7.4/10
44,690
186 user 181 critic

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)

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

Writers:

W.D. Richter (screenplay), Jack Finney (novel)
Reviews
Popularity
3,527 ( 886)

Watch Now

With Prime Video

ON DISC
3 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

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

Director: Don Siegel
Stars: Kevin McCarthy, Dana Wynter, Larry Gates
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
The Fly (1986)
Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A brilliant but eccentric scientist begins to transform into a giant man/fly hybrid after one of his experiments goes horribly wrong.

Director: David Cronenberg
Stars: Jeff Goldblum, Geena Davis, John Getz
Action | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A small town in California is attacked by Martians, beginning a worldwide invasion.

Director: Byron Haskin
Stars: Gene Barry, Ann Robinson, Les Tremayne
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Donald Sutherland ... Matthew Bennell
Brooke Adams ... Elizabeth Driscoll
Jeff Goldblum ... Jack Bellicec
Veronica Cartwright ... Nancy Bellicec
Leonard Nimoy ... Dr. David Kibner
Art Hindle ... Dr. Geoffrey Howell
Lelia Goldoni ... Katherine Hendley
Kevin McCarthy ... Running Man
Don Siegel ... Taxi Driver
Tom Luddy ... Ted Hendley
Stan Ritchie Stan Ritchie ... Stan
David Fisher David Fisher ... Mr. Gianni
Tom Dahlgren Tom Dahlgren ... Detective
Garry Goodrow Garry Goodrow ... Dr. Boccardo (as Gary Goodrow)
Jerry Walter Jerry Walter ... Restaurant Owner
Edit

Storyline

The first remake of the paranoid infiltration classic moves the setting for the invasion from a small town to the city of San Fransisco and starts as Matthew Bennell notices that several of his friends are complaining that their close relatives are in some way different. When questioned later they themselves seem changed as they deny everything or make lame excuses. As the invaders increase in number they become more open and Bennell, who has by now witnessed an attempted "replacement" realises that he and his friends must escape or suffer the same fate. But who can he trust to help him and who has already been snatched? Written by Mark Thompson <mrt@oasis.icl.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The seed is planted...terror grows. (advance one sheet) See more »

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

MGM

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

22 December 1978 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Invasion of the Body Snatchers See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$3,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,298,129, 25 December 1978, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$24,946,533
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Solofilm See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo (Dolby Stereo)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Brooke Adams challenged Donald Sutherland to a foot race during one of the film's many chase scenes. After Philip Kaufman yelled "Cut!", they just kept going. Adams won, in a dress and high heels no less. See more »

Goofs

During the "accident" scene a gray pickup truck appears under the "Ringside" sign where a white car earlier appeared. See more »

Quotes

Elizabeth Driscoll: I hate you.
Dr. David Kibner: There's no need for hate now. Or love.
See more »

Alternate Versions

In the version that ABC-TV ran in 1980, ' nude scene, where she was walking through the greenhouse where the pods were being grown, was replaced with an alternate shot of her wearing the red dress. See more »

Connections

Featured in Video Buck: TOP 13: Los Traumas De Buck (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Amazing Grace
Traditional
Performed by The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards (as the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards)
Courtesy of RCA Limited
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Close enough to get a cigar, but not as good as the original
9 February 2005 | by BrandtSponsellerSee all my reviews

Shortly after Elizabeth Driscoll (Brooke Adams) discovers a strange plant in her San Francisco-area yard that she cannot identify, her boyfriend begins acting strangely--he looks the same, but Elizabeth swears he's a different person. Before long, more and more people are claiming the same thing about their friends and relatives. Just what is going on? Although not quite as good as the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), this remake is very interesting and well worth a watch. Some things it does better than the original, although slightly more is not done as well. But it is full or intriguing ideas, some beautiful cinematography, and quite a few quirky charms.

One oddity about this film is that it seems to assume that very few people will watch who aren't already familiar with the original. Scripter W.D. Richter and director Philip Kaufman give away the "twist" immediately, and there are a number of statements from characters in this film (such as the first time we hear the advice to not fall asleep) that only make sense if one already knows from Don Siegel's original just why they shouldn't fall asleep. For this reason, I strongly recommend that anyone interested in this film who hasn't seen it yet should make sure they watch the original first.

The opening shots, which firmly set this remake into sci-fi territory, are a great idea, even if the execution is somewhat questionable. I'm not sure that Kaufman's "art gel" works, and the way it moves through space, as if blown by trade winds, is slightly hokey. But I'm willing to forgive a misstep if it's in service of a great idea, and especially if the misstep is the result of budgetary limitations.

Early in the film, the major asset is the cinematography. There is an excellent, slow tracking shot down a hallway, where we only see our main character by way of her feet and a slight reflection in a window. There are a lot of great "tilted" shots. There are a lot of subtle lighting effects to set mood, and a just as many subtle instances of symbolism for the horrors to come.

The cast, featuring Adams, Donald Sutherland, Jeff Goldblum, Leonard Nimoy and Veronica Cartwright, is an interesting combination of stars who tend to give idiosyncratic performances. Kaufman exploits the collection of personalities well, although occasionally gives us odd "everyone talk at once" scenes which can verge on the brink of annoying. Although I'm not usually the biggest fan of Goldblum (in some roles, such as The Fly, I like him, in some roles he tends to irritate me), I noted an odd similarity between him in this film and an actor and performance I'm much more fond of--David Duchovny and his X-Files character Fox Mulder.

Speaking of that, there is a strong X-Files vibe to this film overall. Whereas the original Invasion had thinly veiled subtexts of fear and doubts of "The Other"--whether politically-rooted (the common analysis is that the original Invasion was a subtext for U.S. fears of communism), religiously-rooted (some see it as a parable about cults, or religions in general) or simply about personal identity (in a philosophical sense of "Who am I/are you?" "What makes one oneself?"), Kaufman's take has stronger subtexts of encroaching mental illness--fear of losing one's mind and a generalized, "clinical" paranoia.

Given that difference, it's perhaps odd that there are so many similarities between the two films. The character structure and relationships are largely the same, with some mostly insignificant differences, including slightly different occupations. There are many scenes taken almost verbatim from the original film, often only with differences of setting, but staged the same, with similar scenarios and occasionally identical dialogue. There is even a wonderful moment where Kevin McCarthy, star of the original film, comes running down the street, screaming that we're all doomed.

A number of quirky moments push the value of Kaufman's film up a notch. These are sprinkled throughout the film, but some highlights are a Robert Duvall cameo as a priest inexplicably on a swingset next to toddlers, the "mud bath" parlor, a brief spurt of marvelous, Zappa-sounding avant-garde classical as we witness a chase down a staircase, and a greenhouse in a shipping yard, through which Elizabeth eventually strolls naked, casually walking by employees. The "creature" effects may be better here than in the original, but they are not more effective for that.

But overall, this is a great film. Just make sure you don't miss the superior original.


67 of 102 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 186 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed