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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Production Designer 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 »
After Jack Belicec cuts his hand, he and Dr. Bennell are talking next to the pool table. Dr. Bennell states that Becky's cousin (Wilma Lentz) thinks her "uncle and her aunt are not her uncle and her aunt". However Wilma's suspicion only concerned her uncle Ira. Her aunt was never mentioned. See more »
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!
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