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>
Screenwriter Daniel Mainwaring had brushes with Hollywood witch-hunts, which lends credence to the theory that the film is an unconscious metaphor against McCarthyism. Something Dana Wynter agreed with, 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. Siegel joked that the pods represented the front office. See more »
When Becky Driscoll parks the car in the used car lot, she hits the right side of the rear car bumper of the other car. You can hear the distinct sound of metal being crushed. See more »
Dr. Miles J. Bennell:
Listen to me! Please listen! If you don't, if you won't, if you fail to understand, then the same incredible terror that's menacing me WILL STRIKE AT YOU!
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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.
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