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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 32,045 users  
Reviews: 204 user | 136 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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The original Black & White classic 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?


During test screenings, much of the film's original humor and humanity was cut when the audience found it difficult to follow and laughed at all the wrong moments. The studio insisted on edits because it wasn't policy to mix humor with horror. 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

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


Referenced in Dharma & Greg: Invasion of the Buddy Snatcher (1998) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

An American cinematic masterpiece
1 August 2005 | by (Levittown, New York) – See all my reviews

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!

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

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