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Them! (1954) on IMDb

Them! (1954): A Classic Sci-Fi Thriller Featuring Giant Ants

This city is under martial law until we annihilate THEM!

Them! is a classic science fiction film from 1954 that still stands the test of time. Directed by Gordon Douglas, it features a cast of talented actors and tells the story of an FBI agent and a police officer who investigate a series of mysterious deaths in the New Mexico desert. What they discover is beyond their wildest imagination: giant ants that have been mutated by nuclear radiation.

The film is a masterclass in tension-building and suspense, with the giant ants making for formidable and terrifying foes. The special effects, while dated by today’s standards, are still impressive and add to the film’s overall charm. But what really sets Them! apart from other creature features of its time is its emphasis on character development and emotional stakes.

The lead actors, James Whitmore and James Arness, bring a level of nuance to their roles that elevates the film beyond just a monster movie. Their interactions with each other and with the other characters in the film create a sense of realism that grounds the fantastical premise. The film also explores themes of the dangers of nuclear radiation and the consequences of tampering with nature.

One of the standout scenes in the film is the climactic battle between the giant ants and the human characters. It’s a thrilling sequence that showcases the film’s special effects and direction, as well as the actors’ performances. The film also features a memorable score that heightens the tension and adds to the overall atmosphere.

Overall, its is a classic sci-fi thriller that still holds up today. It’s a well-crafted film that balances suspense, action, and character development, with an underlying message about the dangers of nuclear radiation. For fans of classic creature features, Them! is a must-see.

Theatrical release poster


  • James Whitmore as Police Sergeant Ben Peterson
  • Edmund Gwenn as Dr. Harold Medford
  • Joan Weldon as Dr. Patricia “Pat” Medford
  • James Arness as FBI Agent Robert Graham
  • Onslow Stevens as Gen. Edward “Ed” Blackburn
  • Sean McClory as Trooper Capt. James “Jim” Kelly
  • Chris Drake as Trooper Ed Blackburn Jr.
  • Sandy Descher as Ellinson’s granddaughter
  • Mary Ann Hokanson as Mrs. Lodge
  • Don Shelton as Cpl. Len “Cowboy” Craig
  • Fess Parker as Alan Crotty, pilot (uncredited)
  • Olin Howland as Jensen (uncredited)
  • Richard Deacon as FBI Agent in charge of New Mexico base (uncredited)
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