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Invasion of the Body Snatchers

4.6 out of 5 stars 609 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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.

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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

Special Features

  • Special interview with 'Kevin McCarthy'

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, Walter Wanger
  • Format: Black & White, Closed-captioned, Dolby, Full Screen, Letterboxed, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), English (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 (609 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0782009980
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #73,469 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Gary F. Taylor HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 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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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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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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