A little girl is found wandering in the desert, the sole survivor of her family, and the only word she can say is, "Them!" A local police officer (James Whitmore) and an FBI agent (James Arness) investigate the mystery with the help of a lovely scientist (Joan Weldon).
One of the best of the fifties sci-fi movies, "Them" has a good cast, a serious and at times, even educational tone to the script, and giant ants that are usually half-hidden in the dark. (Just as well, because they're pretty lame by today's standards, but still fun for nostalgia-fans.)
It's wholesome entertainment that would only scare small children these days, but those who love the genre will appreciate the sincere and solemn characters who risk their lives to save mankind from atom bomb-mutated bugs. A simple story with good acting that is still entertaining.
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Them! is a 1954 American black and white science fiction film about man's encounter with a nest of radiation-giganticized ants. It is based on an original story treatment by George Worthing Yates, was developed into a screenplay by Ted Sherdeman and Russell Hughes for Warner Bros. Pictures Inc., which was produced by David Weisbart and directed by Gordon Douglas for the company. It starred James Whitmore, Edmund Gwenn, Joan Weldon and James Arness.
One of the first of the "nuclear monster" movies, and the first "big bug" film, Them! was nominated for an Oscar for Special Effects and won a Golden Reel Award for Best Sound Editing. It is significant that the film starts off as a simple suspense story and works quite well in this regard, with police investigating mysterious disappearances and deaths, all from no explainable cause. The giant ants are not even seen until almost the halfway point in the film.