Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) - Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

Hohum Score

4

Breathtaking

A small-town doctor learns that the population of his community is being replaced by emotionless alien duplicates.

IMDB: 7.7
Director: Don Siegel
Stars: Kevin McCarthy, Dana Wynter
Length: 80 Minutes
PG Rating: N/A
Reviews: 22 out of 235 found boring (9.36%)

One-line Reviews (146)

Heavily influenced by the paranoia of the time - communism angst and McCarthy witch hunts - "The Invasion of the Body Snatchers" manages to live through the period unscathed by gripping at more subliminal fears and issues of identity.

You can see how sleepy the both of them are after stay awake for so long, I guess that's a credit to the acting of Kevin McCarthy and Dana Wynter who did a great job in this.

Memorable performances by McCarthy and Wynter are engaging and intense !!!

Great 80 minute suspenseful sci-fi film .....

Then I came to seeing this, Don Siegel's Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and I can truly appreciate what an inspiration it is to the genre of horror and I enjoyed it in equal measure.

Proved iconic enough to spawn three direct remakes starting with Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) which is my own personal favourite version & moves the action to San Francisco, Body Snatchers (1993) which shifts the action to a US military base & the more recent The Invasion (2007) with Nicole Kidman & Daniel Craig while the highly entertaining teen horror flick The Faculty (1998) has basically the same plot.

Directed with maximum efficiency by Don Siegel, who at this time hadn't yet graduated to big budget, A pictures, it has a wonderfully stark atmosphere, and an intense, breakneck pace.

Others, though, have viewed it as a metaphor of alienation in modern mass civilization, or an allegory for the loss of personal autonomy in the Soviet Union, or of bland conformity in postwar Dwight D.

The film is widely viewed as a covert indictment of McCarthyism (Joe McCarthy, not Kevin McCarthy), with the turning of people into their characterless doubles when they fall asleep representing the dangers faced of America turning a blind eye to McCarthyism.

Daniel Mainwaring's ingenious script makes a profound and powerful statement on how our capacity to feel all kinds of emotions and desire for individual identity are two key important traits that make all of us special and human (if deprived of these two traits, we are reduced to the level of bland and emotionless automatons).

A boring, cheesy movie with a great premise that doesn't deliver .

The loss to the film occasioned by its being made as a frightening adventure can be gauged best perhaps by comparing the qualities of Raymond Chandler's The Little Sister with the enjoyable adventure-level film "Marlowe" made in the 1970s.

Can they get out of Santa Mira in time to get help, or will they succumb and fall asleep?

The acting is a bit mundane, and the film is overlong, for the premise is better suited to a short story than a feature length film.

But hey, this is a movie, and a very entertaining one: if you can't accept such things, stick to documentaries… It's the magic, stupid !

Terrifying, suspenseful, exciting, adventurous, rooting for the good guys to win.

This space invasion with green pods is a brilliant idea that modernizes the vampire subject with stunning visuals: this pods - eggs would inspire later Alien, Gremlins and this silent, soft takeover looks like the future Salem novel from Stephen King.

While this film was sometimes hokey and strange, the overall message being sent in the film was quite intriguing.

This same confusion, incidentally, gives an opening for other sorts of confusions like the one about communism.

As far as the Sequels go, Don't Waste your Time.

For me it was simply an entertaining sci-fi yarn of which so many were made, good and bad, in the 50s.

Wynter is one of the most beautiful women ever to appear onscreen and her first entrance is stunning.

And, it's a superb example of writing and acting that can create an interesting and entertaining film – without a single scary monster.

Will, for instance, theSixth Sense (imho, a reasonably suspenseful movie) seem insanelybanal to the viewers of the future?

Absorbing is another good word to describe a well put together presentation.

Its so-called metaphors are easily dismissed in the face of such an absorbing icon of genre cinema.

) It's really enjoyable, a nicely crafted piece of work.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) begins with a wonderfully rousing score which sets the pace of the film brilliantly.

The Pod-people are allowed to proliferate when citizens fall asleep; this lapse of vigilance may represent the middle-class complacency that allowed such policies to become dominant under Senator Joseph McCarthy's tenure.

Made during the Cold War years, the anti-Communist undertones are interesting to pick up on, but regardless of propaganda messages, it still is relatively gripping.

Enjoyable..tense, influential...

When the actual humans fall asleep the replicas grown from the pods take over the human bodies.

This is genuinely suspenseful, tense and immensely engaging.

The last act is perhaps one of the most thrilling of old-school cinema I have experienced recently, I guess it earned the film a spot in AFI's thrills with the lengthy chase scene and the unforgettable "They're here already, you're next!

