[[quoteright:308:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/them-poster-cropped_7566.JPG]]
[[caption-width-right:308:Could be worse. [[TemptingFate At least it's not giant hornets.]]]]

Classic 1954 horror/sci-fi movie. A little girl is found wandering in the New Mexican desert, the only survivor of an unknown calamity that befell her vacationing family. When roused from her catatonia, she can only scream [[TitleDrop "Theeeeem!"]] Official investigation finally leads to the discovery that the culprits are Cadillac-sized ants, [[ILoveNuclearPower mutated by atomic radiation]]. The race is then on to locate and destroy the ants' nest before new queens hatch out and fly across the world.

Made a ton of money for WarnerBrothers, and so helped establish many of the giant-monster-running-amok cliches for American cinema. Sadly, the vast majority of [[FollowTheLeader its imitators]] lacked the budget ''and'' the writing and acting talent on display here.

Not to be confused with the 2006 French horror film ''[[Film/{{Ils}} Them]]'' or the 1960s blues-rock band fronted by Music/VanMorrison. .

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!!The Film Features examples of:

* AbsentMindedProfessor - Edmund Gwenn's character.
* AbsurdlySpaciousSewer - The Los Angeles storm drains are the setting for the climax.
* AllYourBaseAreBelongToUs - Well, ship out in the middle of the ocean with the ants, but the humans get to pull it off too with their nests.
* AnyoneCanDie: [[spoiler: Peterson, the first important character we meet, dies near the end.]] Very rare in 1950s cinema.
** Made worse by how [[spoiler: he's arguably one of the most likable characters, firmly established as a FriendToAllChildren (he even saves two boys from the ants before getting killed) and feels incredibly guilty when Blackburn dies. The fact that the arguably most moral and warm hearted character could be brutally killed off in this universe was the first sign the movie was not going to have a hopeful, optimistic ending...]]
* AttackOfThe50FootWhatever
* BigCreepyCrawlies
* BugWar: The antagonist are giant ants and the plots focus on stopping them from spreading around the world.
* CaliforniaDoubling: The "New Mexican desert" around the city of Alamogordo has saguaro cacti, which aren't present in Southeast New Mexico.
* CuriosityKilledTheCast: The fate of [[spoiler:Blackburn]].
* DownLADrain: Where the giant ants ended up.
* ExcitedShowTitle
* FireBreathingWeapon
* {{Foreshadowing}}: Sergeant Peterson's love of children.
* FriendToAllChildren - Peterson. It's pretty obvious from his actions and body language that children in any kind of distress really upsets him.
* GenderMisdirection: The characters expect "Dr. Pat Medford" to be a Patrick, not a Patricia.
* GenreShift - Starts out as a low-key podunk police investigation, ends with flamethrower assaults in the Los Angeles sewer.
* HeroicBSOD: - That little girl.
* HeroicSacrifice - [[spoiler: Peterson.]]
* HollywoodApocrypha - Dr. Medford sr. quotes some as the scope of the problem appears...
-->"And there shall be destruction and darkness come over creation
-->"And the Beasts shall reign over the earth."
* HotScientist - Joan Weldon as Pat Medford.
* ILoveNuclearPower
* ImmuneToBullets - Unless you aim at the antennae, effectively blinding the ants. They're not ''completely'' immune, but quite resistant.
* InfantImmortality - Though this is still a pretty grim dark movie, mostly played straight, but averted for one subtle instance offscreen before the start of the film; see Fridge tab...
* KillItWithFire - This film had flamethrower-toting heroes stalking monsters through dark tunnels decades before ''{{Franchise/Alien}}''.
* TheMenInBlack - The pilot who witnesses the flying ants can't get anyone to believe him, and the doctor tells the protagonists he's going to let him go as he thinks he's faking insanity to excuse crashing his aircraft. Instead the protagonists order the doctor to commit the pilot until the government tells him otherwise. Ah, those were the days; none of this memory-wiping flashy stuff...
* NoisyNature - The ants display good lung-power.
* PoliceProcedural: The movie has the straightforward quasi-documentary style of contemporaneous Police Procedurals like ''Franchise/{{Dragnet}}''.
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure - Every layer of government behaves as rationally as it can, under the circumstances.
* ScienceMarchesOn: Ants, at least ones in America, don't make noise; in the 1950s, this was a point of debate among entomologists, as ultrasonic microphones of the needed sensitivity didn't exist. Forgiveable today by the RuleOfScary as [[TropesAreNotBad the sound]] ''[[TropesAreNotBad is]]'' [[TropesAreNotBad very chilling.]]
* ScreamingWoman - Used effectively (e.g. with restraint) for once. Pat Metford screams the first time she (and the audience) catch sight of a giant killer ant at close quarters, but is calm and professional the rest of the movie. And of course there's the catatonic girl who suddenly breaks into a TitleDrop when she smells a vial of formic acid.
* SplashOfColor: The entire movie is gray scale with the exception of the title at the start.
* SquareCubeLaw - Obviously ignored, but let's face it - you couldn't have the movie if you didn't.
* StayInTheKitchen - Impressively averted, considering the era it was made. The military gasses the nest of giant killer ants, and the next stage is for someone to go down into the nest and confirm they're all dead. This is universally recognized as a [[DarknessEqualsDeath very bad idea]], yet HotScientist Dr. Pat Medford argues firmly and convincingly that she ''has'' to go down into the nest as her father is too old and she can't give the two male leads "a crash course in insect pathology".
* StockScream - Several uses of the Wilhelm Scream. (Although this was long before it became an example of this trope.)
* TheEndOrIsIt - [[spoiler: The ants are all wiped out, but Dr. Medford Sr. issues a grim warning; the atomic genie is out the bottle...]]
* TitleDrop
-->"THEM! THEM!"
* TooDumbToLive - No one noticed a bunch of giant ants nesting on a ship? This is at least lampshaded when a character asks the same question.

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