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An intellectual carrot! The Behind the Scenes Pic of the Day’s mind boggles!

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with today’s Behind the Scenes Pic!

It took me a long time to get to Howard Hawks’ The Thing From Another World. John Carpenter’s remake was my generation, what I grew up with and what I’ve loved since my earliest memories. I knew pretty early on that the original wasn’t going to capture me in quite the same way.

That doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy The Thing From Another World… in fact, I liked quite a lot about it (as evidenced here), especially the insanity of the final fire stunt. It's just a film that I feel has to be viewed within the context of its time and I feel Carpenter's film is a little more timeless (minus some of the computer screen graphics, of course).

Today we’re going to look at some tests with the Thing himself, Mr. James Arness partially in costume, but without any make-up. I love how these photos illustrate just how much of a giant Arness was in his time.

Thanks to reader Bobby Mort for sending these along! Click each for a bigger version!





Tomorrow’s Behind the Scenes Pic honors the final Discovery shuttle launch with a shot of one of our best sci-fi dreamers.

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Readers Talkback
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  • Feb. 24, 2011, 5:02 p.m. CST

    Love this film.

    by King_Knut

    For its time, just as grounbreaking and scary as the remake. Plus it's British!

  • Feb. 24, 2011, 5:06 p.m. CST

    This BTS pic thing...

    by BatMatt21

    has gone to shit. How about some pictures from movies that arent 50 god damn years old???

  • Feb. 24, 2011, 5:07 p.m. CST

    I guess he picked the wrong day to quit smoking.

    by MotherPussBucket


  • Feb. 24, 2011, 5:10 p.m. CST

    Agreed King

    by B Arnold Quizzling

    This is one great movie that's loads of fun and has quite a few true scares. They'll probably remake it after the prequel does okay box office. Any bets on the new cast? Taylor Lautner in the Kurt Russel role. Egad.

  • Feb. 24, 2011, 5:14 p.m. CST

    The Alien on Fire scene is pretty damn impressive

    by D.Vader

    Considering they used only the fire to light that shot, and just the sheer amount of fuel they keep adding to that blaze as the creature continues to stagger forward. Its awesome.

  • Feb. 24, 2011, 5:17 p.m. CST

    looks like a giant Anthony Michael Hall


  • Feb. 24, 2011, 5:38 p.m. CST

    Pros & cons

    by berserkrl

    I like everything about this movie except the alien itself (in its grown form), which is rather anticlimactic. The creepiest scene is with the baby plants. The explorers discovering the saucer is a cool scene. The dialogue (typically for Hawks) is far better than the average 50s monster flick.

  • Feb. 24, 2011, 5:51 p.m. CST

    Mister Dillon!!! Mister Dillon!!!

    by knightrider

    A couple of years before he started his 20 year stint on Gunsmoke! Great pics!!

  • Feb. 24, 2011, 5:55 p.m. CST

    Original Thing

    by buggerbugger

    ...would have been fucked if he'd been thawed out by a bunch of vegetarians.

  • Feb. 24, 2011, 6:05 p.m. CST

    That is a large man

    by aversiontherapy2

  • Feb. 24, 2011, 6:07 p.m. CST

    I'm from your generation

    by McFlypaper

    And I still love the Hawks film just as much if not more than Carpenters. Carpenter gives me the scares but the original is more fun. The rapid fire banter and great character dynamics do it for me. Plus Margaret Sheridan was kind of hot.

