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Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)

7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 29,054 users  
Reviews: 194 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
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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:

The original nightmare that threatened the world 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:

They Came from Another World  »

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

Kevin McCarthy and author Jack Finney have always denied the belief that the story is a metaphor against McCarthyism and Communism. They just saw it as a thriller. Don Siegel however believes the political references to Senator McCarthy and totalitarianism are inescapable, even though he tried not to emphasize them. See more »

Goofs

Water stains on the planks in the mine. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Dr. Harvey Bassett: Oh, Doctor Hill.
Dr. Hill: Dr. Basset. Well, where's the patient?
Dr. Harvey Bassett: I hated to drag you out of bed at this time of night. You'll soon see why I did.
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 »

Connections

Edited into The 100 Scariest Movie Moments (2004) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

The better one
2 November 2004 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

This was the first part of a double bill with Phil Kaufman's remake as the follow-up. I'll say that Siegel is ten times the action director that Kaufman could ever dream of being, that the original Body Snatchers has a cool, thoughtful tone that makes the shock scenes even better. The remake, even though in color and with a bigger budget, is so nervous, so lacking in pace and mood, that your impulse is often to laugh instead of sinking deeper into your seat.

Take just one scene: Kevin McCarthy and Dana Wynter are barricaded in his office, trying to stay awake. Morning comes, and the weirdness begins; people shuffle towards the square to pick up their packages, the leaders calling out the districts. Now in daylight the suspense is made more potent, the threat to humans seems greater. Kaufman does this scene at night, losing the mundane horror that Siegel evokes so well. The studio imposed the flashback structure, having McCarthy brought in to talk to a therapist at the beginning and end of the picture. That's the only weakness in the story.


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