Them 1954

Amazon Instant Video

(83) IMDb 7.3/10

In this Cold War era film, nuclear tests in the desert result in the growth of gigantic mutant ants who menace cities in the south-west of the US. A team of investigators and the Army search for a way to control their spread. But will the ants prove too much for them?

James Whitmore,Edmund Gwenn
1 hour, 28 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Science Fiction, Horror
Director Gordon Douglas
Starring James Whitmore, Edmund Gwenn
Supporting actors Joan Weldon, James Arness
Studio Echelon
BBFC rating Parental Guidance
Rental rights 48 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

58 of 61 people found the following review helpful By Sheryl Jackman on 10 Feb. 2007
Format: DVD
I first saw this movie when I was very young and the images stayed with me for a long time, especially the atmospheric and climatic assault on the Los Angeles storm drains sequence. Years later, I happened to see it again and it was this viewing that established Them! firmly in my list of all time favourite movies.

So, what's so special about this movie? - I hear you ask. Well, you often hear the term 'classic' being applied to movies of this era and, quite often, they simply don't deserve it. Them! is one of the few movies that qualifies to be called a classic and rightly so. Quite simply, it's one of the best creature movies of the 1950's.

Its basic plot is very simple. Strange things are happening in the desert of New Mexico - a child is found wandering in shock and a general store is ransacked, its owner pumped full of enough formic acid to kill 20 men. Police Sgt Ben Peterson (James Whitmore) and FBI agent Robert Graham (James Arness) are assigned to investigate. But they are at a loss to explain what's going on until the arrival of Dr Medford (Edmund Gwenn) and his daughter Pat (Joan Weldon). What they discover has far reaching consequences. Atomic bomb testing has created a colony of giant mutated ants. And if the queen ant mates and hatches her eggs it could be the end of civilization as we know it!

For a movie made in the 1950's, the effects are surprisingly good. Of course, the focus is on the giant ants and, while today's audiences would probably find them laughable, if you stop to think about it, they really are remarkably effective for the age - I've seen worse giant crawlie effects in far younger movies. And the sound effect for the giant ants - a sort of chirrupy-whistling - is suitably creepy and instantly memorable.
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51 of 54 people found the following review helpful By "mark58160" on 6 Sept. 2003
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I grew up in the States watching a Saturday show called 'Creature Double Feature'. My Dad and I would crash in front of the TV for 3-4 hours watching the films he grew up on. I saw everything from 'Creature from the Black Lagoon' and 'Earth vs. the Flying Saucers' to 'The Brain that Wouldn't Die' and 'The Day of the Triffids'. But, by far, the most memorable of any film I saw was 'Them!'.
From the eerie shrieking sounds near a destroyed desert shop (reminiscent of the 'Day of the Triffids', hear 'em before you see 'em), to a small young girl screaming in her hospital bed (Kaiser Sosae!), to the Los Angeles sewer system, this movie stayed with me for for 20+ years.
Yeah, the creatures are a bit static, but they look great and the buildup of suspense (for its time) is fantastic. I remember in specific a woman who gets off her bus on a fog drenched night, hears the eerie noise and know she's being stalked by something, inspiring her to run screaming. Reminds me in a sense of 'Alien' - you know its there, its hungry and its faster than you are.
If you're a true fan of classic sci-fi, you can't afford not to own this film.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Colin Smith TOP 500 REVIEWER on 4 Aug. 2011
Format: DVD
This entertaining eco-disaster movie opens in eerily atmospheric fashion, with a couple of police officers discovering a shocked little girl wandering through the New Mexico desert clutching a shattered toy doll, the dumbstruck and terrified youngster eventually manages to cry out the immortal word THEM!
The initial investigation uncovers a mysterious death in a ransacked little general store. With the nearby area having previously been used as an atomic weapon test site, the full horror from the fallout takes the form of radiation-infected giant ants, who before eventually revealing themselves in all their glory remain unseen, while only signaling their presence with a series of ominously menacing sounds.

With the scale of the threat becoming obvious, the decision is made to fly in entomologist Dr Harold Medford (Edmund Gwenn) and his daughter. Cue an informative lecture on the highly organised world of the ant, as our insect expert imparts educated advice to the attending powers that be, before the military offensive begins.
The special effects are quite good (for the time). The good script provides an enjoyable sci-fi/monster story that holds the attention, before the movie eventually reaches the final showdown, with the giant menace threatening Los Angeles via the city's storm drains. Solid performances all round contribute to one of the best "creature features" of the 50's, a golden era for sci-fi/monster flicks.

The black and white picture and sound quality are good. The disc features a stylish newspaper headline-style menu. The extras are a short behind the scenes expose', a photo gallery and a trailer.

The spoken languages are: English, German, Spanish.
The subtitle languages are: English, French, Spanish, Finnish, German, Icelandic, Swedish, Turkish, Czech, Polish, Greek, Dutch.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Jolley HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 25 Nov. 2007
Format: DVD
As a kid, I thought it was entertaining to squirt ants with my water gun and see if they could get away without drowning. I'm not proud of that fact, but I daresay I'm not the only dumb kid who ever tortured ants for fun. You can't tell me you've never kicked over an anthill before. For centuries, ants have also paid the price for the "crimes" committed by their nastier cousins (bees, wasps, etc.) because they are the perfect scapegoats - you can find them anywhere, and they're oh so harmless (well, except for the likes of fire ants and soldier ants). Just think about how many ants you've unknowingly squashed under your shoes over the years. Even those who "wouldn't hurt a fly" have probably sent countless ants to that big ant hill in the sky. If I were an ant, I would hunger for revenge on all the ruthless humans. Here they are, mind bogglingly more powerful than the mightiest of their tormentors (no human can lift something twenty times his own body weight), veterans of interspecies warfare, more organized than even the mightiest of human armies, and yet they can do nothing but wish they were large enough to really teach humans a lesson. Ironically, human beings actually grant them their wish in this seminal science fiction/horror classic.

Nothing much happens out in the New Mexico desert - until now. It's a big mystery at first, as Sgt. Ben Peterson (James Whitmore) and his partner pick up a shell-shocked young girl wandering aimlessly in the desert, then discover an abandoned car trailer down the road that has been ripped apart pretty good. The only clues - a bloody shirt, a mysterious print in the sand, and some scattered sugar cubes. The situation gets curiouser and curiouser when they check in at Gramps' store and find it all smashed up, just like the trailer.
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