Allied Artists stunning INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS is arguably the finest Sci-Fi movie ever made.

It profits from a winning and intense acting by Kevin McCarthy along with an enjoyable Dana Wynter ; furthermore , a perfect direction by maestro Donald Siegel who proved himself master of the eerie clutch at the base of one's spine .

It's played out as a mystery and it's a relatively suspenseful film whereby you're constantly wondering what's making the townspeople mad?

(Spoiler alert) Finally: there are indeed some holes in the story (the sudden change of Becky Driscoll after she fell asleep).

It's worth seeing by anyone with a serious interest in film, and can be enjoyed either on its suspenseful surface level, or more in-depth by those who want to look at the film as more metaphorical material for societal and philosophical concerns.

A very suspenseful sci-fi film.

The acting is great,the action is fast paced and the film,unlike many other horror films from early 50's and 60's,is never boring.

So, is there no message at all in this excellent movie ?

And all because they fell asleep.

Enjoyable movie.

The film deserves to be watched for its Twilight Zone-esque approach and riveting theme.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers(1956) is terrifying from compelling beginning to suspenseful ending.

At the end of he movie the doctors are understandably skeptical about McCarthy's weird yarn, but an unexpected event lends credence to his story.

Yes, like most I would say that the 70s version is my favorite, mostly because it feels a little more fresh for today's audience, but the original is still a classic worth watching.

Despite these quibbles, this is a spooky film well worth watching.

It is a hugely enjoyable film that so much fun to watch.

If the "change" occurs gradually and eventually finishes up if/when you fall asleep, "even for an instant", what purpose do the "pods" serve?

I was thoroughly immersed, and highly entertained.

However, the themes of paranoia and tension are just as nail-biting and intense here.

INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS is not only a superb Sci-Fi adventure but more significantly it is an imaginative, intense and suspenseful thriller of a motion picture.

Many imitations and remakes have followed over the years, but this classy, silvery black-and-white monster movie is the real goods, with a palpable sense of dread, confusion and paranoia.

So just some impressions: the 80 minutes of the running time fly by, but are enough to build a real sense of wrongness and unease, both at what is happening on the screen and at the safe, dull, suburban world these characters live in.

A Very Exciting and Often Involving Noir Fantasy Thriller; Recommended .

I remember this movie as a child and how frightened I was to fall asleep in case there were alien pods ready to possess my body.

these life details so benign and mundane hit the right chord because they're not overplayed and the supposedly 'new persons' act exactly like their counterpart would do, something has just 'changed'.

This atmospheric, thrilling saga is quite simply one of the best films of the 50s, regardless of genre.

And when Becky does finally fall asleep, there is no pod nearby.

Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.

When he returns, she has become one of the pod-people, because she fell asleep.

Besides the somewhat slow start, and a few nagging questions that never get answered (like, what happens to people's original bodies?

It's soon discovered that perfect clones of the townspeople are hatching from giant alien seed pods, absorbing the memories of the original person and disposing of their body while they sleep.

The plot is a phenomenal and intriguing and actually kind of scary story.

Clocking in at under 80 minutes with the studio tacked on start & ending with the original version running a mere 75 minutes this moves along like a rocket, the story is tight, taught, makes sense, people & character's behave in a fairly believable way & the central plot is both gripping, intriguing & certainly draws you in.

Nonetheless the social commentary is much more sparse than in the 1978 remake, while filmmaking improvements in general make the newer version much more intense and terrifying an experience.

It is genuinely scary and thrilling when viewed now, so it must have been extremely unsettling for audiences in 1956.

The acting was fantastic, the characters were realistic, and the story line kept you on the edge of where ever you were sitting.

Based on a brilliant Colliers magazine serial by Jack Finney and tightly scripted by Daniel Mainwaring (using the pseudonym Geoffrey Homes), this is one of the best science-fiction movies ever made and a terrific example of exciting, well-crafted, low-budget film-making.

Both of these character's accusations result in the spread of fear, havoc, and confusion.

Sutherland crafts a slow-burning exigency of being a reluctant hero under a rampant panic, the utile assault he is wreaking on the primitive clones and a final howl guarantees his leading status in this overhaul of a telling fiction.

Due to the lack of character development, a "snatched" person's supposedly philosophical statement, which is that life would be easier without human emotions such as love, ambition, and faith, sounds empty.

This original work is far more suspenseful than its subsequent remakes.

There aremovies, such as the Invisible Man, that were equally banal, butI found somehow compelling.

The film is frightening, dramatic, suspenseful and mysterious.

