Friday, June 25, 2004

Keep Watching The Skies!

After my earlier rant on what constitutes good science fiction, I was delighted to stumble across a TV schedule listing a showing of the 1951 version of The Thing (from Another World) directed by the great Howard Hawks. The film is based on the short story "Who Goes There", written by John Campbell (writing under the pseudonym Don A. Stuart), the most influential editor in the history of science fiction.

When asked to recommend the "best" SF movies made, "The Thing" is one of only two that come to mind. The story is crisply done, the situation is a classic exploration of possibilities, and the elegant badinage between the cast members is classic Hawks. Clean, simple, and to the point. Oh, the special effects are a joke, but that is slightly offset by the casting of James Arness in the title role. Of course, Bobo the Gorilla could probably have handled the depth of acting required of the monster, but that's besides the point. So is the awful cover image used on most of the DVDs and tapes sold.

Scheduled for July 5 on TCM, on most cable and satellite systems. Now, if they will just show it in letterbox. BTW, this is not to be confused with John Carpenter's miserable 1982 version by the same title.


Post a Comment

<< Home