels to this film than I previously thought.

Of course, similar themes in sci-fi go all the way back to the Frankenstein story.


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 Post subject: Re: THEM! (1954)
Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 3:58 pm 
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Please forgive me, Kaptain Kirk, but I have no sympathy for ants -- big, little, or in between.

I burned those little buggers with magnifying glasses when I was a kid. These days I spray them with Raid when they wander into my house.

What I think Them! needs is an enhanced version which fixes those awful FX that show the big, clunky ants. They looked ridiculous to audiences in the 1950s, and they look even worse to audiences today.

Ray Harryhausen's animation is still capable of thrilling modern audiences, but the clumsy ants in Them! look exactly like what they are: poor full-sized mock-ups of ants being yanked around by stag hands.

I apologies to all you folks who like the FX in the original move. Obviously I don't.

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 Post subject: Re: THEM! (1954)
Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 4:14 pm 
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No worries, Bud. Being that this was intended to be a #D - then released as a standard film, I have to believe that the ants were intended for 3d shock value rather than the stand alone fear effect. Again, I like the sound aspect over the visual. The footprints in the sand and the eerie howling screech is much more atmospheric.


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 Post subject: Re: THEM! (1954)
Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 11:55 am 
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 Post subject: Re: THEM! (1954)
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2011 1:32 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: THEM! (1954)
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 3:21 pm 
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Before Matt Dillon....James Arness found himself in two great 1950's sci-fi greats....I give both a 10 easily.

"Them" was 50s sci-fi at it's best....period.

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