  • i get the movie and what it tried to convey and i understand that for its time it must have been a great experience,but as a pulp b-movie made in the 50s it has inevitable flaws which didnt manage to withstand the passing of time. i kept listening for the original since well i watched Carpenters masterpiece for the first time,but i never got the chance to watch it until recently. ofc i knew even before watching it,that it is a mistake to compare it with the 80s remake because they are two completely different movies which stand by their own and i did exactly that,i watched it as a different story which had some scarce similar details here and there with the 80s remake. but still i didnt like the original that much.i just didnt.i have watched a lot of the 50s pulp flicks and there are many which i love despite their flaws and age. i didnt like the super cheesy monster.i didnt like the cheesy way of how it was killed.i didnt like the irritating reporter who just couldnt STFU.i didnt like the sexism in the film.i didnt like the gung-ho cowboy stereotype of the movie's hero.i didnt like the portrayal of the lead scientist as your stereotype mad-man scientist.i didnt like the sheer stupidity and the childish reaction of all the people when they encountered the most significant discovery in human history,they blew it with their thermal charges,and then the went back to the base like nothing happened. i didnt like the lack of tension of atmosphere in the movie.i didnt feel threatened and anxious for the Thing and the only murders were only spoken of and never shown.i didnt like the fact that the most part of the movie movie was looked more as a theatrical play done in 2-3 confined rooms and with the plot progressing in distinct steps.i didnt like the acting and i didnt care about the character. i didnt like how poorly the movie treated the science side and how much it favored the military side of the argument that was posed in the story.i didnt like the melodramatic,cliche and driven by uncontrolled patriotism and militarism speech of the reporter in the end of the film. thats generally speaking the problems i have with the i said i do get the film,and i do like a lot of other films of that era and genre but unfortunatelly TTFAT is not one of them despite its cult status.

  • Feb. 24, 2011, 6:43 p.m. CST

    I prefer Carpenter's version

    by disfigurehead

  • Feb. 24, 2011, 6:43 p.m. CST

    Carpenters THING timeless????

    by Jobacca

    I think not. I'm a child of the late 70's-80's and as much as I loves me some John Carpenter(and not just the easy stuff...I even love PRINCE OF DARKNESS),Howard Hawks THING is a thousand times more impressive. Even as a young kid I preferred Hawks Thing over Carpenters Thing. Fun Fact-read this back and assume that when I say THING I actually mean penis....heh,heh. But seriously,the Carpenter version was full of bullshit and unnecessary gore. And A. Wilford Brimley. Who the fuck was he trying to fool,sounding all fancy with that A in front of his name? Fuck You Oatmeal Man(although I loved you in the Ewok movie).

  • A true film lover and scholar would never utter this dreaded phrase.

  • Feb. 24, 2011, 7:08 p.m. CST

    I prefer the non-sausagefest original.

    by Fred

  • Feb. 24, 2011, 7:15 p.m. CST

    Last pic...

    by phifty2 THAT is Captain America.

  • Feb. 24, 2011, 7:27 p.m. CST

    Picture #2 - Good Morning Mr. Phelps

    by jwadventure

    You can see the resemblance between Arness and his brother, Peter Graves in second photo. If you close your eyes and listen, they have the exact same voice.

  • Feb. 24, 2011, 7:36 p.m. CST

    So that last pic?

    by maxjohnson1971

    Is that how he looked after he finally banged Ms. Kitty?

  • Feb. 24, 2011, 8:52 p.m. CST

    Holy cats...!

    by Nasty In The Pasty

    Love the Dimitri Tiomkin score to the original, one of the first sci-fi films of the 50's the utilize the theremin.

  • Feb. 24, 2011, 11:44 p.m. CST

    jobacca: I will not sit here and take your Wilfred A Brimley

    by UltraTron

    insults. Everyone knows that if he didn't use the A he would have been mistaken for Wilfred Brimley.

  • Feb. 24, 2011, 11:58 p.m. CST


    by godhelpus

  • Feb. 25, 2011, midnight CST

    I might be one of the few who saw the original first

    by Toe Jam

    And, as an 8-year-old, it scared the shit out of me, though that's no great feat. The arm scene, in particular, was terrifying, as was the scratching at the door. Don't think I've even seen it again since then, actually, even though the remake is probably my favorite horror film of all time.

  • Feb. 25, 2011, 1 a.m. CST

    Where's my THING remake trailer?

    by BenBraddock

  • Feb. 25, 2011, 3:53 a.m. CST

    so Killik

    by macheesmo3

    You didn't like it because yer a communist? Or just unable to seperate your mind from the present day and put things in perspective of their own time? I'm confused because I can't see how anyone couldn't at least have fun with this film unless they were just brainless or so smug as to be unbearable.

