I just watched the classic movie The Thing from Another World (1951), often referred to as simply The Thing.
It’s a great old film. Tons of themes and whatnot going on, not the least of which is the attitude of Dr. Carrington, who uttered the line that titles this post.
The movie is essentially the story of what happens at an arctic research center when a being from another world is discovered….and thawed out. The Air Force and the scientists (including one Dr. Voorhees – no relation, I presume) represent the battle between safety and security (the military) and our curiosity and drive for new knowledge (SCIENCE!) in a post-Hiroshima world.
We also get a vision of an alien creature (played by James Arness) that is truly alien, being something similar to a plant and subsisting on blood. This was a departure from the creature in the material the film was inspired by (“Who Goes There?” by John W. Campbell) and which was recaptured in the 1982 movie, The Thing (also a fun movie).
The movie-craft itself is excellent. It exists in the moviespace before extreme gore and does its horror titillation through more subtle means. There really aren’t any bad guys in this movie and it certainly lacks the grit of the 1982 movie, but it’s till a good 87 minute ride for genre fans and anyone willing to let it stand on its 1951 legs.
The real takeaway for me, however, was that I couldn’t stop thinking about this:
My mind would not let it go.