Many films make statements about politics and society -- especially those
of the 1950's. The Thing
From Another World (1951, US) is one of the first films to express a fear
of being taken overtaken by unknown visitors. The film begins with the crash
of a UFO near an isolated arctic military research base. The saucer's sole
inhabitant is a large, humanoid creature, whose frozen body is taken back to
the base. Once the creature thaws out and is revitalized, the base's scientists
discover that it is nearly impossible to destroy. It is impervious to cold,
escapes heat, ignores bullets, and regenerates lost limbs, lacking both an
arterial structure and nervous system.
The Thing's real threat lies in that it reproduces asexually using seeds,
so only one creature is needed to begin colonization of an entire planet. The
base's head scientist grows some of these seeds, creating a group of miniature
Things to study. He is forced to destroy them, as their threat to humanity
outweighs the value of any knowledge attained by studying them.