Friday, November 6, 2015

I still love Them (1954).

There are so many reasons to watch old, black-and-white classics. You get a peek into another time period, and as much as I like reading a good book, you get something so much more tangible with a film where you can literally see all the details (and even hear them). I'm sure a lot of this is romanticizing the past, but everything just seemed simpler back then. At least as far as movies go, they weren't afraid to give you a message, and I don't see anything wrong with that. It's a million times better than Transformers: Rise of the Convoluted Crap. Heck, Terminator 2 has a clear message stated outright at the end too, and it's a masterpiece. I have a special place in my heart for "old" films (the worst thing is when kids now think the '80s are old). I remember watching Them as a kid, and I was desperate to revisit it. I wasn't disappointed.

Sure, the giant ants are a little hokey at times, but I think they did an amazing job with them considering the limitations. Plus, the way they build up to that first reveal and use the sound of them is brilliant. I'm fond of all the characters too. People then seemed to have more manners and hold themselves to a higher standard although I know there were plenty of hideous problems then as well (the red scare for example, widespread smoking, less civil rights, etc.), but I always find it easy to like the actors in these films. You don't get a ton of moral complexity. Sometimes, it's nice to have obvious good guys and bad guys.

This film is still pretty harsh on occasion too. A good guy trying to rescue some kids get brutally slain by an ant. You also get the hallmark of every good movie: flamethrowers. Seriously, what more do you need?

4 comments:

  1. this, then Tarantula were my favorite as a kid.....
    We found out in 9th grade that the sound that the ants made is somewhat of a natural sound produced by the wind blowing across the sands....

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    1. I need to see Tarantula. That's a great piece of trivia on the sound of the ants. Such a great sound effect.

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    2. The sound that the giant ants make as they approach their prey is a recorded chorus of bird-voiced tree frogs (Hyla avivoca) of the southeastern US. Occasionally a gray tree frog (Hyla chrysoscelis) can be heard on the soundtrack as well, as these species can often be heard together at the same wetland. These distinctive whistling-type sounds were reused in various other films in the years that followed, particularly in Mohawk (1956) and The Black Scorpion (1957)."

      I thought it was birds.....

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    3. Interesting details. Thanks!

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