Invasion of the Body Snatchers (Widescreen/Full Screen)
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Something's wrong in the town of Santa Mira, California. At first, Dr. Miles Bennell (Kevin McCarthy) is unconcerned when the townsfolk accuse their loved ones of acting like emotionless imposters. But soon the evidence is overwhelming--Santa Mira has been invaded by alien "pods" that are capable of replicating humans and taking possession of their identities. It's up to McCarthy to spread the word of warning, battling the alien invasion at the risk of his own life. Considered one of the best science fiction films of the 1950s and '60s, this classic paranoid thriller was widely interpreted as a criticism of the McCarthy era (that's Senator Joseph, not actor Kevin), which was characterized by anticommunist witch-hunts and fear of the dreaded blacklist. Some hailed it as an attack on the oppressive power of government as Big Brother. However viewers interpret it, this original 1956 version of Invaders of the Body Snatchers (based on Jack Finney's serialized novel The Body Snatchers) remains a milestone movie in its genre, directed by Don Siegel with an inventive intensity that continues to pack an entertaining wallop. Look closely and you'll find future director Sam Peckinpah (an uncredited cowriter of this film) making a cameo appearance as a meter reader! --Jeff Shannon
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Top Customer Reviews
This movie takes us on an exacting and tension building journey through the perspective of a doctor returning back to his home town and finding that all isn't at all right.It seems a few people,young and old,are reporting that their relatives aren't who they once were.At first he doesn't seem too fazed and fluffs it off as a coincidence and/or some kind of mass hysteria,a theory put forward by a collegue of his.
But from cancelled appointmemnts, a noticable drop off of trade all around the town to some very disturbing incidents he comes to realize that there is something VERY strange afoot.
He soon finds himself caught up in a series of very quick moving events all the while trying to save himself and some friends and at the same time trying to notify authorities about this dangerous menace.It's an uphill struggle all the way and the movie is at its' scary and intense best during this period.
Kevin McCarthy and his co-star Dana Winter pull in boffo performances playing it straight down the line and have us with them the entire time.
On the technical side I had to knock off a star because even though it's fantastic to finally have this movie in widescreen I thought the prints' graininess could have been cleaned up much better for this presentation.It is very noticable in the full screen format which I thought might have been better in widescreen just because of the aspect ratio difference but such is not the case.It's not AS bad just it could have been better.
And finally for all those who have for years thought this entire movie was just a sly metaphor for the Cold War,big government vs the little guy,etc.,etc.Read more ›
This is the plot: Dr. Bennell (Kevin McCarthy) returns to his small home town ready to attend patients. Different consultants tell him of a paranoid syndrome: their relatives seem somehow changed. A couple of days after that, they return to his office and tell him "Everything is OK".
Dr. Bennell and her old times girl friend Becky Driscoll (Dana Wynter) soon realize the town is being subject to an alien invasion plot. Huge seed are "planted" in basements or garages and evolved in a duplicate of a person (a clone will be called today). As soon as the victim fells asleep is "transformed". The tension grows up as time pass and the characters need to sleep.
Some comments issued around the film pointed out that it may be taken as a parable of the Cold War raging at the time it was released (1956). I think that there are more films of that period, alluding the frightful issue of "They are like us but they are NOT us and they are dangerous", as in "The Thing from another World" (1951) or "I Married a Monster from Outer Space" (1958).
The actress Carolyn Jones (later best known by her impersonation of Morticia at the "Addams Family" TV serial) play a short, but very well enacted, role
A very enjoyable film to be seen.
Duration: 80 minutes
The cinematographer, Ellsworth Fredericks, did an excellent job at creating an intense mood in this fantasy thriller. The predominant shadows, as in most film noir and other black and white movies of the 40's and 50's, defines the tone in which the viewer should read the characters. But what is most interesting about this film, is that only the main character sees the alien townspeople in this light when he is alone and they are attacking him. For the majority of the time, they are lit with high-key lighting, what is typically used in sitcoms today, to give the viewer a sense of perfection.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
This review is for the DVD edition of the 1956 version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, starring Kevin McCarthy and Dana Wynter.
The DVD is from Olive Films. Read more
Kevin McCarthy in one of his finest roles. The original is always the best; don't waste money on remakes.Published 6 months ago by Mark Feuer
This is no doubt the finest sci-fi film of all-time!! The many remakes really can not compare to the original. Read morePublished on Sept. 19 2012 by bobb
Having been born well after the McCarthy era the political sub-text was lost on me. I just thought it was another one of those 50s sci-fi b movies made. Read morePublished on July 13 2004 by filterite
This is a GREAT transfer of the original film! The sound is good, the picture is good, it's simply a grand dvd! The film here has good acting and casting. Read morePublished on April 25 2004 by Lotus Scrum
It's severely spoiled by the imposed framing story - where the authorities defeat the Pod People after all - and (for me) by the obvious right-wing bias of the filmmakers. Read morePublished on April 1 2004 by bruther
Based on the 1955 novella by Jack Finney, INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS is the definitive filmic allegory of 1950's McCarthyist paranoia and oppression, and it remains one of the... Read morePublished on March 1 2004 by Michael R Gates
1) It's a great example of a B-movie that became a genre classic. That alone makes it worth a look. Read more
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