Presenting James Arness

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Perhaps not a name that instantly springs to mind when you think of horror, creature, or sci-fi legends. James Arness is widely revered as a Western actor, playing opposite John Wayne on more than one occasion. But he did appear in two 50s genre classics, and if you look at his face closely you’ll recognise one icon in particular.., The Thing itself in Howard Hawks’ The Thing From Another World. So take a look below, and doff your hat
to a man that contributed greatly to monster horror in the 1950s:
The Lost Worlds (1950): James vs some pirates and slurpasaurs (a visual effect where regular sized lizards were used to appear as dinosaurs) on an Australian desert island.
The Thing From Another World (1951): James IS The Thing. That’s right, James Arness appears as one of cinema’s legendary creatures, taking his cue from Karloff’s Monster. James vs The US military and a bunch of arrogant scientists in the Antarctic.
Them! (1954): James vs giant ants in what is arguably the greatest of the 50s creature features. Pay close attention to
the film’s often copied finale, James Cameron’s Aliens (1986) certainly owes a lot to this.
Update: Deadly Movies commenter Derek O’Brien weighed in with the following golden nugget that only furthers James Arness’ legendary status: Arness won a chest-load of medals in WW2 including the Bronze Star Medal, The Purple Heart, The European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with three Bronze Service Stars, the WW2 Victory Medal, and The Combat Infantryman Badge. Making Arness one tough son-of-a-bitch.

3 thoughts on “Presenting James Arness

  1. Derek O'Brien says:

    PLUS… the guy won a chestload of medals in World War Two, including the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart, the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with three bronze service stars, the World War II Victory Medal and the Combat Infantryman Badge, which to me paints the picture of one tough sonuvabitch who could probably still wipe the floor today with guys a quarter of his age.

  2. DeadlyMovies says:

    That kind of info deserves a post edit

  3. Frugal Dougal says:

    "Them" was one of my favourite mvoies – I'll look out for him next time!

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