  • Feb. 25, 2011, 4:09 a.m. CST

    i likes 'em both!

    by frank cotton

    so, sometimes, the breaks run's not like you're, payin', for this. frank, here, rolling merrily down, the LOST HIGHWAY, towards certain doom. won't you join me? no? well, too bad, 'cause, you've already been on this road, a long, long, time. but, enuf, of that. the sounds you, are, have been, or, will be, hearing: SHOW ME HOW TO LIVE, and, BRING 'EM BACK ALIVE, by AUDIOSLAVE, from, same. again. well. CALL ME A DOG, TEMPLE OF THE DOG, and, guess what, again, from same. again...nope, not lettin' it, bother me. seems we've gotten, some, complaints, about frank's, self-indulgence of, earlier, um, whatever day, this is. so, sue me. no, scratch that, i can see, whereas, it might be, annoying, all this, frank, frank, frank. so. we'll just, finish up the, girl's pep talk. after, i name the, upcoming , should-have-been, hits. VIOLET, and, SHE WALKS ON ME, COURTNEY LOVE, i mean, uh, HOLE (why do i feel dirty, every time i say that?), off the LIVE THROUGH THIS album. and, i'll call it an album, if, i damn well please, and, i do. think i'll toss on some BLONDIE after, like, ACCIDENTS NEVER HAPPEN, off EAT TO THE BEAT, and, WILL ANYTHING HAPPEN, from PARALLEL LINES. DEBBIE HARRY; there's another one, could, drive you, right into the rocks. to resume. seriously, ladies, wouldn't YOU, be more confident, and, self-assured if, YOU, KNEW, that YOU, DID NOT, have to depend on, someone else, for YOUR, OWN, personal, security? PREDATORS, can sense victims. if, you are ready for trouble, it will, most likely, tend to avoid you. i'm not saying you should want to, or like to, or hope to, fight. i'm just saying, that you should be, capable of doing so, successfully, should, circumstances require it. i'm not aiming for, some kind of, planet of amazon women, i just want, my ANGELS, to be free of the need, for men, to take care of them. because, the guys, as a whole, are doing a poor job of it. and, the pretty, shallow boys, the, bad-boy posers so many of you, seem to go for, are not, going to be able, to save themselves, much less, you, from anything. in all honesty, god would, really, really, like to have, an ARMY, of BEAUTIFUL, yet DANGEROUS, DARK, SAMURAI ANGELS. and, just how, fucking cool, would that be? no shit! preferably, it would be, kind of, a reserve type of thing, and, ya'll would be akin to, a nuclear deterent. a, better to have a gun, and, never need it, kinda deal. something to think about. but, you girls would need to be, way more cooperative, with each other, than you are now. seriously. women, are far more cut-throat than men, and, that's one of the main reasons, men, have been able to keep you, down for so long. i had planned, on talking about your ULTIMATE WEAPON, tonight, but i believe that, will have to wait, just a little longer. i will, say this; it is something each, and every one of you, has, and you, just need a little instruction on, how to wield it, properly, and, without overdoing it. it is not, psychic ability, sorry. i'm sure, some of you were, hoping so. get some sleep, and i'll be back, tomorrow. sweet dreams...

  • Feb. 25, 2011, 4:13 a.m. CST

    Very cool

    by Red

    Love this "franchise," so to speak, since I read "Who Goes There?" I like both versions for what they are. Hopefully the new one isn't a watered down Carpenter retread.

  • Feb. 25, 2011, 4:19 a.m. CST

    Toe Jam

    by Red

    That's awesome, because my father saw the original and said exactly the same thing! LOL Good to be a 2nd generation geek.

  • Feb. 25, 2011, 7:31 a.m. CST

    the thing

    by larry burbridge

    is a seminal sci fi classic from the 50's. Without it you would'nt have Alien or even the Thing remake. I liked Hawks direction. the claustrophobic sets, the over lapping dialog. The scene where they are listening to the wails of the embryo aliens is still haunting to me.

