"Yes, the special effects are very much of the 1950s, but those effects are fun to watch--and unlike most other 1950s sci-fi/horror films, THEM! has a lot more going for it than special effects alone: sharp and aggressive performances, a cast of truly memorable supporting actors, a witty and intelligent script, and best of all (unlike many other films of its era) a story that can still generate plenty of suspense.The grand-daddy of all mutant-monster movies, THEM! concerns a colony of A-Bomb-created giant ants that have lurked in the desert unnoticed until the colony begins to divide. When newborn queen ants take flight, the world is in danger--particularly Los Angeles, where a nest establishes itself in the city's largely forgotten storm drains. Edmund Gwynne and Joan Weldon give strong performances as the father-daughter scientific team sent from Washington to investigate, and James Whitmore and James Arness give able support as the action-heros of the piece. Fess Parker is also very effective in a small supporting role.The real winner in the film, however, are the clever cinematography and sound effects that build tremendous suspense, particularly when investigators must enter the desert ant nest and later track the ants to their Los Angeles lair. These scenes possess a claustrophobic feel not seen again in any sci-fi/horror flick until ALIEN. Without graphic gore but more than a few serious thrills, THEM! is a film the whole family can enjoy."
Finally this 1954 scifi landmark Classic comes to DVD!!
forrie | Nashua, NH United States | 09/26/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In the 1950's the world was testing A-bombs, Hydrogen Bombs, strange results were beginning to appear & Hollywoods imagination was added to the theories. The results a series of movies about radioactive mutated creatures. The first was "THEM"."THEM" (1954) is a landmark movie about giant radiation-mutated ants that gets better with age and boasts remarkable, Academy Award-nominated special effects.Summary: Our story begins in a New Mexico desert with a shocked wandering child, destroyed general store & battered corpse full of enough formic acid to kill 20 men. The search begins to find & destroy these menacing insects. The giant mutated ants are on the move and the climatic battle is in over 700 miles of Los Angeles sewers. An ALL-STAR cast led by James Whitmore, James Arness and Edmund Gwenn.Special Features include; Behind the Scenes Archive footage, Montage & Operation on the Giant Ants, & film trailer.This was the first and probably the best movie featuring the worlds & Hollywoods take on the possible results of radioactive mutation. "THEM" in a great Black & White Standard version (Original theatrical exhibition) digitally restored presenting a very exceptional picture & sound. This sci-fi classic is worth the price of addmission so get out the popcorn and ENJOY!!"
Powerful & chilling tale of giant ants in New Mexico....
P. Ferrigno | Melbourne, Victoria Australia | 12/06/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Arguably, the original and the best of the "genetic mutation by A-Bomb" movies that surfaced during the 1950's..."Them" can still send a chill down the spine today !Convincing acting, a creative script, solid dialogue and an eerie musical score contribute to a film that is still viewed today as an intelligent and well made science fiction thriller. The plot of course is fairly well known....destruction and death are occurring in the New Mexico desert and state troopers are amazed to find out that ants mutated by atomic testing have grown to mammoth proportions. James Whitmore & James Arness lead the charge to halt the spread of these beasts and Edmund Gwenn, as dithering entomology expert Dr. Medford, lends his scientific mind to stopping the horror.Excellent use of both desert and city locations...especially throughout the Los Angelas storm water drains...make this an unnerving and spine tingling adventure. The special effects are a little dated...but it is nearly 50 years ago !!If you love classic / cult sci-fi....then "THEM" belongs on your shelf !!"
Still the scariest giant bug movie ever made...
