The Thing (1982)

USA, 1982
35mm, 70mm [blow-up], “filmed in Panavision”, Technicolor, 2.35:1
Dolby Stereo, English

An American science fiction/horror film directed by John Carpenter. In 2011 an identically titled film was marketed as a “prequel” to Carpenter’s film.

Plot Summary

A team of American scientists in Antarctica are besieged by an ancient, shape-shifting alien that has been dug from the ice by a nearby Norwegian team. The creature, which crash-landed on Earth centuries ago, can adopt the form of any living organism it comes into contact with. Soon, the men on the base can’t tell who is human and who is alien…


Directed by: John Carpenter
© MCMLXXXII [1982] by Universal City Studios, Inc.
A Universal picture. A Turman-Foster Company production
Executive Producer: Wilbur Stark
Produced by: David Foster, Lawrence Turman
Co-producer: Stuart Cohen
Associate Producer: Larry Franco
Screenplay by: Bill Lancaster
Based on the story “Who Goes There?” by John W. Campbell Jr
Director of Photography: Dean Cundey
Edited by: Todd Ramsay
Music by: Ennio Morricone
Production Sound: Thomas Causey
Costume Supervisors: Ronald I. Caplan, Gilbert Loe
Make-up: Kenneth Chase
Special Make-up Effects Created and Designed by: Rob Bottin
Special Effects: Roy Arbogast
Dimensional Animation Effects Created by: Randall William Cook
Production Designer: John L. Lloyd

Kurt Russell as MacReady
A. Wilford Brimley as Blair
T.K. Carter as Nauls
David Clennon as Palmer
Keith David as Childs
Richard Dysart as Dr Copper
Charles Hallahan as Norris
Peter Maloney as Bennings
Richard Masur as Clark
Donald Moffat as Garry
Joel Polis as Fuchs
Thomas Waites as Windows
Norbert Weisser (Norwegian)
Larry Franco (Norwegian passenger with rifle)
Nate Irwin (helicopter pilot)
William Zeman (pilot)
John Carpenter [Norwegian in video footage – uncredited]

Alternative Titles

La cosa – Italian title
Das Ding aus einer anderen Welt – German title
John Carpenter’s The Thing

Remake of
The Thing from Another World (1951)

The Thing (2011)

Extracts included in
Terror in the Aisles (1984)


Empire no.205 (July 2006) pp.111-116, 118 – illustrated interview with Kurt Russell (In conversation with Kurt Russell by Simon Braund)
Empire no.257 (November 2010) pp.108-112, 114 – illustrated article (The Last Artist by Ian Freer)
The Guide December 11-17 1999 p.16 – illustrated DVD review
Music Sound and the Moving Image vol.2 no.1 (Spring 2008) pp.3-25 – article (Corporeality, musical heartbeats, and cinematic emotion by Ben Winters)

Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Science Fiction by Phil Hardy (ed) p.378 – credits, review
BFI Screen Guides: 100 Science Fiction Films by Barry Keith Grant pp.165-166 – illustrated review
Horror and Science Fiction Films III by Donald C. Willis p.272 – credits
Horror Films by Subgenre: A Viewer’s Guide by Chris Vander Kaay and Kathleen Fernandez-Vander Kaay pp.154-155 – credits
The Lurker in the Lobby: A Guide to the Cinema of H.P. Lovecraft by Andrew Migliore and John Strysik p.51-52 – illustrated credits, review
Order in the Universe: The Films of John Carpenter (2nd Edition) by Robert C. Cumbow pp.111-119; 254-255 – illustrated article; credits
The Pocket Essentials: John Carpenter by Michelle Le Blanc & Colin Odell pp.59-64 – review
Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Film Sequels, Series, and Remakes
by Kim R. Holston and Tom Winchester p.484-486 – credits, review
The Stop-motion Filmography by Neil Pettigrew
pp.685-687 – credits, review

Other sources
BFI Southbank Guide
August 2021 p.32 – illustrated listing