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
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In 1994, Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by The Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant." See more »
Upon discovering two pods in the trunk of his car after visiting the gas station, the hero pulls them from the trunk and sets them on fire with a highway flare whereupon they burst into flame. Nowhere else in the film is there any suggestion that these pods are flammable nor would they be if germinating into a human replica. See more »
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!
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