  • Feb. 25, 2011, 7:43 a.m. CST

    Yep, one of the few remakes that's actually better

    by rev_skarekroe

    The original is pretty typical '50s sci-fi/monster movie stuff, with the low-budget monster, the misguided egghead who doesn't understand that the monster MUST BE DESTROYED and the token female.

  • Feb. 25, 2011, 8:49 a.m. CST

    Awesome photos.

    by Batutta

    And I love both movies.

  • Feb. 25, 2011, 11:30 a.m. CST

    Arness was 6'6"

    by Damned if I can login

    And in Hollywood, that's *exrtremely* tall. Man, I love if when Dillon whups ass. That backhand was awesome. Seen both films multiple times...but I prefer the original. One'a my all-time favorite films. A good example how ya don't have to have a huge budget or major stars to make a winner.

  • Feb. 25, 2011, 12:29 p.m. CST

    I love both versions...

    by jpt

    I think The Thing from Another World is still great, and does hold up. Sure, it's a product of its time, but that's part of what makes it so great. And Carpenter's made his unique so it firmly stands apart from the original. It's my favorite Carpenter movie. All I know is that they both proudly sit side by side in my dvd collection. Perhaps I should watch both this weekend in honor of this thread.

  • Feb. 25, 2011, 12:42 p.m. CST

    Are we sure that guy is even human?!

    by Royston Lodge

    He's friggin' huge!

  • Feb. 25, 2011, 12:52 p.m. CST

    I love the dialogue from the original

    by Damned if I can login

    "One of our ships, Skipper?" "Doctor you better move along." "I'm not gonna stick my neck out and say you're stuffed absolutely clean full of wild blueberry muffins, but I promise my readers are gonna think so." "All that time I spent in Anzio I was just kibizting."

  • Feb. 25, 2011, 1:05 p.m. CST

    damned if i can login

    by uglyMood

    He turned in a great performance in Them!, the prototypical giant bug movie. A little bit of Them! trivia: in the scene where they are in helicopters looking for giant ant nests, when they find one Joan Weldon starts taking pictures with a Stereo Realist 3D camera. It's a nice shout-out: the film was originally to have been shot in color 3D using the Polaroid process, but the budget was slashed literally days before shooting began and they went to standard black and white. By the way, President Eisenhower was a Stereo Realist fan as well; he photographed the entire 1952 campaign in 3D.

  • Feb. 25, 2011, 1:58 p.m. CST

    I still contend Carpenter's Thing is NOT a remake!

    by Darth Macchio

    Why? Simple. Read the John Campbell short story on which both movies are based. When viewed side by side, the 1951 "original" isn't even close to the original short story whereas Carpenter's "remake", as everybody calls it, is actually the true adaptation. Outside of location and initial concept (non-terrestrial craft discovered under ice and inhuman "pilot" thawed from a block of ice) there simply is no comparison between the two films if you're looking at them as adaptations of the original Campbell story. "Who goes there?" (genius title btw) was written in the 30's but yet Carpenter's 1982 film is closer to the written word of that story than most adaptations in general. Semantics perhaps, but calling Carpenter's "The Thing" a remake is like calling "I am Legend" a remake of "Omega Man". Which is slightly insulting, in an ignorant manner, to the original movie and the book upon which both are based. I guess I have to nitpick this as 'Who goes there?" is still one of my favorite short sci-fi stories and "The Things" is, without a doubt, my all-time favorite horror/sci-fi movie. And Wilford Brimley is awesome in that movie "I'll KILL YOU!!!" with his mushing of words together and how creepy he looks without that granpa beard and stache he eventually grew. Empties the gun and then throws it...perfect!'s the only thing I've seen him in that I liked (though the 'dye-beatis' commercials aren't too bad). The Thing is basically pitch-perfect sci-fi/horror and though many of you might disagree with me, it deserves far better than just being labeled a "remake". No one called "I am Legend" a remake and yet it's the exact same context with regard to earlier films and it being based on a source novel, not each other (only 'I am Legend" sucked for about 75% of it's runtime whereas Thing was brilliant all the way through).

