7.8/10
35,688
214 user 142 critic

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)

Approved | | Horror, Sci-Fi | 5 February 1956 (USA)
Featurette
2:49 | Featurette

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

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

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (Collier's magazine serial)
Reviews
1 win. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In San Francisco, a group of people discover the human race is being replaced one by one, with clones devoid of emotion.

Director: Philip Kaufman
Stars: Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams, Jeff Goldblum
Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An alien lands and tells the people of Earth that they must live peacefully or be destroyed as a danger to other planets.

Director: Robert Wise
Stars: Michael Rennie, Patricia Neal, Hugh Marlowe
Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A starship crew goes to investigate the silence of a planet's colony only to find two survivors and a deadly secret that one of them has.

Director: Fred M. Wilcox
Stars: Walter Pidgeon, Anne Francis, Leslie Nielsen
Action | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A small town in California is attacked by Martians.

Director: Byron Haskin
Stars: Gene Barry, Ann Robinson, Les Tremayne
Them! (1954)
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The earliest atomic tests in New Mexico cause common ants to mutate into giant man-eating monsters that threaten civilization.

Director: Gordon Douglas
Stars: James Whitmore, Edmund Gwenn, Joan Weldon
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Scientists and American Air Force officials fend off a blood-thirsty alien organism while at a remote arctic outpost.

Directors: Christian Nyby, Howard Hawks
Stars: Kenneth Tobey, Margaret Sheridan, James Arness
Frankenstein (1931)
Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

An obsessed scientist assembles a living being from parts of exhumed corpses.

Director: James Whale
Stars: Colin Clive, Mae Clarke, Boris Karloff
Certificate: Passed Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

When Scott Carey begins to shrink because of exposure to a combination of radiation and insecticide, medical science is powerless to help him.

Director: Jack Arnold
Stars: Grant Williams, Randy Stuart, April Kent
Dracula (1931)
Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The ancient vampire Count Dracula arrives in England and begins to prey upon the virtuous young Mina.

Director: Tod Browning
Stars: Bela Lugosi, Helen Chandler, David Manners
The Blob (1958)
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

An alien lifeform consumes everything in its path as it grows and grows.

Directors: Irvin S. Yeaworth Jr., Russell S. Doughten Jr.
Stars: Steve McQueen, Aneta Corsaut, Earl Rowe
Comedy | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Mary Shelley reveals the main characters of her novel survived: Dr. Frankenstein, goaded by an even madder scientist, builds his monster a mate.

Director: James Whale
Stars: Boris Karloff, Elsa Lanchester, Colin Clive
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A teenage girl and her father discover alien clones are replacing humans on a remote U.S. military base in Alabama.

Director: Abel Ferrara
Stars: Gabrielle Anwar, Meg Tilly, Terry Kinney
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
Ralph Dumke ...
Police Chief Nick Grivett
...
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 to 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:

Walter Wanger Creates the Ultimate in Science-Fiction! See more »

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

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  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was almost called "The Body Snatchers" after Jack Finney's serial, but it sounded too similar to the Val Lewton film The Body Snatcher (1945). After several such titles as "They Come from Another World", "Better Off Dead", "Sleep No More", "Evil in the Night" and "World in Danger", the studio finally settled on "Invasion of the Body Snatchers". See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Ambulance Driver: We had to dig him out from under the most peculiar things I ever saw.
Dr. Hill: What things?
Ambulance Driver: Well, I don't know what they are; I never saw them before. They looked like great big seed pods.
Dr. Hill: Where was the truck coming from?
Ambulance Driver: Santa Mira.
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 »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

One of the scariest sci-fi films of the 1950s.
15 December 2003 | by (Fayetteville, GA) – See all my reviews

A chilling motion picture, well directed by Don Sigel, with a script co-written by Daniel Mainwaring and (uncredited) Sam Peckinpah, based on the novel "The Body Snatchers" (aka "Sleep No More") by Jack Finney.

The excellent musical score is by Carmen Dragon. Kevin McCarthy and Dana Wynter head the cast of this four-star classic in which the inhabitants of a small California town are being replaced by alien look-alikes. The aliens come to Earth in the form of "seed pods" that burst open and spew out a foam which grows into human duplicates, complete with all the memories of the original. The best scene in the film takes place in a greenhouse where several alien pods burst open and disgorge the half-formed copies of the horrified humans.

A prologue, a new ending, and a voice over-narration were added after the film's initial release, to help the audience follow the strange plot. In the added scenes, the story opens with Kevin McCarthy being brought into a hospital, raving about alien invaders. Two doctors (Whit Bissell and Richard Deacon) listen to McCarthy's strange story, which the audience sees as a flashback. At the end of he movie the doctors are understandably skeptical about McCarthy's weird yarn, but an unexpected event lends credence to his story.

Many film reviewers criticize these added scenes as unnecessary, an unwise attempt to conclude the story with a happier ending. But these scenes serve a valuable purpose, increasing the viewers sympathy for McCarthy and his efforts to convince someone that mankind is in danger. The alleged "happier ending" does not establish that mankind will win the battle against the aliens. It simply implies a Chapter Two in this epic struggle. Mankind will have a fighting chance in the war, but the outcome is definitely open to debate.


47 of 59 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?