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The Thing (1982)

R  |   |  Horror, Sci-Fi  |  25 June 1982 (USA)
8.2
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 230,109 users  
Reviews: 891 user | 283 critic

Scientists in the Antarctic are confronted by a shape-shifting alien that assumes the appearance of the people that it kills.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Dr. Blair (as A. Wilford Brimley)
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Charles Hallahan ...
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Windows (as Thomas Waites)
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Norwegian Passenger with Rifle (as Larry Franco)
Nate Irwin ...
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Storyline

An American scientific expedition to the frozen wastes of the Antarctic is interrupted by a group of seemingly mad Norwegians pursuing and shooting a dog. The helicopter pursuing the dog explodes, eventually leaving no explanation for the chase. During the night, the dog mutates and attacks other dogs in the cage and members of the team that investigate. The team soon realizes that an alien life-form with the ability to take over other bodies is on the loose and they don't know who may already have been taken over. Written by Goth <brooks@odie.ee.wits.ac.za>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Man is The Warmest Place to Hide. See more »

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

25 June 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

John Carpenter's The Thing  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$3,107,897 (USA) (2 July 1982)

Gross:

$13,782,838 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(35 mm prints)| (70 mm prints)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Some of the scenes deleted from the movie include;
  • Doc and Blair checking the corpse of the dead Norwegian that Garry killed. Garry takes Norwegian's ID tags and reads his name, Jans Bolen. Childs is asked by Garry did Norwegian said something before he was shot, and Child's response is; "Am i start looking Norwegian to you, bwana?"


  • Norris goes to Mac's shack and tells him that he needs to fly the helicopter over to Norwegian base.


  • Mac and Doc checking the destroyed Norwegian base longer and right after they found giant block of ice where the thing was frozen they also find the body of one more dead Norwegian stuffed inside the closet.


  • Rest of the crew sitting together and waiting for Mac and Doc back at outpost while two of them are at Norwegian base.


  • Mac moving his stuff inside the base because cold weather outside is too much for his shack.


  • Doc and Fuchs checking the footage from Norwegian base.


  • Mac watching some footage from Norwegian base with his "friend", blow-up doll.


  • Blair checking the Dog-Thing's dead body longer while rest of the crew is asking questions about it. When Blair mentions that the thing is not dead yet, everyone back off from it.


  • Mac and Norris climbing out of the crater where the thing's UFO is located.


  • Mac shows everyone ripped clothes that Nauls found in his kitchen, revealing that who ever was wearing it is large person, however most of the crew members are therefore suspected to be the things.


  • Deleted sequence during the scene where some of the crew members are tied down when lights in outpost turn off, causing panic between the crew for some time before Mac and Palmer manage to fix it. John Carpenter mentioned in DVD commentary that "Lights out" scene was deleted because it was lighted with blue light which didn't really work in the scene.


  • Originally, Fuchs was found dead by Childs and Palmer inside their greenhouse, pinned to a door with a shovel impaled into his chest (in original script, he was killed in same way but with with an axe). There is a picture that shows Fuchs impaled with the shovel on the door, however there is also one picture that shows rather a Fuchs-thing, still impaled and looked to be burned, but rather smiling.


  • Originally, Bennings was killed with a screwdriver from behind by an unidentified person in a blue coat (presumably Blair) while he was inside the cannel. Beginning of this scene where he enters the kennel, sees someone and says "Clark?" was used for early TV cuts and it was also in deleted scenes in Special Edition of the movie. Carpenter mentioned that he wanted to make Clark look more suspicious with this scene, but after viewing the scene in early previews, it didn't fit well with rest of the movie, and it felt more like something out of Carpenter's Halloween.


  • Mac and Nauls are checking the Mac's shack when suddenly Mac's blow-up doll flies out through the shack's destroyed roof, scaring the hell out of both of them.


  • Blair-thing was originally shown onscreen much longer in really bad stop-motion scene which Carpenter deleted.


See more »

Goofs

(at around 53 mins) When Blair is destroying the radio room he drops the axe to the floor and fires his gun. When they rush him with the table he suddenly has the axe back in his hands and hits the table with it. See more »

Quotes

Fuchs: [whispering] I have to talk to you.
MacReady: I'm tired of talkin', Fuchs. I just wanna get up to my shack and get drunk.
Fuchs: Mac, it's important.
MacReady: What is it?
Fuchs: Outside.
MacReady: It's 40 below zero outside.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Big Bang Theory: The Monopolar Expedition (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

SUPERSTITION
Written and Performed by Stevie Wonder
Courtesy of Motown Record Corporation
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Right up there with "Halloween"--one of Carpenter's best!
6 December 2003 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Remake of the classic 1951 "The Thing From Another World". 12 men are in a completely isolated station in Antartica. They are invaded by a thing from outer space--it devours and completely duplicates anything it chooses to. It starts off as a dog but gets loose--and has a chance to duplicate any of the men. Soon, nobody trusts anyone else--they're isolated--the radio is destroyed--their helicopter likewise. What are they going to do?

The 1951 film had the thing just be a big, super human monster. That movie was scary. This one is too--but the story is different (and based more closely on the source material--the novelette "Who Goes There?") and it's scary in a different way. The movie starts right off with Ennio Morricone's extremely eerie score setting just the right tone and--when the Thing gets attacked--the amount of gore is astounding. There's blood and body parts flying all over--arms are bitten off, heads detach and--in the strongest one--one man is devoured face first by the Thing. The gore effects are STRONG and real nightmare material. I don't scare easy but I had to sleep with the lights on when I saw this originally back in 1982. Rob Bottin's effects are just incredible--how this picture got by with an R rating is beyond me!

It also has a very creepy feel--gore aside, it is very suspenseful. You're not sure who is what and Carpenter's direction and the score really build up the tension. One complaint--no one is given any distinctive personality traits. They actors just remain straight-faced and say their lines. That's annoying...but the movie still works.

This was a critical and commercial disaster in 1982--it competed with "E.T." and MANY critics complained about the amount of gore and there being no female characters in the movie. It's now considered one of John Carpenter's best. A must-see...for strong stomaches. NOT a date film!

An amusing note: When this was released Universal sent a note along with all prints of the film. They suggested to theatre owners that they play the film in an auditorium near the rest rooms. They were afraid that people would be so sickened by the violence that they'd have to be close to a facility to throw up!


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