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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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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 6 September 2003
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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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 4 August 2011
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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on 1 March 2003
When the format first appeared I always hoped this film would be released on DVD and five long years later it's here!. Not only a great example of 1950's Sci-fi nuclear panic/monster movie, but a truly all time great movie, in my humble opinion. The story rips along, there's plenty of suspense and some truly memorable sequences. The mutated ants may in reality be large mechanical puppets, but they were still convincing enough even when I first saw this film on 1970's late night TV. This DVD presents a superb print of this black & white classic, plus the film's trailer, and bonus footage showing special effects/photography set ups.
A great cast, especially James Whitmore's portrayal of the police patrolman, some brilliant, and occasionally humorous, but never spoofy, dialogue, and those superbly evocative Southern US desert landscapes. This film is one the all time sci-fi/horror/fantasy classics. Watch out for a brief early sighting of Leonard Nimoy, playing a US army sergeant.
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on 16 May 2016
Not what I was expecting. Looking at the DVD box I was expecting something more like Godzilla. The ants are shown crashing through a city on fire, while people run screaming and beautiful women are carried off. The ants are filled with anger at the humans who destroyed them when they were normal size. None of this happens. The ants are not as big as implied in the artwork and they don't seem to be holding any grudges. The city is never attacked. Really the ants are still just like normal ants, but bigger. I couldn't help but feel sorry for them when they were being shot and burned with flame throwers. And it seemed odd no scientist wanted to catch and keep one for further study. But no, they demanded the whole thing be destroyed. Even the empty egg cases that could harm no one! Call yourself a scientist! Still it was nice to have a female scientist with a doctorate helping lead the investigation, even if they did insist on calling her by her first name keep the men happy. And of course she had to be making eyes at the hunky FBI man (because women can't control their emotions and concentrate on the task in hand, you know). One thing I kept thinking from the start though was, "Where are they all?". If there's one thing we all know about ants is there's loads of them in every nest. We never saw more than about three at once. Usually we saw them one at a time and I never got the feeling there were more. A very manageable threat. Generally I was a bit disappointed with the film. Still, at least I now know what a myrmecologist does.
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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 9 June 2016
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 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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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 16 June 2015
As Creature Features Go Made in The 1950s And There were many They Don't come any better Than this We had the giant spider in Tarantula In Them We Get Giant Ants not just one a whole screen full of them. I like The way The Movie builds in suspense And when they finally Do Appear The Giant Ants are very convincing Look out for James Arness Heading The cast Before finding His calling in The classic western series Gunsmoke And as a Downed pilot who as a run in with The Ants in a very clever cameo role. Daniel Boone Himself Fess Parker. The Female lead is played by Joan Weldon A feisty scientist who teams up with Arness To combat The Ants My favourite scene comes when The Two Go underdround To locate The Ants nest and Destroy it The sets Built for this are really impressive for The Time. The Movie's climax is set in The Los Angele's Storm Drains A location That as Been used in countless Movies and TV shows Most Notable in The classic musical Grease. Them comes complete With some Good special features for a movie of This age Production stills actual test shots of The Ants Themselves Which gives a rare insight into Film making Back Then A True Classic.
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