Mark Savary | Seattle, WA | 08/06/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I first recall seeing this movie many years ago on "The Creature Double Feature" out of Boston. The scariest moment for me has to be when one of our heroes is attacked by a sneaky ant in the ant's storm drain nest. After many years (and sleepless nights!), I have long since come to love this little gem. While the idea of giant ants may seem silly, the film pulls it off with surprising flair. The ants are certainly a bit dated, but even so, they are just real enough to make the unbelievable believable. There's great suspense built up throughout, culminating in an ant beat-down beneath a major metropolitan city. One of the most famous action scenes in sci-fi film history occurs here when a giant ant crashes through a wall and attacks a ship's radio operator. One of our heroes even goes mano e mano with a giant ant in close-quarters combat when he's cut off from help by a cave-in. If you aren't on the edge of your seat by then, you must be comatose!James Arness (Marshal Dillon on "Gunsmoke") plays FBI agent and hero Robert Graham. James Whitmore plays New Mexico police officer Ben Peterson, who first uncovers the mystery of the giant ants. Edmund Gwenn is probably best known to fans as Kris Kringle in the seminal holiday film "Miracle on 34th Street". Here, he plays a dottering old scientist who provides info on ants and their behavior.There are some lighter moments despite the danger posed by the giant ants. Besides fun banter between the characters, Gwenn has an amusing encounter using a military radio, and later, unintentional comedy occurs when scientists mark giant ant sightings on a map using black flags ("Black Flag" is the brand name of a popular insecticide).For all of the wonderful extras and menu design, the fan of "THEM!" will be disappointed with the lack of behind-the-scenes info on the film. For example, some production notes explaining that the film was originally supposed to be shot in Technicolor, but could not be due to the high cost would have been nice (the title card is in blazing red, the only use of color in the film). Also, information on the special coloring of the ant props in anticipation of the Technicolor shoot would have been informative (they were painted red and green). There are few if any behind the scenes shots showing how the ants were operated, which would have been nice. I have to go with four stars due to the lack of more info on the film, but the transfer is tack sharp, and the ants sound as spooky as ever (no info on the sound effects in the extras, either).There are a surprising number of known faces in this film besides Mr. Gwenn, Mr. Whitmore, and Mr. Arness. Leonard Nimoy, forever famous as Mr. Spock on "Star Trek" has an early role here, walking on as a radio man who discusses a "flying saucer" sighting with a secretary. Also look for Fess Parker of Davy Crockett fame as the pilot who reports the giant ant-shaped "saucers". The well-known character actor William Schallert pops up as an ambulance attendant. Schallert appeared in countless cameos in television and films, and is probably best known for playing Patty Duke's father on "The Patty Duke Show". You may also spot Dub Ta ylor as a railway guard. Taylor was a staple of western films, and he's sure to be familiar. If you look quick, you'll also spot Richard Deacon, who went on to play Mel Cooley, the uptight producer (and target for Morey Amsterdam's jokes), on "The Dick Van Dyke Show"."THEM!" is a landmark sci-fi/horror film, and set the standard by which all other giant radiation-mutated bug movies must be judged by. You'll never quite look at ants again in the same way after watching this film. The effects are still good even today, and the ants can still creep you out despite being fifty years old!"
[4.5] A Metaphorical Version of Charlie Wilson's War. DVD f
Mike Liddell | Massachusetts | 06/22/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I make the comparison to Charlie Wilson's War (Widescreen) only conceptually. The Gov. experiments with the A-bomb have led to giant radiation mutated ants and now they have to fix a problem they created. This isn't The Blob - Criterion Collection or The Thing from Another World that is threatening man kind but man. It's our bad basically. Them is a horror film that's basic premise could have been the influence for countless others in the genre, for example Wes Craven's The Hills Have Eyes (2-Disc Edition). Ranking 72nd on Bravo's Scariest Movie Moments list (good special, the 30 scarier movie moments not so much) and mentioned in Stephen King's Stephen King's Danse Macabre as one of the best horror films between 1950-1980. Them is a must see for Sci-Fi horror fans. Besides searching for deeper meanings and making a mountain out of an ant hill Them is an all around fun time which doesn't hesitate to push the limits for it's time. Also worth mentioning is Edmund Gwenn who won an Oscar for his role as Kris Kringle in Miracle on 34th Street (Special Edition). Gwenn provides the Sci Fi angle and some humor as Dr. Harold Medford while stealing the scenes he is in. [4.5]
DVD FEATURES: Has a great old school horror/ comic dvd menu worth noting. Behind the scenes archive footage montage on the design and operation of giant ants Interactive menus - case film highlights - theatrical trailer - scene access"