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February 1, 2010

Flicks: The Thing (1951)

The Thing Lobby Card from 1951
In 1950, director Howard Hawks was an acknowledged master of his craft. His classic films Scarface (1932), Raymond Chandler's The Big Sleep (1946), Hemingway's To Have And To Have Not (1944) and collaborations with Bogie and Bacall had made Hawks a legendary director.

In 1951, Hawks took on The Thing from Another World, aka The Thing based on the short story Who Goes There by John Campell. The B-film utilized Hawks understanding of American military culture (Hawks previously made I Was A Male War Bride in 1949 and Air Force in 1943) to create a framework for a fantastic tale of an extraterrestrial encounter in the frozen tundra of the North Pole.

Margaret Sheridan as the nubile Nikki in Howard Hawks' The Thing (1951)
Many factors make this movie a timeless snapshot of post-WWII America: a careful eye for photographic realism in the exteriors shot in Glacier Park, Montana, the use of actual Air Force aircraft including a C-47, amazing stunts that far surpass many movies made today and Hawks' unique direction of a large and talented ensemble cast.

The 21st century installment of The Thing, is reportedly a prequel that takes place right before the events of John Carpenter's 1982 version. This version, produced by NBC and Strike Entertainment (Strike also produced the excellent Dawn of the Dead remake) will begin shooting in March of 2010 in Toronto for a 2011 release.

IMDB, The Thing From Another World (1951)
IMDB, Howard Hawks
Monster 411.com, Photo Gallery

The Thing is available at:
The Thing on Amazon

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