Them!

USA 1954. Dir: Gordon Douglas. 94 min. DCP

One of the finest science-fiction films of the 1950s shapes itself as a smart, suspenseful, semi-documentary noir police procedural/thriller — and then mutates (!) into something else again. When a traumatized little girl is found wandering in the New Mexico desert and a mutilated body is discovered nearby, state cop James Whitmore and FBI agent James Arness suspect a homicidal maniac is on the loose, but soon uncover a larger, more terrifying mystery. Veteran director Gordon Douglas’s engrossing, surprisingly convincing film earned an Oscar nomination for its special effects and was one of Warner Brothers’ top grossers of 1954. Van Morrison’s band Them (“Gloria”) took their name from the movie. “Intelligent script, extremely well directed, with memorable climax in L.A. sewers ... Look fast for Leonard Nimoy at a teletype machine” (Leonard Maltin).


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