  • Feb. 25, 2011, 2:17 p.m. CST


    by Ace of Wands 2

    Margaret Sheridan was hardly just a token female; she showed no damsel in distress signs and came over as smart, confident and sexy without being obvious with it; she held her own amongst all the other men and her dialogue with Tobey is excellent. I have both films in my DVD collection and will likely go to see the next version. Over all I suppose that I prefer the first film as I too saw that at a young age and it scared me then, still does in some scenes, but now I can appreciate it for just how well it was made. There is obviously still a debate to be had as to just who directed it but the film certainly has many of Hawks' trademark touches. The fire burn scene is truly brilliant and Jim Cameron cites that as one of the great cinema moments. Quint obviously seems to prefer the Carpenter version because that was a seminal moment in film for him; fair enough. But it seeems to me that one can prefer a version of this film without having to belittle the other version to support ones case, something that Quint has been guilty of (despite claiming otherwise).

  • Feb. 25, 2011, 2:23 p.m. CST

    I agree wholeheartedly. Brimley is the best character

    by UltraTron

    in the thing. And is of course the thing. And he wants to come back inside. I promise I won't hurt anyone. Look. I wanna come back inside...

  • Feb. 25, 2011, 2:53 p.m. CST


    by Damned if I can login

    Man, Them! is another film I have much fondness for. Fess Parker was also great in that one as well. Still can't understand why he was snubbed here for an obit when he passed away. Seems as if he had a pretty good spot in the pop culture machine. And I know a lot of the folks here will bash these films because they prefer CGI, and hey I like good effects as much as the next guy. Something about the mood of these two films. Very good for me.

  • Feb. 25, 2011, 2:55 p.m. CST

    I should've read Rev's post from above

    by Damned if I can login

    Well said.

  • Feb. 25, 2011, 3:41 p.m. CST

    Ennio Morricone...

    by Darth Macchio

    Still my favorite soundtrack of all time too. Finding out later he was the guy behind many of Eastwoods westerns's music, only made it better! But don't get me wrong, I appreciate the '51 version but even seeing it as a kid on Creature Feature, I have to say it wasn't scary but I did find it very kewl. Carpenter's version on the other hand has atmosphere and genuine dread, the effects were purely practical and brilliantly done by a crazy young 23 year old Rob Bottin. Even the lesser known actors bringing their 'A' game and the decade of Carpenter firing on all 8 cylinders. Seriously, not taking away from "Thing from another world" but that's like your Dad's sci-fi favorite and 'The Thing' is like ours (unless you're under 25 or so). I wonder what the upstarts will prefer in 20 years? Will they love the inevitable new version of Jaws or the Berg's original or will they be story zealots like me?

  • Feb. 26, 2011, 8:17 p.m. CST

    Who acted as Creature from the Black Lagoon?

    by dogu4

    Was it James Arness or his brother Peter Graves? Incidentally, I agree with Frank Cotton's comment above; I loved 'em both. I will however forever remember my first night working in Antarctica on a Winfly contract and watching Carpenter's version for the fist time, though on 16mm. Where's my flame thrower?

  • Feb. 26, 2011, 10:08 p.m. CST

    The Thing from another world

    by Daniel Huddleston

    The original was the best. Now, it wasnt as true to the original story by Campbell, "Who goes there?" , however it left more to the imagination than the more graphic John Carpenter's version . The shadow after the Thing is free from the melted ice is Classic. The quick,snappy dialogue by the characters is great . More true to life. Great music !! I LOVE THE ORIGINAL !! Bought it on LD that had the whole original story on side b recorded in CAV so you could read it like a book!!

  • Feb. 27, 2011, 1:19 a.m. CST

    CAV laserdisc mutherfucker!

    by UltraTron

    The rest of you were watching VHS. And you sucked. You really sucked.

  • Feb. 27, 2011, 12:54 p.m. CST

    Loved them both but.....

    by v3d

    Neither is a faithful adaptation of the original short story. If you're a fan of these films, seek out "Who Goes There".

  • Feb. 27, 2011, 12:59 p.m. CST

    The Creature from the Black Lagoon was

    by v3d

    Ricou Browning. Fun fact. In the sequel, The Creature Walks Among Us, a young Clint Eastwood plays a lab assistant.

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