The Thing

Trivia: The TV edit of the film differs widely from the theatrical release - lots of footage was purposely edited out, such as when the dead Norwegian on the table blinks, and there is also a narration. Director John Carpenter has publicly stated that he finds the TV edit embarrassing and a disgrace to his movie.

Trivia: Special Effects legend Stan Winston helped design and led the crew that operated the dog-thing, insisting that he was just assisting Rob Bottin on set.

Erik M.

Trivia: The ruins of the American and Norwegian camps are actually the same set. Carpenter saved $750,000 by only filming the one set with different lighting rather than building a second one.

Trivia: When Dr. Cooper loses both his arms after the Norris-Thing's chest opens into a mouth and bites him, that's really a double-amputee wearing a mask to resemble the actor.

Erik M.

Trivia: Maybe it's just foreshadowing, but if you notice the scenes in the infirmary, the two tables are not operating tables, but portable autopsy tables. There are two of them, but nothing designed for "live" patients. Kind of makes you wonder about Doc's credentials.

Mark Bernhard

Trivia: After Director John Carpenter screened his completed film, the movie studio insisted that he go back and film a scene where MacReady is in a hospital, explaining how he alone survived. Carpenter had to fight to keep the original ending.

Mark Bernhard

Trivia: The Thing is based on a short story called, "Who Goes There?" Director John Carpenter ignored the original film and leaned heavily on the written story, which focuses on the idea that no one knows who's infected and who's not.

Mark Bernhard

Trivia: The "Blair-Thing" sequence was originally created with stop-motion animation, but a lot of the sequence was cut out since director John Carpenter was not happy with the final result. Carpenter thought it looked too fake so the full scene did not make it into the final cut of the movie.

Trivia: Keith David wore gloves for most of his scenes because he had recently broken his hand in a car accident, so he had to wear gloves to cover the cast.

Trivia: The female voice heard on the computer that MacReady is using to play chess is that of Adrienne Barbeau, director John Carpenter's ex-wife.

Trivia: In the scene after Macready visits the Norwegian base, he is explaining what he saw to everyone. Childs questions what he says calling it voodoo, while Palmer says "Chariots of the Gods, man. They practically taught the Mayans everything they knew." This is in reference to Eric Von Daniken's 1968 book Chariot of the Gods, about ancient aliens being the catalyst for our modern world. (00:39:30 - 00:40:30)

Trivia: In the scene where Mac destroys Palmer with a stick of dynamite, the explosion was much bigger than Kurt Russell had been led to expect. Watch him closely as the explosion occurs. He flinches violently and nearly falls down. It's quite comical.

Grumpy Scot

Trivia: Makeup artist Rob Bottin had a nightmare making the film; he worked for 100 days straight without going home to his family, he slept on the locker room floor of the Universal lot, he had to fight to get all of his designs in the film, and as a result of the stress, he caught double pneumonia and suffered a bleeding ulcer.

Trivia: The final line of dialogue of the film was not in the script. Kurt Russell came up with it while filming the scene. (Sources:,


Trivia: Universal's first choice to direct was Tobe Hooper, who was under contract and considered a better choice. Hooper even wrote two drafts of the screenplay as a horror-comedy, without the shape-shifting elements. After Carpenter was hired and the film made, co-producer Stuart Cohen reportedly said, "We avoided a disaster." (Sources:, Variety).


Other mistake: The brief chess game (four moves) shown in the beginning of the movie makes absolutely no sense. For instance: There are no white bishops on the board, but after the human player taps a few buttons, the computer says that he just moved one. Within the two moves described first, the positions of the pieces change completely. In addition, some pieces are now gone and there are new pieces on the board. It's like an entirely different game. The final move is said to have been made with a black rook, which is impossible. In the shot shown before this move, there is not a single position available to that chess piece that would result in an instant checkmate. Nothing in the editing indicates that these few short shots are supposed to be viewed as separate games. (00:04:50)

More mistakes in The Thing

Clark: I dunno what the hell's in there, but it's weird and pissed off, whatever it is.

More quotes from The Thing

Question: Was any member of the team aware that they were infected by the creature, or did they not know they were until they began changing?

Answer: The death of Fuchs is probably the best answer to this question, as it appeared that Fuchs burned himself alive before the Thing could assimilate him. It's also possible that Norris suspected he was infected before he transformed. There is a scene in which we see Norris, who is alone, suddenly wince in pain, surprised, and grab at his chest, but he continues functioning normally thereafter. Following the altercation with Mac, Norris collapses and becomes unresponsive, until his chest cracks wide open and bites off Copper's arms. Also, in the blood test scene, Palmer's facial expressions appear to betray his secret, but he was already fully transformed at that point.

Charles Austin Miller

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