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Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)

Approved  |   |  Horror, Sci-Fi  |  5 February 1956 (USA)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 31,670 users  
Reviews: 204 user | 135 critic

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

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(screenplay), (Collier's magazine serial), 1 more credit »
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Title: Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)

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Cast

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
Edit

Storyline

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

Taglines:

Incredible! Invisible! Insatiable! See more »

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 February 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Body Snatchers  »

Box Office

Budget:

$417,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Perspecta Sound encoding) (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ted Haworth was worried that studio executives would object to the "nudity" of the pod likenesses. Don Siegel reminded him that Hollywood executives were all pods and, as such, had no real feeling about anything, including nudity. One executive, however, voiced strong objections and ordered Siegel to eliminate any nudity from the picture. Siegel returned to Haworth and told him to continue as planned. "I was sure that before the impressions were made, this executive would have become a pod, too," he said in his autobiography. At any rate, the issue was fairly moot; the pod replicas are revealed under foaming soap bubbles that manage to keep any overt nudity concealed. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Jack Belicec: Stop trying to rationalize everything, will ya? Let's face it, we have a mystery on our hands!
Dr. Dan 'Danny' Kauffman: Sure you have. A real one! Whose body was it, and where is it now? A completely normal mystery. Whatever it is, it's well within the bounds of human experience, and I don't think you ought to make any more of it.
Dr. Miles J. Bennell: Look, I wouldn't if I hadn't looked in Becky's cellar! How do you explain away the body I saw there?
Dr. Dan 'Danny' Kauffman: I don't think you saw one there.
Dr. Miles J. Bennell: You don't think I saw one here, either?
Dr. Dan 'Danny' Kauffman: I know you did ...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Sci-fi thriller taps into 1950's paranoia
19 December 2004 | by See all my reviews

INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS

Aspect ratio: 2.00:1 (Superscope)

Sound format: Mono

(Black and white)

A small Californian town is overrun by alien pods which begin to replicate the inhabitants, prior to spreading their influence across the country - and the world.

Alien invaders masquerading as human beings? Or Communist infiltrators masquerading as aliens masquerading as humans? Don Siegel's clever film not only taps into the paranoia of its era, it also exploits the timeless fear of 'invasion from without' which has sustained dozens of similar horror/sci-fi movies over the years. It's also genuinely frightening in places: The 'unfinished' humanoid pod discovered on a pool table in co-star King Donovan's home, which begins to resemble Donovan and eventually... opens its eyes; the bone-chilling close-up of a major character who has succumbed to the alien's influence during the course of a single kiss; and the famous scene in which hero Kevin McCarthy struggles to convince motorists on a busy highway of the impending catastrophe ("You're next! You're next!"). Simple but never simplistic, and photographed in noirish black and white by ace cameraman Ellsworth Fredericks (SEVEN DAYS IN MAY, PICTURE MOMMY DEAD), the movie earns its place as one of the most memorable genre pieces of the 1950's. Future director Sam Peckinpah has a brief cameo (as Charlie, the meter reader); remade by Philip Kaufman in 1978, and by Abel Ferrara (as BODY SNATCHERS) in 1993, with THE INVASION following in 2007.


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