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Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)

Kevin McCarthy , Dana Wynter , Don Siegel  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (356 customer reviews)

Price: $28.49 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: Kevin McCarthy, Dana Wynter, Larry Gates, King Donovan, Carolyn Jones
  • Directors: Don Siegel
  • Writers: Daniel Mainwaring, Jack Finney, Richard Collins
  • Producers: Walter Mirisch
  • Format: Black & White, Closed-captioned, Dolby, Full Screen, Letterboxed, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: Italian
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Republic Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: July 1, 1998
  • Run Time: 80 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (356 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0782009980
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #115,479 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Special interview with 'Kevin McCarthy'

Editorial Reviews

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

Product Description

Kevin McCarthy, Dana Wynter, Carolyn Jones. The sci-fi classic about small-town residents slowly being replaced by aliens hatched in pods. 1956/b&w/80 min/NR/fullscreen & widescreen.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
166 of 171 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Memorable Film in Excellent No-Frills DVD Release October 10, 2003
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
According to Hollywood lore, the cast and crew of this film decided to play a practical joke on actress Carolyn Jones during the filming: while she was out of her bungalow, they slipped in and left one of the large seedpods made for the film on her bed. They received a more memorable response than they expected, for when Jones returned to her bungalow for a nap and found the pod she ran screaming out into the street.

And such is the power of this film. There are no major special effects, and for the most part everything looks the way it should in small town America of the 1950s. But the idea it presents and the paranoia it creates is a remarkable, tangible thing.

Loosely based on the novella by Jack Finney and directed by Don Siegel, THE INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS was just a little black and white horror film--but it exploded within America's 1950s subconscious with all the force of an atomic bomb, tapping into fears of everything from Cold War-era communism to a decreasing sense of community to the notorious House Unamerican Activities Committee. And in the process it became one of the most influential horror films ever made, a motion picture that would exert a strong pull on every one from novelist Stephen King to filmmakers like Wolf Rilla.

The story has been told in no fewer than three film versions, but while the Donald Sutherland and the Meg Tilley versions are each quite fine in their own ways, the original remains the most powerful. Dr. Bennell (Kevin McCarthy) returns to the small California town of Santa Mira from a medical convention--only to discover that several members of the community have developed a strange form of hysteria: they have become convinced that certain friends and relatives are being impersonated by exact duplicates.
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47 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Keep awake, keep awake!!!!. June 17, 2004
Format:VHS Tape
This is a remarkable movie in many ways. With a relatively small budget a very interesting Sci-Fi / horror film is made. No big visual effects, no Big Stars in the cast, black n' white photography and still a griping story. There are two remakes of this story, they can't stand against the original one, even if they were produced with a bigger budget and known actors.

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.
Reviewed by Max Yofre.
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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
Don Siegel's film of Jack Finney's classic novel "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" remains a seminal, powerful science fiction classic. Seen as something of a political allergory by many critics in retrospect, director Don Siegel and producer Walter Wagner created a classic film that has continued to influence the genre even six decades later.

Small town doctor Miles (Kevin McCarthy who is marvelous)returns to his hometown after a medical meeting to find that a little boy claims his mother isn't his mother. This isn't an isolated case as his former girlfriend Becky (the stunning Dana Wynter)returns to town to visit her father and tells Miles that her cousin is claiming the same thing about her father. It's almost like a mass delusion is gripping the town (although not identified there is a condition called folie à plusieurs i.e.,"madness of many" a shared delusion that takes root and is passed on). Miles goes along with that explanation until his writer friend (King Donovan)and his wife (Carolyn Jones) FIND a body without finger prints and, while not dead, he isn't alive either. Miles begins to suspect something darker is going on when he begins to notice the change in behavior of his friends.

Olive Films which has adopted lesser known and older Paramount titles for release has done an exceptionally good tranfer for the film. Presented in black & white on a 25g disc in the original Superscope widescreen presentation (which the producer was against...
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic on Blu-Ray
How can you not love the original of this movie? If you haven't seen this by now..... where have you been? Read more
Published 1 day ago by mattm9y
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly one of the finest science fiction films to come out of Hollywood...
Truly one of the finest science fiction films to come out of Hollywood during the 1950s. "Invasion" manages to create paranoia of the Red Menace and the suburbanization of... Read more
Published 4 days ago by Rob McCabe
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
One of the best Sci-fi flicks of the 1950's!
Published 9 days ago by David W Stone Sr
5.0 out of 5 stars Historical part of the evolution of horror movies.
Superb perfomances and CREEPY!!!
Published 16 days ago by Tony Silver
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it
One of the best of a fun era.Kevin McCarthy at his best. Highly recommended..
Published 16 days ago by Enginman
1.0 out of 5 stars I hate it
The other version is 100 times better
Published 17 days ago by Tenaya Ma
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
One of the better sci-fi movies from that era. Enjoyable.
Published 17 days ago by J. Hammond
5.0 out of 5 stars Invasion of the Body Snatchers Review
Excellent Sci-Fi Classic!
Published 19 days ago by Dane Wycoff
5.0 out of 5 stars Always one of my favorites, holds up well
Classic fifties horror thriller about a doctor in a small California town who finds his patients all have the same complaint; their loved ones are not themselves. Read more
Published 21 days ago by Sabrina Bush
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
This is an oldie but a goodie and I enjoyed watching it after so many years.
Published 21 days ago by Michael Codian
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Topic From this Discussion
Invasion of the Body Snatchers
Why would anyone in their right mind want the colorized version?
Jul 31, 2010 by Eric Perlin |  See all 4 posts
original flim
There are several posts on that topic in another thread called "Shorter version". One person claims the original shorter version was released on VHS at some point, but unfortunately did not specify which edition or even what country/region it was released in.

I think it was very... Read More
Jan 27, 2012 by Eric Perlin |  See all 4 posts
this title is going to be released on bluray in a box set ,does anyone...
Will someone PLEASE colorize The Day The Earth Stood Still and other great 50's SiFi hits. I have the colorized version of "Earth Vs. The Flying Saucers" and it literally jumps off the screen! Fantastic effort of a great technology. The world is presented to us in COLOR, not... Read More
Sep 20, 2012 by BenC |  See all 2 posts
Shorter version
I saw an alternate version of this film with a different ending back in the late 1970's I think at a now defunct cinema in Chelsea, New York City. In that version, Kevin McCarthy's character is left running madly on the freeway with the final shot a freeze frame of his terrified face as his voice... Read More
Mar 18, 2009 by Mike in Elmhurst |  See all 15 posts
where can i get a copy of documentary by scott devine on 1956 invasion... Be the first to reply
where can i buy 1979 reissue of invasion of the body snatchers 1956,this... Be the first to reply
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