Howard Hawks’ name next to any project is sufficient to interest me, even as the co-director (and an uncredited one at that), and I was particularly curious to see what he, along with credited general Christian Nyby, did with The Thing From Another World, an early sci-fi classic and the inspiration for John Carpenter’s beloved The Thing (which, I admit, I’m mixed on, though I owe it a revisit). And the verdict is…a solid, workmanlike film that holds up better than one would expect. Like The Blob, it’s nowhere near as corny as one would think, and its brisk pacing and crisp dialogue feel more Hawksian than science fiction cheeseball. The remote arctic outpost where The Thing From Another World takes place isn’t coldly atmospheric like Carpenter’s, and the tone is lighter, but while it lacks any sort of star punch, it also lacks anything to really quibble with, given that it’s an early 1950′s alien picture. There are few genuinely creepy moments, with a sudden attempt to penetrate a door from our oddly-shaped creature being the only semi-exception. A love story subplot is lame, but thankfully limited in screentime, and the kooky mad scientist character, Dr. Carrington, is played with goateed aplomb by Robert Cortnwaithe. The remainder of the cast is, like the movie itself, solid without many standout moments that elevate things from good to great.

61/100