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Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)

Approved  |   |  Horror, Sci-Fi  |  5 February 1956 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 32,082 users  
Reviews: 204 user | 137 critic

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



(screenplay), (Collier's magazine serial), 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Larry Gates ...
King Donovan ...
Jean Willes ...
Ralph Dumke ...
Police Chief Nick Grivett
Virginia Christine ...
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 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


They come from another world! 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
See  »

Did You Know?


Producer Walter Wanger wanted a Winston Churchill quotation as a preface, with Orson Welles doing the narration. When they couldn't persuade Welles, Wanger tried to enlist science-fiction author Ray Bradbury. He declined as well. See more »


Near the end of the movie, a character falls asleep for an instant and wakes up as a "pod person." This contradicts the entire premise of the rest of the movie, in which humans are physically being replaced by "pod person" duplicates. See more »


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

Crazy Credits

Clouds form a backdrop for the opening credits. See more »


Referenced in Ben 10: Ultimate Alien: The Big Story (2011) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Classic chiller
27 March 2007 | by (Boston, MA) – See all my reviews

A doctor comes to a hospital on a late night call to hear a man whom everybody else deems insane. The doctor persuades the man to be patient and tell his story. The man then tells the doctor about how a small California town has been invaded by some sort of alien seeds that grow into human clones...

Coming straight from the McCarthy era and general Cold War paranoia this is one scary movie. There is not a gun fired, not a drop of gore shed but the final effect of the film will stay with you for a good while. More contemporary film viewers might recognize the concept from John Carpenter's "The Thing" which itself was an update of the 1951 film. However, the themes of paranoia and tension are just as nail-biting and intense here.

There is a lack of visual punch that so many people are used to today, but just think of the historical context and the implications, basically use your mind! Then you'll see why the film scared studio executives so much that they forced Don Siegel to add an intro and outro to help soften the overall effect. It wasn't the best play in the book, but the film remains a great classic chiller. --- 9/10

Not Rated. It would most likely receive a PG from the MPAA, there are several tense moments, though no violence.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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