Invasion of the Body Snatchers – USA, 1956 – reviews

Invasion of the Body Snatchers is a 1956 American science fiction film directed by Don Siegel and starring Kevin McCarthy and Dana Wynter. Daniel Mainwaring adapted the screenplay from Jack Finney’s 1954 novel The Body Snatchers.

The story depicts an extraterrestrial invasion in a small California town. The invaders replace human beings with duplicates that appear identical on the surface but are devoid of any emotion or individuality. A local doctor uncovers what is happening and tries to stop them.

Psychiatrist Dr. Hill is called to the emergency ward of a hospital, where a frantically screaming man is held in custody. Dr. Hill agrees to listen to his story. The man identifies himself as Dr. Miles Bennell and recounts the events leading to his arrest in the flashback that follows.

In the fictional town of Santa Mira, California, Miles Bennell, a local doctor, has a number of patients accusing their loved ones of being impostors. Another patient is a former girlfriend of his, the recently divorced Becky Driscoll, who tells him that her cousin Wilma, has the same fear about Uncle Ira. Dr. Dan Kauffman, a psychiatrist in the town, assures Bennell that the cases are nothing but “epidemic mass hysteria”.

That same evening Bennell’s friend Jack Belicec finds a body with what appear to be his features, though it’s not yet fully developed. The next body found is a copy of Becky in the cellar of her house.

When Bennell calls Kauffman to the scene, the bodies have mysteriously disappeared and Kauffman suspects Bennell of falling for the same hysteria. The following night Bennell, Becky, Jack and Jack’s wife Teddy again find duplicates of themselves, emerging from giant pods. They conclude that the townspeople are being replaced in their sleep by perfect physical copies…

Reviews [click links to read more]:

Invasion of the Body Snatchers has been endlessly debated in terms of supposed subtextual elements, including its supposed allegorical treatments of Communism and McCarthyism, but the bottom line is, every possible subtext and/or allegory can be stripped away from this film and there’s still one of the most disturbing depictions of incipient paranoia ever caught on celluloid.” Blu-ray.com

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2 Comments on “Invasion of the Body Snatchers – USA, 1956 – reviews”

  1. Howdy Film Buffs,

    What more can be said, than has not been said many times before.

    The plot line is great, even with a few holes (like my socks).

    The acting is superb.

    To state the obvious – Dana Wynter and Jean Willes are beautiful.

    The atmosphere is incredible.

    The beginning and end scenes wrap it up just right.

    The remake does not come close to the original in any way.

    John

    p.s.

    You might want to stay away from make believe small towns in Northern California and don’t
    hitch a ride in covered stake bed trucks.

    Always cover the pool table when not in use.

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