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The Body Stealers (1969)

 -  Horror | Mystery | Sci-Fi  -  April 1969 (USA)
4.0
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A British military paratrooper disappears in mid-air during a jump from an army plane. Two investigators, Patrick Allen and Neil Connery, try to unravel how this happened. What they uncover... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Gen. Armstrong
...
Dr. Matthews / Alien
Patrick Allen ...
Bob Megan
Neil Connery ...
Jim Radford
Hilary Heath ...
Julie Slade (as Hilary Dwyer)
Robert Flemyng ...
W.C. Baldwin
Lorna Wilde ...
Lorna
Allan Cuthbertson ...
Hindsmith
Michael Culver ...
Lt. Bailes
Sally Faulkner ...
Joanna
Shelagh Fraser ...
Mrs. Thatcher
Carl Rigg ...
Briggs
Carol Hawkins ...
Paula
Dixon Adams ...
David
Derek Pollitt ...
Davies
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Storyline

A British military paratrooper disappears in mid-air during a jump from an army plane. Two investigators, Patrick Allen and Neil Connery, try to unravel how this happened. What they uncover is an alien plot to steal the bodies of earthlings by snatching them out of the air. Written by Jonathon Dabell <J.D.@pixie.ntu.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Can the Earth survive against the aliens from outer space?

Genres:

Horror | Mystery | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

April 1969 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Invasion of the Body Stealers  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

Towards the end of the film, when the alien's leave, Bob's cardigan is buttoned up as he passes through the door it becomes undone, it is buttoned up again when he goes back into the house. See more »

Connections

References Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Nice aerial footage, dull on the ground
27 March 2005 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

A few minutes of well-shot footage of parachute jumps and aerobatic flying seem the real impetus for this British science fiction picture. When there are no bodies hurtling towards the ground or planes shooting past each other, what's left is a bad script with far too many scenes of men in suits talking in offices and not nearly enough science or action. Since it was made for a family audience, there isn't even much in the way of female flesh.

Patrick Allen and his improbably large chin take the lead. His character, a NATO troubleshooter, is big on the sub-James Bond womanising and tough posturing. Yet for all his smooth lines and fetching cardigans, he does curiously little to actually solve the mystery of disappearing military parachutists. Plot development consists of supporting characters waving a Geiger counter over a few things while Allen chases the girls.

George Sanders is normally a reliable figure (see the far superior Psychomania, for instance), but he is wasted here as a personality-deficient general. Hilary Dwyer has the requisite qualities for a female star, being very pretty and a great screamer. Lorna Wilde is quite fetching as a mysterious blonde, but the rest of the cast do little.

This is a competently-made film from people who understood the limitations of their budget, limitations which mean rare special effects and few action sequences. The real problem is an absence of ideas or any ambition beyond filling the screen for 90 minutes. Once all the aerial footage has been used up, what is left is a very unoriginal story with little imagination or characterisation and lots of dialogue of a "The minister isn't going to like this" type. Nonetheless, Reg Tilsley's jazz score deserves a mention, ratcheting the tension even when the most mundane action is unfolding on screen.

It's hard to recommend this film when there are so many better British exploitation films from the era; it lacks even any Austin Powers-ish campness and shows nothing of 1960s Britain. As an attempt at family-friendly science fiction from Tigon, a studio better known for its sexually-frank horror, it's a slight curio of film history. For entertainment, you're better off jumping out of a plane, or even watching an in-flight movie.


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