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The scene is a distant Arctic research station, where a UFO has crashed. The investigating scientists discover that the circular craft has melted its way into the ice, which has frozen up again. While attempting to recover the ship, Captain Patrick Hendry (Kenneth Tobey) accidently explodes the vessel, but the pilotóat least, what seems to be the pilotóremains frozen in a block of ice. The body is taken to base headquarters, where it is inadvertently thawed out by an electric blanket. The alien attacks the soldier guarding him and escapes into the snowy wastes. An attack dog rips off the alien's arm, whereupon Dr. Carrington (Robert Cornthwaite) discerns that "The Thing" is not animal but vegetable, subsisting on blood. While the misguided Carrington attempts to spawn baby "Things" with the severed arm, the parent creature wreaks murderous havoc all over the base. Female scientist Nikki (Margaret Sheridan) suggests that the best way to destroy a vegetable is to cook it. Over the protests of Carrington, who wants to reason with the "visitor" (a very foolhardy notion, as it turns out), the soldiers devise a devious method for stopping The Thing once and for all. This oversimplification of The Thing does not do full justice to the overall mood and tension of the piece, nor does it convey the lifelike "business as usual" approach taken by the residents of the military base in dealing with something beyond their understanding. A superior lend of science-fiction, horror, naturalistic dialogue and flesh-and-blood characterizations, The Thing is a model of its kind.

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Special Features New, restored high-definition digital transfer, supervised and approved by director Terrence Malick and cinematographer John Toll (with DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition) New audio commentary by Toll, production designer Jack Fisk, and producer Grant Hill Interviews with several of the filmís actors, including Kirk Acevedo, Jim Caviezel, Thomas Jane, Elias Koteas, Dash Mihok, and Sean Penn; composer Hans Zimmer; editors Billy Weber, Leslie Jones, and Saar Klein; and writer James Jonesís daughter Kaylie Jones New interview with casting director Dianne Crittenden, featuring archival audition footage Fourteen minutes of outtakes from the film World War II newsreels from Guadalcanal and the Solomon Islands Melanesian chants Original theatrical trailer PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film critic David Sterritt and a 1963 reprint by James Jones

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BRCC536 Thin Red Line Blu Ray DVD (1998/Terrence Malick) $39.95 $35.99