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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars

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on 22 January 2003
I first saw this film in local flea pit with my film fanatic mother whilst a small child. It left a life time impression on me. It introduced the shock-horror of the fifties B movies, a love of over the top acting and odd special effects. As for the Ants, who can forget the noise they made and the suspense of the first sighting, I won't, an up turned suger bowl still makes me look over my shoulder. They don't make movies like this now... perhaps just as well, but as an introduction to the fears of the fifties you can't do much better. Nuclear poisoning will get us all in the end!! One of my top 50 films of all time.
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on 10 February 2007
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.

For me, the best scene in the whole movie is the heroes' descent into the ants' nest. Atmospherically lit, with rolling mist (cyanide gas!) and dead ants everywhere, this is the definitive stand out scene. It's also the one that inspired the quote at the head of this review. In fact, speaking of quotes, check out the interplay between the four main characters. The dialogue and action flows so freely that, on occasion, it almost feels as though the actors were ad-libbing! It makes for an interesting and unique viewing experience!

So, in short, Them! is a landmark movie that should form part of any discerning viewers' DVD collection. Boasting Academy Award nominated special effects and a competent and likable cast, this movie spawned a generation of films about mutated gigantic creatures. Few have equalled the artistry of Them! If you don't believe me then give it a go - you won't be disappointed!
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on 18 January 2016
A sci-fi classic of yester year. I've always loved this film since I saw it as a young child. Everything hangs together perfectly, the cast and locations are all solid, as are the early era special effects. The giant ants bought to life wonderfully, and shot very well when see. If you love other 50's and 60's sci-fi or monster classics, then this is for you. The disc is region free so will work in the UK and the print itself is a nice sharp transfer.
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VINE VOICEon 24 February 2003
A classic movie from the 1950s has finally come to a mass audience thanks to the wonders of DVD. Beautifully filmed and acted, with a rousing music score and eerie sound effects. The story centres around the discovery of giant ants which have evolved from radiation dust from the first atomic bomb explosion at White Sands, Mexico 1945. The ants, although they do look artificial, are menacing enough. There are some great scenes in the film, notably the search in the giant ant nest, the ants on a drifting ship, and the final confrontation beneath the Los Angeles sewers which have to be seen to be believed.
Overall, a must see if you are a fan of the old movies. Even if you havent seen this, give it a try. Picture and sound are quite good considering the film's age. Trailer is good too.
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on 2 August 2014
very pleased with purchase
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 14 February 2011
Nice 50's 'B movie' dealing once again with the after effects of nuclear weapons testing this time in the shape of enormous ants running amok first in the desert before spreading their wings and establishing colonies in New Mexico and central Los Angeles!
Although I say B movie the budget looked considerable for this production with lots of 15 foot ants on display as well as a large cast, not too shabby special effects and good locations. Of course it is an old black and white film so whilst there is little here to shock and disturb modern audiences nonetheless there are scenes that certainly pushed the boundaries for films of that era; one scene in particular showing an ant holding a stripped rib cage in its mandibles before letting it roll down hill to join a skull and other remains stands out in that respect.
There are elements which aren't very credible such as the manner in which the giant ants can seemingly spread themselves over vast areas without being observed and the government don't seem to have much of a sense of urgency considering the threat to humanity! It is nicely done though and no mean effort to pull of such an ambitious idea with such style and aplomb. A very good example of films of its type.
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on 9 September 2011
Without a doubt one of the best sci-fi films of the 50s. The black and white photography, the stunning sets, the eerie sounds which herald the proximity of the creatures, everything makes for a classic creature film. The actors, particularly James Whitmore, do a pretty good job, although I felt that James Arness as the FBI agent was involved in too much. Surely when the climactic scenes occur in Los Angeles the agent's superiors would have taken over the role, just as more competent superiors would have blasted the desert ant-hill in the first place. Clearly the producers felt that having Whitmore and Arness in leading roles they needed to be involved in as many scenes as possible. Edmond Gwenn was a bit over the top as the eccentric entomologist. His scenes on the airplane's intercom were embarrassing. The little girl was superb as the shell-shocked orphan who only responds to formic acid. But the real stars of the film are the giant ants. Even now when I see ants scurrying across my kitchen floor in mid-summer I think about THEM. If you haven't seen this movie, buy it. It's cheap enough.
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This film opens with a Police Sargent and his partner finding a young girl, in a somewhat cationic state, wandering in the desert. As the narrative progresses, it appears that the earliest atomic tests in New Mexico have had some form of accumulative effect in the evolutionary path of certain invertebrate. The results are not good, as it causes common ants to metamorphose into giant man-eating freaks that threaten humanity.

Into the picture then come Edmund Gwenn and Joan Weldon, entomologists, and James Arness, FBI man. With the aid, of the military, in the form of air force officers Onslow Stevens and Sean McClory; the little group attempts to wipe out the nest of the mutated monsters with flamethrowers and gas – before they disperse across the world.

With good casting and a ​decent script, all of which helped make the proceedings tense, interesting and, unexpectedly enough, rather convincing. Perhaps it is the film's austere and seemingly factual approach, which is its top attribute.
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on 12 January 2012
Them is one of the better creature features of the 50's. The huge ants still look pretty realistic.
The first half hour is simply brilliant, then we have a dip in the middle before the climax in the sewers of LA.

The acting is brilliant the script even better, it's a really tight movie and when you consider the over the top subject nature it feels all the way through like a professional movie. I am sure at the time that movie goers and critics would have been impressed with the seriousness of the film and this has not changed.

Even though I absolutely love the cover for the DVD, it is a bit misleading. Nobody unfortunetly is seen being eaten by any of the ants, and they do not roam around on the streets of LA. This is a slight sticking point, was this down to budget? Having these ants let loose on the streets would have been fun. I also feel that the second half of the movie is not as strong as the first. However lets not be churlish here, this is a wonderful movie. Highly watchable.
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on 19 February 2011
Another one of those films which scared the daylights out of me when I was a kid,and still carries well today. Even before the ants appear,the suspense is gradually built up with the police investigating a ripped-up caravan and building,mysterious disappearances and a young girl found wandering in the desert,occasionally accompanied by the disturbing whistling of the ants in the distance. The giant ants (full size 8ft models) are well animated,and scenes such as an ant appearing on the rise just behind the female scientist,and where the searchers find the nest in the desert to witness an ant emerge carrying a human ribcage,are particularly memorable. Don't dismiss this film as just another mutant monster movie. It's a classic story,and for the time it was made it's superb.
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