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 <email@example.com>
To create their clones, Kevin McCarthy, Debra Wynter, King Donovan, and Carolyn Jones were laid down on slanted boards, where the crew coated them, from head to toe, in plaster of Paris. Subsequently, these molds were filled with foam rubber. During the lengthy process, Wynter was subjected to yet another practical joke-this time, courtesy of the mold-builders. "I was in this thing while it hardened," she said. "I was breathing through straws ... and the rest of me was encased, it was like a sarcophagus. The guys who were making it tapped on the back of the thing and said 'Dana, listen, we won't be long, we're just going out for lunch!'" 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 »
[mob chases Miles to the highway]
Let him go. Nobody will ever believe him.
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Clouds form a backdrop for the opening credits. See more »
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.
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