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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 32,487 users  
Reviews: 205 user | 139 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


Don Siegel's Science-Fiction Shocker See more »


Horror | Sci-Fi


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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?


The urbane, genial producer Walter Wanger was liked and respected by everyone involved. However, Kevin McCarthy later said he had the impression during production that director Don Siegel, despite the glowing words he had for his producer in later years, thought Wanger was more diplomatic than effective in his dealings with the front office on such issues as the humor, the title and the additional scenes. "I think he might have called Wanger a pod, if the two of them hadn't been partners," McCarthy said. See more »


As the posse runs through Bronson Cave, after the policeman stops on the planks, says his lines, and then runs ahead, look closely for the man in the white shirt: it looks like he fell down onto the planks before the shot ended. See more »


[last lines]
Dr. Hill: Get on your radios and sound an all points alarm. Block all highways, stop all traffic, and call every law enforcement agency in the state.
[on phone]
Dr. Hill: Operator, get me the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Yes, it's an emergency!
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 The Omega Factor: Double Vision (1979) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

One Word Only......Masterpiece!
31 October 1999 | by (NC) – See all my reviews

Invasion of the Body Snatchers is the quintessential sci-fi film of the 50s, praying on the particular fears and paranoias of the time as well as more basic, instinctual phobias within each of us. The story is simple enough about a benevolent, intellectual doctor returning from vacation only to find that some weird, unexplainable feelings have been generated in the small town of Santa Mira. Some people say that relatives are not who they seem to be, despite being exact duplicates physically and mentally. This leads to one discovery to another for the good doctor, his girl, and two friends, and what we have through each discovery is one more piece to the puzzle that an alien presence is at work. What makes this film so successful is the pace and frantic mood it creates. We are caught up in Dr. Bennel's work, his fears and anxieties, his discoveries, and his uncovering of the truth. We feel confined, betrayed, and even suspicious of everything he encounters. Credit for this certainly must go to director Don Siegel and his outstanding ability to create this almost claustrophobic atmosphere, as well as to Kevin McCarthy who does an outstanding job playing the doctor. There are scenes in this film that live on long after viewing it...and the last one in particular has forever been etched into my mind. For a good fright, see Invasion of the Body Snatchers...They're here! They're here!

33 of 43 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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