THEM! (1954) - movie
  • One of my favorite classic horror movies of all time!

    The film begins with New Mexico State Police Sergeant Ben Peterson (James Whitmore) investigating the disappearance of a vacationing FBI agent and his wife, the Ellinsons, after the discovery of their little girl wandering the desert near Alamogordo, New Mexico, mute and in a state of shock. After more mysterious deaths and disappearances occur in the area (including that of Peterson's patrol partner, Ed Blackburn, played by Chris Drake), the FBI sends in Ellinson's fellow agent Robert Graham (James Arness) to assist. The Ellinson's trailer is found pulled asunder by some great force, with a single strange track near the wreckage. When the FBI is unable to identify the track, they attract the attention of Doctors Harold (Edmund Gwenn) and Pat Medford (Joan Weldon), a father/daughter team of entomologists from the Department of Agriculture.

    The elder Doctor Medford arrives on the scene with a theory, but will not disclose it until he tries an experiment on the Ellinson girl, having her smell the contents of a vial of formic acid, which frees her from her state of near-catatonic withdrawal, screaming "Them! Them!" Returning to the destroyed trailer with Peterson, Graham, and his daughter, Medford has his theory dramatically given its final proof when the group encounters a patrol of foraging ants, mutated by atomic radiation to the size of automobiles. The lawmen kill one of the ants with a Thompson sub-machine gun after finding that their revolvers have little effect. They aimed for the antennae on Medford's advice that they were helpless without them.

    A company of the US Air Force is brought in, led by General O'Brien (Stevens), which locates the ants' nest and exterminates the inhabitants with poison gas. The younger Dr. Medford, who accompanies Peterson and Graham into the nest, finds evidence that two young queens have hatched and flown away to establish new colonies. Trying to avoid a general panic, the government covertly monitors and investigates any reports of unusual activities as sightings of "flying saucers". One of the queens ends up in the hold of an ocean-going freighter loaded with sugar, which is then overrun by the ants and subsequently sunk by a US Navy cruiser. From the rantings of an alcoholic, and an investigation into the death of a father protecting his two young, now missing, sons from an apparent ant attack, the other queen is finally tracked to the Los Angeles storm sewer system, forcing the Army to openly declare martial law and launch a major assault.

    During the assault, Peterson finds the two missing boys alive, trapped by the ants in a sewer tunnel. Peterson heroically rescues the two boys, but at the cost of his own life when while lifting the boys to safety, an ant grabs him in its mandibles and crushes him at the waist. Graham arrives to the scene quickly with reinforcements, and kills the ant attacking Peterson, but Peterson succumbs to his injuries and dies in Graham's arms after confirming that the boys made it to safety. Graham is nearly killed himself when a cave-in temporarily seals him off from the rest of the men as they march towards the egg chamber; several ants charge him, but Graham is able to hold them off long enough for the other troops to tunnel through the debris and come to his rescue. The nest's queen and egg chamber are then destroyed with flamethrowers after a short but fierce battle, but the senior Dr. Medford issues a grim warning that the atomic genie has been let out of the bottle, and further horrors may await mankind.
  • I am probably one of the few people on this site that has ever seen that movie! And I am so not from that generation! I just saw it on a movie channel, and had the mind to watch it. Must say though, very corny but it was pretty good for the time.
  • The following caught my eye:

    And I am so not from that generation!
    Must say though, very corny but it was pretty good for the time.


    Far too many of "this" generation seem to have a hard time following any older movies that actually depend on following a storyline or plot. Nowadays, movies and those they cater too must rely on buckets of blood, obscene amounts of gore and swearing, and special effects.

    Yes, compared to the CGI of today, many of the older movies may seem "corny", but they offered something movies and the general movie-going audience of today are lacking: the use of ones imagination and the comprehension of the spoken word.
  • I can't remember though, was the idea of an animal, or animals(in this case) , being mutated by nuclear testing still "new"?
    Oh and as for buckets of blood and Special effects, don't care much for the buckets of blood, but if THEM was remade I think it would be interesting to see how the new special effects either improve or totally ruin it...