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Invasion of the Body Snatchers

4.4 out of 5 stars 251 customer reviews

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(Sep 11, 2012)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

San Francisco health inspectors find alien pods are taking over people as they sleep. Directed by Philip Kaufman.

Amazon.com

Jack Finney's classic science fiction novel has been the basis of three big-screen adaptations, beginning with the 1956 chiller Invasion of the Body Snatchers and most recently as 1994's underrated Body Snatchers. This acclaimed 1978 version from director Philip Kaufman (The Right Stuff) is every bit as creepy as the '56 original, and it fits perfectly into the cycle of paranoid thrillers that thrived in American movies of the 1970s. Kaufman stylishly directs from an intelligent screenplay by W.D. Richter, while Donald Sutherland and Brooke Adams lead a distinguished cast (including Jeff Goldblum, Leonard Nimoy, and Veronica Cartwright) and must fight for survival as the population of San Francisco is systematically cloned by alien "pods" from a distant, dying planet. The atmosphere of dread and paranoia grows increasingly intense as the complexity of the alien invasion is gradually revealed, until nobody can be trusted to be who they appear. Finely tuned performances enhance the film's eerie atmosphere, highlighted by moments that will lurk in your memory long after the movie's over. MGM's DVD release includes a full-length audio commentary by Kaufman, a "pod culture" retrospective, Body Snatchers trivia, production notes, and the original theatrical trailer. --Jeff Shannon

Special Features

  • "Pod Culture" Retrospective

Product Details

  • Actors: Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams, Jeff Goldblum, Veronica Cartwright, Leonard Nimoy
  • Directors: Philip Kaufman
  • Writers: Jack Finney, W.D. Richter
  • Producers: Robert H. Solo
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Letterboxed, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), French (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    PG
    Parental Guidance Suggested
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: September 11, 2012
  • Run Time: 115 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (251 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0792838416
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,826 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
We all know the story, so there's no point in my discussing that here. As a movie, this version stands as positive proof that some remakes are just as good as -- and sometimes better than -- the original. Leaving behind the small-town setting of the earlier B&W version from the 1950s, the locale is changed to a large city, San Francisco. Some interesting changes were made that lent it a hipper feel, and, of course, the acting style is completely different: the dialogue all sounds so much more natural. For enhanced chills, more of the transition from human to pod-person is revealed, accompanied with an eerie sound of a heartbeat and swooshing circulation. It's a good movie, preserving what was best in the original and making some creepy alterations. So those of us who owned the DVD of this version were very disappointed when we played it on our BD players. Expecting at least a half-decent upconversion, we found instead that the picture was a wriggling mess. Even worse, the picture was shrunken down to the center of the screen, with black bars all the way around it. I found it unwatchable, so this movie needed a BD upgrade in a big way.

The simple report is, the BD image is patently superior to the DVD edition, in every way. After making a comparison, I saw that some minor image cleanup has taken place, removing flecks from aging. If any DNR went into it, it wasn't done to the extreme of sacrificing details. It also appears as if little or no sharpening was applied, which is a good thing: sometimes these older movies can become a mess once every defect from age is brought into bold relief. The color palette has remained natural, fitting for its noirish intent.
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Format: DVD
The best of three very good big screen adaptations of Jack Finney's classic sci-fi novel is the closest thing to a filmed nightmare you're likely ever to see.
This entire picture is a horror masterpiece. Director Philip Kaufman puts together a hell of a movie, colorful, claustrophobic and atmospheric. Donald Sutherland and Brooke Adams head-up a stellar cast, including Jeff Goldblum, Veronica Cartwright, Leonard Nimoy, and even Robert Duvall in an early blink-and-you've-missed-him cameo. Kevin McCarthy reprises, more or less, his role from the original 1956 film, initiating Sutherland and Adams on a nightmare ride of alien invasion that escalates to apocalyptic proportion.
There's not a thing wrong with this movie. Denny Zeitlin's eerie, atonal electronic score highlights the often very unsettling visuals, which include disintegrating people, fibrously materializing doppelgangers, and a dog with a human face. The script is flawless, succeeding - like Finney's novel and the original movie - by presenting us with recognizable people facing an impossible reality, updated for modern times. The actors underplay the tense melodrama, making it all the more dramatic when they're ultimately driven to screaming madness.
I can't recommend this movie highly enough. If you're a horror or science-fiction fan, or simply love a wonderfully performed, tensely scripted melodrama, this movie is for you.
Warning: this film is very, very disturbing, at times. You might want to keep it on the upper shelf.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The 1978 remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers is a perennial classic that absolutely terrified me as a child and still holds up after nearly 30 years and is one of the best and rare examples where a remake actually surpasses the original ala John Carpenter's The Thing. Director Philip Kaufman crafts a suspenseful science-fiction masterpiece about the dehumanization of humanity by investing in the personalities of very emotional human characters that break the mold of two-dimensional cookie-cutter stereotypes. Donald Sutherland and Brooke Adams have a genuine chemistry with great supporting roles by Jeff Goldblum and Veronica Cartwright. Adding to the eerie atmosphere we also get a very creepy and surreal performance by Leonard Nimoy as a pseudo-intellectual psychologist that will completely alter your perception of Mr. Spock forever.

I had the pleasure of watching this film again late at night after an exhausting day of work which is the perfect state of mind to be in. Struggling to keep myself from nodding off I could relate even better to the characters and their conflict by forcing myself to stay awake, not because the film is dull or boring, heavens no, but because as a child I believed, however irrational it may seem, that if I fell asleep watching this film that I too would be transformed and replaced by a pod. Funny how the innocent superstitions of childhood can resonate in our subconscious after so many years.

The new 2-disc collectors edition DVD is definitely worth replacing the old one if you own it, which seems almost like an analogy of the film itself which is finally presented in anamorphic widescreen with Dolby digital sound and director commentary by Philip Kaufman if you really want to test your insomnia.
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