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Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)

Approved  |   |  Horror, Sci-Fi  |  5 February 1956 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 32,488 users  
Reviews: 205 user | 139 critic

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



(screenplay), (Collier's magazine serial), 1 more credit »
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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


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


Collier's Magazine called it "The Nightmare That THREATENS THE WORLD" See more »


Horror | Sci-Fi


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

5 February 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Body Snatchers  »

Box Office


$417,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Perspecta Sound encoding) (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The tunnel scene where the hero hides briefly from the townspeople was filmed at Bronson Cave in Griffith Park, famous with locals as the Bat Cave. See more »


After Miles and Becky disable Jack, Dr. Kaufman and the police officer, Miles says, "Our only hope is to make it to the highway." This line has been dubbed in, and doesn't entirely don't match his lip movements. See more »


Jack Belicec: Stop trying to rationalize everything, will ya? Let's face it, we have a mystery on our hands!
Dr. Dan 'Danny' Kauffman: Sure you have. A real one! Whose body was it, and where is it now? A completely normal mystery. Whatever it is, it's well within the bounds of human experience, and I don't think you ought to make any more of it.
Dr. Miles J. Bennell: Look, I wouldn't if I hadn't looked in Becky's cellar! How do you explain away the body I saw there?
Dr. Dan 'Danny' Kauffman: I don't think you saw one there.
Dr. Miles J. Bennell: You don't think I saw one here, either?
Dr. Dan 'Danny' Kauffman: I know you did ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Clouds form a backdrop for the opening credits. See more »


Referenced in Ben 10: Alien Force: Max Out (2008) 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.

26 of 38 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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