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The Thing from Another World

USA 1951
produced by
Howard Hawks for Winchester Pictures/RKO
directed by Christian Nyby
starring Kenneth Tobey, Robert Cornthwaite, Margaret Sheridan, Douglas Spencer, James R.Young, Dewey Martin, Robert Nichols, William Self, Eduard Franz, Sally Creighton, James Arnes, John Dierkes, Everett Glass, George Fenneman, Edmund Breon, Norbert Schiller, Paul Frees, David McMahon
screnplay by Charles Lederer, based on the story Who Goes There? by John W. Campbell jr, music by Dimitri Tiomkin, special effects by Donald Steward

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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The North Pole: A mix of scientists and soldiers led by Doctor Carrington (Robert Cornthwaite) - science - and Captain Hendry (Kenneth Tobey) - army -  have found a UFO landing place including a UFO that seems to be still intact under the ice .. and then make a mess of it, blowing up the UFO when trying to thaw it out. Still, at least they have found an alien (James Arness), frozen into solid ice, and they take it to their arctic science lab.

Once in the lab, Carrington and his scientists want to immediately examine the extraterrestrial, but Hendry orders it to remain untouched until he receives further orders - which won't be until radio-communications resume. Somehow though, the alien gets thawed out anyways and wreaks havoc, first killing all the dogs then attacking the human occupants of the lab, who manage to keep it at bay for the moment, but who knows how long because the alien seems to grow stronger and more cunning by the minute.

Carrington examines the creature's remains in his lab and comes to the conclusion that it is actually a plant-like creature feeding on blood. That gives Carrington the crazy idea though to plant some of the spores collected from the creature into his green house's soil and grow them to examine them. And while everyone else is preparing to defent the whole station against the creature that seems to be invulnerable no matter what you throw at it, Carrington becomes more and more obsessed with preserving it to learn from it - to an extent that he tries to sabotage the others' defense efforts.

Ultimately, Hendry and his men have made up a plan to lure the creature into a trap and electrocute it, and even though Carrington makes one last effort to warn the creature and establish communications with it - for which he is just tossed aside by the creature -, the plan to finally kill the creature works ... but where this creature came from, there might be others, so "Keep watching the skies!"

Margaret Sheridan plays Hendry's sweetheart, Douglas Spencer a newspaperman desperate to get te story to his publisher.


A very ok suspense film of the science fiction variety, well-written (provided you can accept the pulpy basic premise) and featuring a better-than-average cast of characters played by a better-than-average cast of actors. Also, many of this film's narrative devices, plottwists, and its premise as such could be found time and again in science fiction movies over the years - but to call Thing from Another World a timeless movie would be dead wrong: The film is actually deeply rooted in Cold War paranoia and xenophobia 1950's style, to a degree where it becomes almost disgusting, and its pro-military, anti-science messages are almost an insult to every thinking brain. That said, as long as you don't read Thing from Another World as a message movie, you will still be entertained.

By the way, Howard Hawks, producer of the film, is labelled as its uncredited actual director in many sources, but there's an equal number of sources that contradicts that rumour. Fact is, that the movie might be well-crafted, but in terms of direction, it simply is nothing out of the ordinary.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD