The Thing

85 minutes

Though the nominal director is Christian Nyby (who was still toiling away at TV movies in the mid-80s), this 1951 science fiction classic is steeped in the personality of its producer, Howard Hawks. The special effects are largely limited to the rubber suit worn by James Arness in the title role, but the film has more frissons than most of today's mega-budget productions, simply because it has the grace to construct a meaningful situation and coherent characters. With Robert Cornthwaite, Kenneth Tobey, and Margaret Sheridan.

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