Search DVDBeaver

S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "The Thing")

directed by Christian Nyby and Howard Hawks
USA 1951

The scene is a distant Arctic research station, where a UFO has crashed. The investigating scientists discover that the circular craft has melted its way into the ice, which has frozen up again. While attempting to recover the ship, Captain Patrick Hendry (Kenneth Tobey) accidentally explodes the vessel, but the pilot -- at least, what seems to be the pilot -- remains frozen in a block of ice. The body is taken to base headquarters, where it is inadvertently thawed out by an electric blanket. The alien attacks the soldier guarding him and escapes into the snowy wastes. An attack dog rips off the alien's arm, whereupon Dr. Carrington (Robert Cornthwaite) discerns that "The Thing" (played by future Gunsmoke star James Arness!) is not animal but a member of the carrot family, subsisting on blood. While the misguided Carrington attempts to spawn baby "Things" with the severed arm, the parent creature wreaks murderous havoc all over the base. Female scientist Nikki (Margaret Sheridan) suggests that the best way to destroy a vegetable is to cook it. Over the protests of Carrington, who wants to reason with the "visitor" (a very foolhardy notion, as it turns out), the soldiers devise a devious method for stopping The Thing once and for all. This oversimplification of The Thing does not do full justice to the overall mood and tension of the piece, nor does it convey the lifelike "business as usual" approach taken by the residents of the military base in dealing with something beyond their understanding. A superior blend of science fiction, horror, naturalistic dialogue, and flesh-and-blood characterizations, The Thing is a model of its kind.

Posters

Theatrical Release: March, 1951

Reviews                                                                                More Reviews                                                                     DVD Reviews

 

Recommended Science Fiction Film poster Books (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

Comparison:

Warner Home Video - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC vs. Universal (2-disc) - Region 2- PAL (black and white and colorized) vs. IVC - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

1) Warner Home Video - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC LEFT

2) Universal (2 disc) - Region 2 - PAL MIDDLE

3) IVC - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

Box Covers

   

  

Distribution Warner Home Video  Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC Universal (UK) - Region 2 - PAL IVC
Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:26:36   1:23:06 (4% PAL Speedup) and 1:26:36 for editions on Disc 1 1:20:20.732 
Video 1.33 original aspect ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.55 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s
1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.92 + 5.73 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.33:1 Disc Size: 21,854,611,282 bytes

Feature Size: 21,742,227,456 bytes

Average Bitrate: 32.65 Mbps

Single-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video 1080P

Bitrate:  Warner

 

Bitrate: Universal (PAL) Disc 2

 

Bitrate: Universal (PAL) Disc 1

 

Bitrate: Blu-ray

 

Audio English (Dolby Digital 1.0) English (Dolby Digital 1.0) LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
Subtitles English, Spanish, French, None English, None NOTE: English subs available on commentary track as well Japanese, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Full Screen (Standard) - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Black & White, Closed-captioned
• Theatrical trailer

DVD Release Date: August 5, 2003
Snapper Case
Chapters: 25

Release Information:
Studio:
Universal (UK)

Aspect Ratio:
Full Screen (Standard) - 1.33:1

 

Edition Details:
• 2 Black & White, English subbed versions

• Colorized version (interlaced)
• Commentary by director John Carpenter

DVD Release Date:
March 19th, 2007
Standard Double Keep Case
Chapters: 20

Release Information:
Video: IVC (Japan)
 

1.33:1 Disc Size: 21,854,611,282 bytes

Feature Size: 21,742,227,456 bytes

Average Bitrate: 32.65 Mbps

Single-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video 1080P

Extras:

• 11X18 folded poster (cover) with Japanese text on the reverse

 

Chapters: 9
Blu-ray release date: March 31st, 2016
 

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: IVC - Region FREE - Blu-ray (April 2016): Firstly, Serge Bromberg of Lobster Films says that they bought the rights to the RKO catalog for the countries outside France (thanks Julien!). It means that all the RKO films released by IVC have been mastered by Lobster Films and won't be sold in France. They do indeed start with the Lobster Films logo:

We were very excited about the RKO Collection Blu-rays from Japan by IVC and we've reviewed Cat People, I Walked With a Zombie, Suspicion, and The Magnificent Ambersons looking forward to They Live by Night, The Fugitive, Fort Apache, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, Wagon Master and Bringing Up Baby. We are well aware of Warner's statement:

"Distribution rights to RKO films in Japan were sold off years before we ended up owning that library. We have no knowledge of what is being released there. We can only state that it does not involve the use of our original elements"

NOTE: We have heard that THIS German DVD (StudioCanal) is very strong but we don't own it to compare.

