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
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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 »
When I first watched this movie I was a teenager. I knew nothing about the Mcarthey era. I didn't live through the early post cold war paranoia. There were no outside influences aside from my love of movies.
I have seen the film over 2 dozen times and believe it to be the best of the 50's generation, and one of the top 3 or 4 science fiction films of all time. With or without the prologue and epilogue.
All things are not what they seem. What if you woke up from a nightmare to find that you are still in it, and can't get out. The message is clear. A home, a car, and a career are all great to strive for in one's life. But love, compassion and emotion are the true gifts to keep living in the first place. Imagine a home without love or any emotion what so ever. None. Good or bad.
One by one, Kevin Mcarthy and Dana Wynter are confronted by the loss of neighbors, associates, and friends. The horror of the loss of everything they new. Early on, when a boy thinks his mother isn't his mother, and a friend doubt's her uncle is who he says he is. Doctor Miles is confused and doesn't know what to believe. So he goes with common sense. His eyes see there is no problem. But The evidence piles slowly and precisely. Soon it is not only what to believe, but who to trust.
Kevin Mcarthy is outstanding. Dana Wynter is absolutely gorgeous and the chemistry between the two seems real. The film will keep you glued from beginning 'til end. Simply one of the best!
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