Them!

1954

Gordon Douglas
Director
Warner Brothers
Studio

Nuclear paranoid sci-fi at its very best! Yes, the ants are a little suspect these days, but the opening scenes are still genuinely unsettling and the characters are great. A true classic.

-The Sloth

Missing persons case in New Mexico reveals existence of giant ants mutated by nuclear tests. Further investigation uncovers that they have a nest. . .in downtown Los Angeles.

First and best of the big bug movies of the Fifties, benefitting from a great cast and a perfectly paced plot, part mystery, part police procedural. One of the best things is the spirit of cooperation in the film. No eye-rolling from the authorities, no conflict between the FBI and local police (which would probably be half the film if it was made today). Instead the response is "What must we do to stop the menace?" Granted, this is probably due to its red scare origins, but it is refreshing. And the filmmakers knew to include some humor amidst the overall serious and menacing tone.

I still think the ants look good--at least they have the benefit of being "real" and not merely CGI phantoms. The scene revealing the location of the first nest is actually pretty nasty, especially for a film made in 1954! The chittering of the ants is as iconic a sci-fi sound as a theramin or the Martian heat ray from War of the Worlds.

Note: Walden Boyle is listed as "Waldron Boyle" in all published sources, but this must be an error copied from a Central Casting sheet or pressbook, as it is clearly Walden Boyle, and no reference to anyone named Waldron Boyle could be found.

-Dave W.


Them!
19th June 1954
Cinema


94 mins
1.75:1

Them!
6th August 2002
DVD


94 mins
1.75:1




"
James Whitmore
Sergeant Ben Peterson
Edmund Gwenn
Dr. Harold Medford
Joan Weldon
Dr. Patricia Medford
James Arness
Robert Graham
Onslow Stevens
Brigadier General Robert O'Brien
Sean McClory
Major Kibbee
Chris Drake
Trooper Ed Blackburn
Sandy Descher
The Ellinson Girl
Mary Alan Hokanson
Mrs. Lodge
(as Mary Ann Hokanson)
Don Shelton
Captain Edwards
Fess Parker
Alan Crotty
Olin Howland
Jensen
(as Olin Howlin)
John Close
Johnny, Police Pilot
(uncredited)
Unknown
Rich, Police Photographer
(uncredited)
William Schallert
Ambulance Attendant
(uncredited)
Mathew McCue
Gramps Johnson (uncredited)
Cliff Ferre
Cliff, Police Lab Man
(uncredited)
Unknown
Kit, State Trooper
(uncredited)
K.L. Smith
Trooper Bringing in Telegram
(uncredited)
Richard Boyer
Trooper #1 (uncredited)
Kenner G. Kemp
Trooper #2 (uncredited)
Joseph Forte
Coroner "Doc" Putnam
(uncredited)
Wally Duffy
Air Force Staff Sergeant at Airfield
(uncredited)
Unknown
Mrs. Johnson (uncredited)
Ann Doran
Child Psychiatrist
(uncredited)
Willis Bouchey
Official at D.C. Meeting
(uncredited)
Norman Field
General James (uncredited)
Otis Garth
Admiral
(uncredited)
John Maxwell
Dr. Grant (uncredited)
Forbes Murray
Official at D.C. Meeting
(uncredited)
Alexander Campbell
Official at D.C. Meeting
(uncredited)
Jack Perrin
Army Colonel at D.C. Meeting
(uncredited)
Unknown
Navy Commander at D.C. Meeting
(uncredited)
Unknown
Official at D.C. Meeting
(uncredited)
Unknown
Official at D.C. Meeting
(uncredited)
James Conaty
Washington Official
(uncredited)
Victor Sutherland
Official at D.C. Meeting
(uncredited)
Booth Colman
Reporter (uncredited)
Walter Coy
Reporter (uncredited)
Janet Stewart
WAVE (Yeoman 2nd Class)
(uncredited)
Leonard Nimoy
Army Staff Sergeant
(uncredited)
Walden Boyle
Doctor (uncredited)
[see note]
Unknown
Navy Radioman
(uncredited)
Unknown
Radioman on SS Viking
(uncredited)
Dick Wessel
Railroad Detective
(uncredited)
Dub Taylor
Railroad Yard Watchman
(uncredited)
Unknown
Detective Carruthers
(uncredited)
Russell Gaige
L.A. Coroner (uncredited)
Dean Fredericks
Detective Curtis (uncredited)
Dorothy Green
Matron (uncredited)
Robert Berger
Patrolman Sutton
(uncredited)
John Beradino
Patrolman Ryan
(uncredited)
Unknown
Drunk (uncredited)
Unknown
Drunk (uncredited)
Mary Lou Holloway
Blonde (uncredited)
Grandon Rhodes
Alcoholic Ward Doctor
(uncredited)
Harry Tyler
Harry, Alcoholic Ward Patient
(uncredited)
Harry Wilson
Alcoholic Ward Patient
(uncredited)
Oscar Blanke
Alcoholic Ward Patient
(uncredited)
Unknown
L.A. Official Talking to Reporters
(uncredited)
Richard Deacon
Reporter at L.A. News Conference
(uncredited)
Charles Meredith
L.A. Official
(uncredited)
Unknown
L.A. Official
(uncredited)
Dean Cromer
MP Sergeant (uncredited)
Lawrence Dobkin
Los Angeles City Engineer
(uncredited)
Warren Mace
Radio Operator
(uncredited)
Unknown
Captain O'Connell
(uncredited)
Joel Smith
Smitty, Ben's Jeep Driver
(uncredited)
Unknown
Kay's Jeep Driver
(uncredited)
Unknown
Kibbee's Jeep Driver
(uncredited)
Unknown
Graham's Jeep Driver
(uncredited)
Roydon Clark
Jeep Driver (uncredited)
Hubie Kerns
Jeep Driver (uncredited)
Richard Bellis
Mike Lodge (uncredited)
Robert Scott Correll
Jerry Lodge (uncredited)
James Cardwell
Officer (uncredited)
Eddie Dew
Officer (uncredited)
Gayle Kellogg
Gunner (uncredited)
Chad Mallory
Loader (uncredited)
Charles Perry
Soldier (uncredited)
Fred Shellac
Attendant (uncredited)

Dave Wright: Screencaps & Notes