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Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)

Approved | | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi | 5 February 1956 (USA)
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A small-town doctor learns that the population of his community is being replaced by emotionless alien duplicates.

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(screenplay), (Collier's magazine serial)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Ralph Dumke ...
Police Chief Nick Grivett
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Uncle Ira Lentz
Kenneth Patterson ...
Guy Way ...
Officer Sam Janzek
Eileen Stevens ...
Anne Grimaldi
Beatrice Maude ...
Jean Andren ...
Eleda Lentz
Bobby Clark ...
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Storyline

Dr. Miles Bennell returns to 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 <mrt@oasis.icl.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Walter Wanger Creates the Ultimate in Science-Fiction! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

5 February 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Body Snatchers  »

Box Office

Budget:

$417,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Perspecta Sound encoding) (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Kevin McCarthy and author Jack Finney have always denied the rumor that the story is a statement against McCarthyism and Communism; they just saw it as a thriller. Director Don Siegel, however, believes that the political references to Sen. Joseph McCarthy and totalitarianism are inescapable, even though he tried not to emphasize them. See more »

Goofs

Upon discovering two pods in the trunk of his car after visiting the gas station, the hero pulls them from the trunk and sets them on fire with a highway flare whereupon they burst into flame. Nowhere else in the film is there any suggestion that these pods are flammable nor would they be if germinating into a human replica. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Dr. Hill: Get on your radios and sound an all points alarm. Block all highways, stop all traffic, and call every law enforcement agency in the state.
[on phone]
Dr. Hill: Operator, get me the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Yes, it's an emergency!
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Crazy Credits

THE END comes up on the final shot of the film of Miles looking relieved that Dr Hill has believed his story, and is calling the FBI about the alien invasion of Santa Mira. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Invasion Earth: The Aliens Are Here (1988) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

'Invasion Of The Body Snatchers' is THE 1950s paranoid SF/Horror classic!
21 April 2003 | by (Perth, Australia) – See all my reviews

'Invasion Of The Body Snatcher's is my favourite 1950s science fiction movie alongside 'Forbidden Planet'. Both are very different movies. 'Forbidden Planet' is arguably the first SF blockbuster, an intergalactic adventure, in colour, with a large budget and impressive special effects. 'Invasion Of The Body Snatcher's is a smaller movie, a low budget black and white paranoid thriller that is a classic of its type. Many subsequent movies have been influenced by this one, and there have been at least two remakes (Philip Kaufman, Abel Ferrara), but it still takes some beating! Director Don Siegel is best known for tough guy crime dramas like 'The Killers' and 'Dirty Harry', but shows his versatility with this extremely effective and disturbing horror story. The legendary Sam Peckinpah had an uncredited hand in the script, and (keep an eye open for) a small cameo as a meter reader. Kevin McCarthy is terrific as the small town doctor turned hero. His performance is excellent, and made him a legend to SF and horror fans everywhere (he reprises it briefly in Kaufman's excellent 1970s remake by the way). The lovely Dana Wynter leads a strong supporting cast, and buffs will get a particular kick out of seeing Carolyn Jones (a.k.a. Morticia Addams) and Whit Bissell. ('I Was A Teenage Werewolf', 'Creature From The Black Lagoon' and too many others to mention!) This movie has aged very well, much better than say, 'The Thing From Another World', and still stands as THE 1950s paranoid SF/horror movie. An absolute classic that I guarantee still packs a punch! Highly recommended!


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