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Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)

Approved | | Horror, Sci-Fi | 5 February 1956 (USA)
2:20 | Trailer

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A small-town doctor learns that the population of his community is being replaced by emotionless alien duplicates.



(screenplay), (Collier's magazine serial)
1 win. See more awards »



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


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


... there was nothing to hold onto - except each other. See more »


Horror | Sci-Fi


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

5 February 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Body Snatchers  »

Box Office


$417,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Perspecta Sound encoding) (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Don Siegel later claimed that during filming he crept into Dana Wynter's house and slipped a pod under her bed, causing her to become hysterical when she found it. "That is a bit far-out," Wynter replied when she heard Siegel's account. "Actually, he left it on my doorstep. He had a girlfriend who lived next door to me . . . and he would pass my cottage all the time. And one night he just left it on the doorstep!" See more »


The morning after Dr. Bennell brings Becky to his house, she makes breakfast for him. She asks if he wants his eggs boiled for 2 minutes. Then they hear a noise which is the gasman in the basement, and talk to him. She then runs back exclaiming "They'll be hard boiled!". But they've only been in the water for 34 seconds. What she then serves would essentially be raw eggs. See more »


Charlie: [mob chases Miles to the highway] Let him go. Nobody will ever believe him.
See more »

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 »


Referenced in Dead Like Me: Life After Death (2009) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Don't let the title fool you. This one is a classic.
24 May 2005 | by (Van Buren, Arkansas) – See all my reviews

This is one of the great movie allegories. Yes, it is an allegory on the McCarthy era. Yes, it is an allegory on conformist America. But it is also an allegory on the evils of communism and fascism. Yes, it is a plea for sanity and individualism, for creativity and artistic freedom. And again yes it is a great directorial achievement for Don Siegel. All that aside it is also an entertaining film that does what any great movie should do, it moves. The dialog is not stilted or full of clichés. It is original and insightful without becoming preachy. Was Kevin McCarthy chosen because his name was McCarthy and the film runs counter to McCarthism? I think he was chosen because he was one of the gifted actors of the 1950's whose talents were not fully realized by the film industry. His fellow actors and actresses in the movie shared the same fate. The movie is also a top notch thriller, as good as any Hitchcock. When you're talking about the films of the 1950's that help define the period only a few come to mind: "The Wild One," "Rebel Without A Cause," and "Bad Day at Black Rock" are often cited. But "The Invasion of the Body Snatchers" is the one to study. It epitomizes the American outlook and cold war hysteria of the era as no other film from the decade does.

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