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The Thing From Another World

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The Thing From Another World
Theatrical Release Poster
Country Flag of the United States.jpgUnited States
Directed by Christian Nyby
Release Date 1951
Studio Winchester Pictures
Distributor RKO Radio Pictures
Main Cast
Character Actor
Captain Patrick HEndry Kenneth Tobey
The Thing James Arness
Cpl, Barnes William Self
Bob Dewey Martin
Lt. Dykes James R. Young

The Thing From Another World is the now classic 1951 science fiction horror film directed by Christian Nyby and produced by Howard Hawks. The film follows a group of scientists and soldiers trapped at the North Pole who encounter the terrifying truth behind the mysterious object that has crashed near their station. The alien was portrayed by a young James Arness, years before he would become famous for his role as Marshal Matt Dillon in the long running series Gunsmoke. Now widely considered as one of the best of the genre, The Thing From Another World would in 2001 be deemed by the United States Library of Congress as "culturally significant" and was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry. There is some debate as to how much directing Christian Nyby did and how much was actually done by Howard Hawks. The movie also features the rapid-fire overlapping dialogue that was characteristic of a Howard Hawks film. In 1982, John Carpenter would direct a feature film remake, simply entitled The Thing. Unlike the original, the remake was darker in tone and focused more on the horror aspects.

The following weapons were used in the film The Thing From Another World:


M1911A1 Government

Captain Hendry (Kenneth Tobey), Cpl. Barnes (William Self) and Bob (Dewey Martin) all carry and use the G.I. M1911A1 Government.

World War II Colt M1911A1 Pistol - .45 ACP. This was an issued U.S. Army pistol with parkerized finish, thus the official designation of M1911A1
From Left to Right. Captain Hendry (Kenneth Tobey) and Bob (Dewey Martin) with their M1911A1 Government Pistols.


U.S. M1 Carbine

Both Lt. Dykes (James R. Young) and Bob (Dewey Martin) carry and use the M1 Carbine. It appears from the images that they are using a WWII era M1 Carbine.

World War II Era M1 Carbine, with Dark Walnut Stock, 'L' peep sight and no bayonet lug - .30 Carbine - correct for most of WWII, shown with khaki sling and oiler and a period twin magazine pouch for buttstock
Lt. Dykes (James R. Young) with the M1 Carbine.
Our brave band of Air Force personnel, reporter and civilian scientists prepared to confront The Thing (James Arness)
Bob (Dewey Martin) opens up on the door of the greenhouse where The Thing (James Arness) is at. Note the empty cartridge case in the air. Bob rips off four rounds very rapidly.


M8 Flare Pistol

In the film's most famous action sequence our heroes attempt to destroy The Thing by throwing kerosene on it and then igniting it with a flare fired from an M8 Flare Pistol. The most amazing thing is they continue to throw kerosene on the creature after it is on fire causing flames to literally go everywhere. Almost sixty-five years later, the sequence is still very impressive. The stunt took place on the sound stage and the actors were not wearing protective clothing - with the exception of the stuntman playing The Thing (something unlikely in a movie production of the modern era).

M8 Flare Pistol - 37mm
The Thing (James Arness) forces open the door.
Cpl. Barnes (William Self) fires a flare at the alien.
He hits the alien and chaos ensues. Note the bucket of kerosene being thrown at the creature.
A whole new definition of Hotfoot.

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