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(aka 'Them')

Directed by Gordon Douglas
USA 1954

 

By far the best of the '50s cycle of 'creature features', Them! and its story of a nest of giant radioactive ants (the result of an atomic test in the New Mexico desert) retains a good part of its power today. All the prime ingredients of the total mobilisation movie are here: massed darkened troops move through the eerie storm drains of Los Angeles, biblical prophecy is intermixed with gloomy speculation about the effect of radioactivity. Almost semi-documentary in approach, the formula is handled with more subtlety than usual, and the special effects are frequently superb.

Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: June 17th, 1954

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DVD Review: Warner - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC

DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Also offered, very reasonably with - The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms / Them! (Double Feature) (1953) at Amazon HERE (Thanks Hans!)

Distribution Warner Home Video - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC
Runtime 1:32:21 
Video 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.31 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s 

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Audio English (Dolby Digital 1.0) 
Subtitles English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Warner

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• Who's Who (listing of characters)
• 'Bugged' at the Movies - text pages discussing creature features
• Outtakes (3:01)
• 'Sneak Peek' trailer (3:15)

DVD Release Date: August 6th, 2002

Keep Case
Chapters: 30

 

Comments:

The Warner image is surprisingly very strong - compounded by the fact that it is only single-layered! I don't see excessive manipulation and the picture quality is very clean. Contrast and detail are well above average. No complaints at all with the visual aspect of the DVD. NOTE: The title (lone) is in color - bright red and blue - and the film was intended for both a color release and in 3-D - but neither came to fruition.

Warner have coded this for regions 1 thru 4 with subtitle options in Spanish, French, Portuguese, Japanese or English. The audio is a clean original mono track. Snapper-cased package is now available as a Keep Case and, although a little hard to navigate, I LOVE the tabloid menu screens (see below).

Extras are more-or-less sparse with some text screens, short outtakes and a fairly long trailer.

THEM! is one of the most recognizable 'creature features' from the 50's. Certainly quintessential in this, more innocent, vintage sci-fi genre which continues to be a favorite of mine.

On a late Friday night, crackle-up a big tub of popcorn with plenty of butter and double feature pair THEM! with any of a host of seminal cold-war-drive-in specials available on DVD (or Blu-ray for some) - like 20 Million Miles to Earth, Tarantula, The Deadly Mantis, This Island Earth, Earth vs. The Flying Saucers or The Incredible Shrinking Man to name a few. Personally speaking that is what I believe a home theatre is all about. NOTE: I continue to reserve rainy Sunday afternoons for Harryhausen gems like Jason and the Argonauts, The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad or Mysterious Island (when is this one coming to Blu-ray?)

THEM! on DVD is whole-heartedly recommended for helping keep alive the essence of cinema at one of its most nostalgically innocent eras - also captured with pinpoint precision by Joe Dante's Matinee from 1993. 

Gary W. Tooze

 



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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Also offered, very reasonably with - The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms / Them! (Double Feature) (1953) at Amazon HERE (Thanks Hans!)

Distribution Warner Home Video - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC




 

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Gary Tooze

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