A Guide to Apocalyptic Cinema

By Charles P. Mitchell | Go to book overview

Them! (1954)

Rating: ***** Threat: Giant ants

Warner Brothers. Written by Ted Sherdeman & George Worthing Yates; Photographed by Sid Hickox; Special effects by Dick Smith & Ralph Ayers; Edited by Thomas Reilly; Music by Bronislau Kaper; Produced by David Weisbart; Directed by Gordon Douglas. B & W, 93 minutes.


ANNOTATED CAST LIST

Edmund Gwenn (Dr. Harold Medford, renowned entomologist); Joan Weldon (Dr. Pat Medford, his daughter and associate entomologist); James Arness (Bob Graham, FBI agent); James Whitmore (Sgt. Ben Peter son, New Mexico police officer); Christian Drake (Ed Blackburn, his partner); Onslow Stevens (Gen. Robert O'Brien, Air Force Intelligence commander); Sean McClory (Maj. Kibbee, Air Force Intelligence officer assigned to the case); Sandy Descher (young girl who encounters the ants); Luz Potter (girl as seen from airplane); John Close (Johnny, pilot who spots the girl); Mary Alan Hokanson (Mrs. Lodge, mother of lost boys); Scott Corell (Jerry, her son, trapped in an LA storm drain with the ants); Richard Bellis (Mike, her second son); Olin Howlin (Jenson, alcoholic who sees ants from hospital window); Joel Smith (Smith, Ben's jeep driver in storm drain); William Schallert (Medic who rides with girl in an ambulance); Cliff Ferre (police lab man); Don Shelton (Fred Edwards, police captain); Matthew McCue (Gramps Johnson, desert store owner killed by Them); Fess Parker (Crotty, pilot detained in Texas); Joe Forte (Putnam, coroner in New Mexico); Russell Gage (coroner in LA); Ann Doran (psychiatrist treating the girl); Fred Shellac (attendant); Norman Field (Gen. James, Army Intelligence officer); Otis Clarke (admiral who orders the sinking of the Viking); Leonard Nimoy (sergeant who receives UFO report); Janet Stewart (WAVE); Wally Duffy (airman); Warren Mace (Viking radio operator killed by ants); Dub Taylor (railroad yard watchman); Robert Berger (Sutton, LA cop who finds Lodge's body); John Bernardino (Ryan, Sutton's partner); Lawrence Dobkin (L.A. city engineer); Victor Sutherland (senator); Dorothy Green (matron); Frederick J. Foote (Dixon); John Maxwell, Marshall Bradford, Waldron Boyle (doctors); Willis Bouchey, Alexander Campbell (government officials); Booth Coleman, Walter Coy (reporters); Harry Tyler, Oscar Blanke, (winos interviewed by Bob); Harry Wilson, Ken Smith, Kenner Kemp, Richard Boyer, Eddie Dew, Dick Wessell, Dean Cromer, James Cardwell, Gayle Kellogg, Charles Perry, Jack Perrin, Hubert Kerns, Royden Clark (soldiers and policemen).


SYNOPSIS

The dawning of the nuclear era provided great impetus to films with an apocalyptic theme, not limited to the concept of nuclear warfare alone. Them! is a

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A Guide to Apocalyptic Cinema
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Overview: Cinematic Visions of the Apocalypse xi
  • A Guide to Apocalyptic Cinema: Fifty Films in Depth 1
  • The 27th Day (1957) 3
  • Armageddon (1998) 10
  • Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970) 17
  • Crack in the World (1965) 22
  • The Dawn of the Dead (1978) 27
  • The Day the Earth Caught Fire (1961) 33
  • The Day the Sky Exploded (1958/61) 40
  • Day the World Ended (1956) 44
  • Deep Impact (1998) 48
  • Deluge (1933) 54
  • Doomsday Machine (1967/72) 59
  • Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964) 63
  • The End of the World (1930/34) 70
  • Five (1951) 74
  • Holocaust 2000 (1978) 78
  • The Horn Blows at Midnight (1945) 83
  • Kronos (1957) 88
  • The Last Man on Earth (1964) 93
  • The Last War (1961) 98
  • The Last Wave (1977) 103
  • The Last Woman on Earth (1960) 108
  • Lifeforce (1985) 112
  • The Lost Missile (1958) 117
  • The Magnetic Monster (1953) 122
  • The Man Who Could Work Miracles (1936) 127
  • Mars Attacks! (1996) 133
  • Meteor (1979) 139
  • Moonraker (1979) 145
  • The Night the World Exploded (1957) 152
  • Noah's Ark (1929) 157
  • No Blade of Grass (1970) 162
  • No Survivors Please (1964) 168
  • One Night Stand (1984) 172
  • On the Beach (1959) 177
  • Quiet Earth (1985) 184
  • Robot Monster (1953) 189
  • Runestone (1991) 194
  • The Satan Bug (1965) 199
  • The Seventh Sign (1988) 205
  • Solar Crisis (1990) 210
  • Star Trek—the Motion Picture (1978) 214
  • Target Earth (1953) 221
  • Them! (1954) 226
  • Virus (1980) 231
  • Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (1961) 238
  • The War of the Worlds (1953) 243
  • When Worlds Collide (1951) 249
  • Where Have All the People Gone? (1974) 255
  • The World, the Flesh and the Devil (1959) 259
  • Zarkorr the Invader (1996) 265
  • Appendices 269
  • Appendix A 271
  • Appendix B 279
  • Appendix C 283
  • Index 285
  • About the Author 311
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