Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)

Rating PG
Length 1h20
Release 05.02.1956
Director Don Siegal
About In Santa Mira, California, Dr. Miles Bennell (Kevin McCarthy) is baffled when all his patients come to him with the same complaint: their loved ones seem to have been replaced by emotionless impostors. Despite others’ dismissive denials, Dr. Bennell, his former girlfriend Becky (Dana Wynter) and his friend Jack (King Donovan) soon discover that the patients’ suspicions are true: an alien species of human duplicates, grown from plant-like pods, is taking over the small town.
Moon: no moon sighting
Where to Watch: NowTV
Trailer:

Trick

  • The talk around this movie being an allegory of politics and “McCarthy-ism” is really annoying. It’s such a significant criticism that you can’t look this film up without seeing mentions of this take.
    Let the film be a film!

Treat

  • Kevin McCarthy not only was hot when he was younger, he played a decent good guy. I know him from Innerspace, so this is refreshing.
  • While other versions will play the story as action, this original outing is much more psychological than fast paced. Honestly, films’ today could learn a thing or two by watching this and taking notes.
  • Another good use of the bookend/wraparound narrative. The urgency and fear seen with Miles gives a great atmosphere and set up for the unravelling mystery.
  • It’s fear lingers much longer than any other type of horror. Not because of the aliens or any belief that it could happen. The real fear is from the idea that you would not be believed or even dismissed. That’s the fear that is so very real and so well played into the story that it’s creeped under your skin before you’ve had chance to realise what it’s done.

Final Thoughts

One of my favourite films and the reason why you should never dismiss a movie because it is in black and white.

2 thoughts on “Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)”

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