Dr Miles Bennell returns his small town practice to find several of his patients suffering the paranoid delusion that their friends or relatives are impostors. He is initially skeptical, especially when the alleged dopplegängers are able to answer detailed questions about their victim's lives, but he is eventually persuaded that something odd has happened and determines to find out what is causing this phenomenon. This film can be seen as a paranoid 1950s warning against those Damn Commies or, conversely, as a metaphor for the tyranny of McCarthyism (or the totalitarian system of Your Choice) and has a pro- and epilogue that was forced upon Siegel by the studio to lighten the tone. Written by
Mark Thompson <email@example.com>
The opening sequence and the narration were added to the script, at the insistence of the studio, and shot a few months after principal photography was completed. According to a 1969 Films and Filming article, Don Siegel claimed that Allied Artists studio heads also wanted to edit out some other moments from the film, but it is unclear whether this was done. See more »
As the posse runs through Bronson Cave, after the policeman
stops on the planks, says his lines, and then runs ahead, look closely for the man in the white shirt: it looks like he fell down onto the planks before the shot ended. See more »
Miles, why don't you call Danny? Maybe he can help.
Dr. Miles J. Bennell:
Danny? No. The way he was behaving last night... I'm afraid it's too late to call Danny too.
Well, what are you going to do?
Dr. Miles J. Bennell:
Get help. I hope whatever's taking place is confined to Santa Mira!
See more »
Clouds form a backdrop for the opening credits. See more »
The simplicity of the horror is what "makes" this film so brilliant...
What must be considered one of the most original of all the science fiction films emanating from the '50s is INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS, a low-budget sci-fi film about a sleepy Southern California town infested with a bunch of pods that are replicating the town's humans in physical form hatched from alien pods and taking over mind and body.
It doesn't waste any time in getting to the core of the horror element, with McCarthy as a doctor invited to a friend's house where he sees the first evidence of a sleeping pod form taking on the shape and identity of another. He and his sweetheart (the beautiful DANA WYNTER) are soon aware of the situation enveloping the small town residents and make an effort to alert the authorities, but find that no one can be trusted to be whom they claim to be--and are soon on the run themselves.
It easily remains one of the most gripping of these films with an excellent score by Carmen Dragon. KEVIN McCARTHY, DANA WYNTER, VIRGINIA CHRISTINE, WHIT BISSELL, KING DONOVAN and CAROLYN JONES all deliver fine performances and director Don Siegel keeps the suspense taut until the final scene.
Summing up: Alien invaders have always been a big part of sci-fi stories but never quite as creepily as depicted here. Terrific suspense.
27 of 37 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?