IMDb > Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
Invasion of the Body Snatchers
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Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) More at IMDbPro »

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Invasion of the Body Snatchers -- A small-town doctor learns that the population of his community is being replaced by emotionless alien duplicates.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers -- Joe Dante discusses the making of Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Overview

User Rating:
7.8/10   28,698 votes »
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Up 4% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Daniel Mainwaring (screenplay)
Jack Finney (Collier's magazine serial)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Invasion of the Body Snatchers on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
5 February 1956 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
The original Black & White classic See more »
Plot:
A small-town doctor learns that the population of his community is being replaced by emotionless alien duplicates. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
1 win See more »
User Reviews:
Excellent genre film with intellectual subtexts See more (191 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Kevin McCarthy ... Dr. Miles J. Bennell

Dana Wynter ... Becky Driscoll
Larry Gates ... Dr. Dan 'Danny' Kauffman
King Donovan ... Jack Belicec

Carolyn Jones ... Theodora 'Teddy' Belicec
Jean Willes ... Nurse Sally Withers
Ralph Dumke ... Police Chief Nick Grivett
Virginia Christine ... Wilma Lentz
Tom Fadden ... Uncle Ira Lentz
Kenneth Patterson ... Stanley Driscoll
Guy Way ... Officer Sam Janzek
Eileen Stevens ... Anne Grimaldi
Beatrice Maude ... Grandma Grimaldi
Jean Andren ... Eleda Lentz
Bobby Clark ... Jimmy Grimaldi
Everett Glass ... Dr. Ed Pursey

Dabbs Greer ... Mac Lomax
Pat O'Malley ... Baggage Man
Guy Rennie ... Restaurant Owner
Marie Selland ... Martha Lomax

Sam Peckinpah ... Charlie
Harry J. Vejar ... Pod Carrier in Miles' Office
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Whit Bissell ... Dr. Hill (uncredited)

Richard Deacon ... Dr. Harvey Bassett (uncredited)
Frank Hagney ... Bit Part (uncredited)
Robert Osterloh ... Ambulance Driver (uncredited)

Directed by
Don Siegel 
 
Writing credits
Daniel Mainwaring (screenplay)

Jack Finney (Collier's magazine serial)

Richard Collins  uncredited

Produced by
Walter Mirisch .... executive producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Carmen Dragon 
 
Cinematography by
Ellsworth Fredericks (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Robert S. Eisen 
 
Production Design by
Ted Haworth  (as Edward Haworth)
 
Set Decoration by
Joseph Kish 
 
Makeup Department
Emile LaVigne .... makeup artist
Mary Westmoreland .... hairdresser
 
Production Management
Allen K. Wood .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
William Beaudine Jr. .... assistant director (as Bill Beaudine Jr.)
Richard Maybery .... assistant director
Don Torpin .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Ralph Butler .... sound
Del Harris .... sound editor
 
Special Effects by
Milt Rice .... special effects
Don Post .... special makeup effects: pods and other props (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
James V. King .... additional camera operator: final sequence (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Carmen Dragon .... conductor
Jerry Irvin .... music editor
 
Other crew
Irva Mae Ross .... script supervisor (as Irva Ross)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Walter Wanger's Invasion of the Body Snatchers" - UK (complete title), USA (complete title)
See more »
Runtime:
80 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Perspecta Sound encoding) (Western Electric Recording)
Certification:
Australia:PG | Finland:K-12/9 | Norway:16 | Portugal:M/12 | Sweden:15 | UK:X (original rating) (passed with cuts) | UK:PG (tv rating) | UK:PG (video rating) (1997) | USA:Approved (certificate #17567) | West Germany:16

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Universal's UK DVD (824 346 1.11) comes with a choice of the original black and white or a colorized version. The black & white's running time is 1hr and 20 mins while the color version has an added five minutes to its running time.See more »
Goofs:
Plot holes: 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 »
Quotes:
[first lines]
Dr. Harvey Bassett:Oh, Doctor Hill.
Dr. Hill:Dr. Basset. Well, where's the patient?
Dr. Harvey Bassett:I hated to drag you out of bed at this time of night. You'll soon see why I did.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Rock Monster (2008) (TV)See more »

FAQ

Where do the pods come from?
What is 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers' about?
What happens to the human's body after the pod has taken it over?
See more »
78 out of 98 people found the following review useful.
Excellent genre film with intellectual subtexts, 1 February 2005
Author: Brandt Sponseller from New York City

Dr. Miles J. Bennell (Kevin McCarthy) is called back to his small California home early from a conference because a number of his patients have been frantically asking to see him. But oddly, when he returns home, most forget about their unspecified needs. At the same time, it seems that a mass hysteria is building where residents believe that friends and loved ones are "not themselves", literally. Just what is going on? As of this writing, it has been more than twenty years since I have seen the 1978 remake of this film, so I can't compare the two at the moment. However, it would have to be flawless to top this, the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

The sole factor that caused me to give the film less than a ten was the pacing during portions of the first half hour or so. While it's not bad, exactly, director Don Siegel does not build atmosphere and tension as effectively as he might have while the viewer is being filled in on the necessary exposition. Admittedly, this section is directed in a standard way for its era, but "standard" here is enough to subtract a point.

However, once we reach Miles' friend Jack Belicec (King Donovan) discovering a body on his billiard table, the suspense and tension gradually increase, and the remainder of the film is a very solid ten.

The literal "weapon" of the film's horror could have easily come across as cheesy, but it doesn't. Don Post and Milt Rice's special make-up effects and props are threateningly eerie. The transformation sequences involving the props are beautifully shot and edited--showing just enough to make them effective, but not so much that the mystery is gone.

It was ingenious to create a story where a whole town gradually turns into a villain, and even natural, unavoidable biological functions threaten our heroes' destruction. In conjunction, it all creates an intense sense of claustrophobia and paranoia for the audience.

McCarthy and Dana Wynter, as Miles' girlfriend Becky Driscoll, expertly convey a gradual transformation from common citizens to panic-stricken, desperate victims on the run. The film is also notable for slightly ahead-of-its time portrayals of relationships and divorce.

Much has been said about the parallels between Invasion of the Body Snatchers and the "communist paranoia" in the United States in the late 1940s and early 1950s, especially as it was directed against Hollywood by the House of Un-American Activities Committee. (And how ironic that the star of Invasion of the Body Snatchers is named McCarthy?) However, there is another very interesting subtext present that isn't so often mentioned. The film can also be looked at as a philosophical exploration of personal identity. Just what does it take for people to be themselves? Is it how they look, act, the things they say? Is it not the case that people are constantly transformed into something they weren't just hours ago, or even moments ago? Among the many ways that these kinds of ideas are worked into the script is that sleep is a metaphor for unconscious physical change over time. It would be easy to analyze each scene in the film in this manner, going into detail about the various implications each plot development has on the matter of personal identity.

Despite the slight pacing/atmosphere flaw in the beginning, this is a gem of a film, not just for sci-fi and horror fans, and not just for its era. It's worth seeing by anyone with a serious interest in film, and can be enjoyed either on its suspenseful surface level, or more in-depth by those who want to look at the film as more metaphorical material for societal and philosophical concerns.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (191 total) »

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Movies about hostile aliens that imitate humans petekrug17
Original Ending sylvienj
Just watched for the first time matthew_548
Which ending do you like better? BattleRoyale96
Music (SPOILER QUESTION) orangysky
How would it be without the VoiceOver. mam13143
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