One issue that bothers me is that this 1080P Blu-ray is the 6-minute shorter re-issue version of the film (81-minute running time) not the original (87-minute version.) This HD presentation source also seems to suffer from a lack of density when compared to the 2003 Warner DVD. It's faded and has instances of damage (see last capture). The IVC positive are the grain support, the higher resolution as well as the uncompressed audio.

IVC use a linear PCM 2.0 channel (only 16-bit) audio sounding predictably, flat. It supports the growl-creature effects, fire, gunfire, electricity - with depth and the score by the iconic Dimitri Tiomkin (I Confess, Angel Face, Strangers on a  Train, The Men, Dial M For Murder, etc. etc.) sounds intense, dramatic and exemplary in uncompressed. In this area the BD is a definite improvement over the SD versions. The disc only offers optional Japanese subtitles and the Blu-ray is region FREE.

Only a folded poster as an extra - so, it is pricey making it hard to rationalize. I loved seeing the film again, in the higher resolution with the impressive audio but, obviously, an eventual Warner Blu-ray will best this quite handily. I would suggest a 'pass'.

***

ADDITION: Universal (UK) - Region 2 - PAL March 07': What the heck is going on here?

We have a new 2 disc DVD of Howard Hawks classic 'The Thing From Another World' - Disc one has two terrible interlaced transfer from the incorrect standard with a very good commentary by director John Carpenter. Disc 2 has a strong transfer (superior even to the NTSC from 2003) with no extras on a single layer.

BOTTOM LINE: This PAL package is worth it for the commentary (also subtitled) and the superior transfer BUT it is missing some information from the two edges. I suspect there is some legal reason that they had to put Carpenter's commentary on the dual edition disc 1 which would otherwise be suitable as a coaster.

The Universal 2nd disc has better detail and some, most likely, selectively boosted black levels to achieve a better contrast. It looks great and the commentary is definitely worth a listen to. 

          Gary W. Tooze





 

DVD Menus

(Warner Home Video - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC LEFT vs. Universal (2disc) - Region 2- PAL RIGHT)

 

 

Menu Universal (2-disc) - Region 2 - PAL - Disc 2

 

IVC - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Subtitle Sample

 

1) Warner Home Video - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC TOP

2) Universal (2 disc) - Region 2- PAL original Disc 2 SECOND

3) Universal (2 disc) - Region 2- PAL original Disc 1 BOTTOM

 

Sample of Carpenter Commentary subtitles on Universal (2 - disc) - Region 2 - PAL

 


Screen Captures

 

 

1) Warner Home Video - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC TOP

2) Universal (2 disc) - Region 2- PAL original Disc 2 SECOND

3) Universal (2 disc) - Region 2- PAL original Disc 1 THIRD

4) Universal (2disc) - Region 2- PAL COLORIZED FOURTH

5) IVC - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

 

1) Warner Home Video - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC TOP

2) Universal (2 disc) - Region 2- PAL original Disc 2 SECOND

3) Universal (2 disc) - Region 2- PAL original Disc 1 THIRD

4) Universal (2disc) - Region 2- PAL COLORIZED FOURTH

5) IVC - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

 

1) Warner Home Video - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC TOP

2) Universal (2 disc) - Region 2- PAL original Disc 2 SECOND

3) Universal (2 disc) - Region 2- PAL original Disc 1 THIRD

4) Universal (2disc) - Region 2- PAL COLORIZED FOURTH

5) IVC - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Warner Home Video - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC TOP

2) Universal (2 disc) - Region 2- PAL original Disc 2 SECOND

3) Universal (2 disc) - Region 2- PAL original Disc 1 THIRD

4) Universal (2disc) - Region 2- PAL COLORIZED FOURTH

5) IVC - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Warner Home Video - Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC TOP

2) Universal (2 disc) - Region 2- PAL original Disc 2 SECOND

3) Universal (2 disc) - Region 2- PAL original Disc 1 THIRD

4) Universal (2disc) - Region 2- PAL COLORIZED FOURTH

5) IVC - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

More Blu-ray Captures

Damage


Box Covers

   

  

Distribution Warner Home Video  Region 1,2,3,4 - NTSC Universal (UK) - Region 2 - PAL IVC
Region FREE - Blu-ray




 

Hit Counter

 

DONATIONS Keep DVDBeaver alive:

CLICK PayPal logo to donate!

Gary Tooze