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Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)

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

Director:

Don Siegel

Writers:

Daniel Mainwaring (screenplay), Jack Finney (Collier's magazine serial)
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2 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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 Ralph Dumke ... Police Chief Nick Grivett
Virginia Christine ... Wilma Lentz
Tom Fadden ... Uncle Ira Lentz
Kenneth Patterson Kenneth Patterson ... Stanley Driscoll
Guy Way ... Officer Sam Janzek
Eileen Stevens Eileen Stevens ... Anne Grimaldi
Beatrice Maude Beatrice Maude ... Grandma Grimaldi
Jean Andren Jean Andren ... Eleda Lentz
Bobby Clark Bobby Clark ... Jimmy Grimaldi
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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 doppelgangers 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. Written by Mark Thompson <mrt@oasis.icl.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

"Something is happening! Send your men of science quick!" The panic stricken cry went over the phone to Washington D. C. until the lines went dead!...... See more »

Genres:

Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 February 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Body Snatchers See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$417,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Walter Wanger Productions See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Perspecta Sound encoding) (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The biggest problem director Don Siegel and company had with the studio was over the use of humor. He, writer Daniel Mainwaring and producer Walter Wanger had scripted scenes with humor in them, and Kevin McCarthy said the actors improvised some during shooting. When the film was still in the work print stage, Siegel and Wanger decided to try it out in front of a preview audience behind the studio's back. Much of the humor was still in the film at that point, and the audience response went from shrieks to screams to laughter and back again. Siegel had sneaked a tape recorder into the theater so they could prove to the studio just how great the reception was to their rough cut. However, Allied Artists head Steve Broidy hit the roof when he found out and wanted to know why the audience was laughing in places. He ordered any trace of humor removed. See more »

Goofs

When the three trucks pull up to the town square, a man directs people to "Truck 1" and "truck 2" and "the third truck," but there's no markings to indicate which truck is which. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Miles J. Bennell: In my practice, I've seen how people have allowed their humanity to drain away. Only it happened slowly instead of all at once. They didn't seem to mind... All of us - a little bit - we harden our hearts, grow callous. Only when we have to fight to stay human do we realize how precious it is to us, how dear.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
One of the Best Sci-Fi Classics from the 50's of the Cinema History
29 June 2015 | by Claudio CarvalhoSee all my reviews

Dr. Miles J. Bennell (Kevin McCarthy) returns from a convention to the small Santa Mira and is welcomed by his nurse and friend Sally Withers (Jean Willes) at the train station. She reports that several patients had come to see him while he was traveling. While driving to his office with Sally, Miles stops the car when a boy runs to the road. Soon he learns that the boy insists that his mother is not her actually. Then he meets in his office his former girlfriend Becky Driscoll (Dana Wynter) that has just divorced and returned from England. Becky tells that her cousin Wilma Lentz (Virginia Christine) insists that her Uncle Ira is not him. Miles invites Becky to have dinner with him and he meets his friend, the psychiatrist Dr. Dan 'Danny' Kauffman (Larry Gates) that tells that the population of Santa Mira is paranoid with mass hysteria imagining doubles of their relatives. Miles and Becky go to a restaurant and Miles receives a phone call from his friend Jack Belicec (King Donovan) asking him to go to his house. Miles and Becky visit Jack and his wife Theodora 'Teddy' Belicec (Carolyn Jones) and they show a partially developed body with Jack's characteristics on the pool table and they go to Miles' house. Then Miles goes to Becky's house and finds a body identical to her in the basement. Miles brings Becky to his house and in the morning, the group finds seeds of pods with doubles of them. Soon they discover that the population is being replaced by emotionless doubles while asleep. They unsuccessfully try to contact the authorities in other cities but they discover that they are under siege by the pod people. Will they have the chance to flee from Santa Mira?

"Invasion of the Body Snatchers" is one of the best sci-fi classics from the 50's of the cinema history. The story is tense and very well written and the the screenplay is excellent. The plot is an anti-communism message in period of the McCarthyism, with people with no feelings, with similar behavior, that does not love. The prologue and the epilogue had been imposed by the studio that found the original conclusion with Miles screaming on the highway too pessimist. My vote is ten.

Title (Brazil): "Vampiros de Almas" ("Vampires of Souls")


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