A film crew goes to a tropical island for an exotic location shoot and discovers a colossal ape who takes a shine to their female blonde star. He is then captured and brought back to New York City for public exhibition.
There is panic throughout the nation as the dead suddenly come back to life. The film follows a group of characters who barricade themselves in an old farmhouse in an attempt to remain safe from these bloodthirsty, flesh-eating monsters.
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Screenwriter Daniel Mainwaring had brushes with Hollywood "Red Scare" witch-hunts, which lends credence to the theory that the film is subtle statement against McCarthyism. Dana Wynter agreed with that sentiment, although she didn't recall the mention of any political statements on-set. Kevin McCarthy believed the film to be an attack on "Madison Avenue" attitudes. Director Don Siegel joked that the pods represented movie industry executives. See more »
When Miles takes Becky home after visiting the Belicecs, she turns on the lights as they enter the house. When Miles turns off the lights, they go out just before his hand reaches the switch. See more »
Give up! You can't get away from us! We're not gonna hurt you!
See more »
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 »
'Invasion Of The Body Snatchers' is THE 1950s paranoid SF/Horror classic!
'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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