If 2007's The Invasion began in a creepy, ominous but very thrilling manner none-the-less before building to an explosive climax that slightly petered out and would've ruined the film had it gone on for any longer then this film is the opposite in a sense.

This is a great film, but one plausibility factor is the idea that the leading lady simply changes into a double after falling asleep - so why the need for the pods at all in that case?

The 1978 remake by Phillip Kaufman unquestionably is a more detailed and involving movie that gives a much more intense portrayal of the soulless pod-people.

take it easy on the anti-Communist propaganda.

The status of Siegel's thrilling sci-fi horror quickly ascended to cult classic, and rightfully so.

What we have here is a taut and often moving entertainment; what we might have had could have contained every element here, but could also perhaps have been even more intriguing.

Take just one scene: Kevin McCarthy and Dana Wynter are barricaded in his office, trying to stay awake.

Appropriately exciting and frightening musical score by Carmen Dragon .

With the enemy being us suspense leaps out from the most unlikely of places and it provides for one paranoid exciting chase.

One of the best horror movies of all time, Invasion of the Body Snatchers is a very suspenseful horror movie that succeeds without any obviously scary monsters.

Fortunately these two earlier versions are considerably better than the ill-fated mega-star paycheck product, the original 1954 film is directed by Don Siegel (DIRTY HARRY 1971, 7/10), within a condensed 80 minutes, it delineates the absurd story with a gripping pace and impressive monochromatic cinematography.

(Do you really need to fall asleep for the pods to take you over?

A Very Tense and Highly Suspenseful 1950's Thriller, It Still Packs Huge Punch.

It's usually more enjoyable if you don't.

It easily remains one of the most gripping of these films with an excellent score by Carmen Dragon.

Regardless, Invasion of the Body Snatchers is a thrilling and chilling film that could well continue to captivate and excite in years to come.

Siegel's direction is simply stunning, racking all of the tension out of the story as the hero stumbles into the nightmare, desperately trying to think straight, keep his bearings, trust no-one and stay awake.

Thrilling sci-fi horror classic from the golden age of science fiction, the 1950s.

All that aside it is also an entertaining film that does what any great movie should do, it moves.

Intense thrill .

 The main characters are a doctor and his lady friend (played by Kevin McCarthy and Dana Wynter) who slowly come to understand the nature of the threat, and spend the latter part of the movie trying to stay awake and find some way, any way, out of their seemingly inevitable fate and come up with some means to keep the invasion from spreading from their California town to the world beyond.

Maybe it makes more sense to see the movie as just an entertaining thriller.

Memorable Film With Unexpected, Paranoid Underpinnings .

Kaufman does this scene at night, losing the mundane horror that Siegel evokes so well.

As it turns out there's an alien race propagating via pods, which take the face and form of human beings, even absorbing their memories, though not feelings.

Due to the curb of special effects development and budget, the supposedly bone-chilling scenes with human replicas are visibly mannequins covered with foam, and the extraterrestrial seedpods are equally below the groundbreaking line albeit the eery and intense atmosphere is rendered in full throttle.

Pacy, exciting and fun - I can watch this over and over and still get sucked into it's great atmosphere.

It built up it's terror with slow suspense, a sense of impending doom, and an atmosphere that was enhanced by the superb musical score.

In conjunction, it all creates an intense sense of claustrophobia and paranoia for the audience.

IOTBS is a very good film that is definitely worth watching.

The book, to the author's credit, is just as compelling as the movie.

Kevin McCarthy is intense and convincing, Dana Wynter is pretty, charming or scared.

Fantastic music creates the suspenseful aura in the climax scene that shows the great chase, after a life that can end with a single minute of sleep, and become something completely different.

Director Don Siegel grounds the fascinating fantastic premise in a thoroughly believable workaday rural reality, adroitly crafts a supremely creepy and unsettling atmosphere, and likewise creates with equal expertise a quietly unnerving sense of mounting dread and paranoia that gradually builds to a shattering fever pitch in the harrowing last third.

And if they fall asleep, they will be gone forever.

The score by Carmen Dragon is entirely appropriate, exciting and keyed to the emotional pitch of the film without being too leading on its own.

(Possible spoiler) It is plodding and slow.

While Miles and Becky hide in the doctor's office, they an abundance of take pills to stay awake.

The best tribute i can pay to this gripping film is that i watched it for the first time last night and can already remember each scene word for word,which in an 80 minute film is no small achievement!

But even ignoring that (and you do when you watch) it's still a very enjoyable sci-fi.

McCarthy exerts sizable effort to maintain the intriguing momentum meanwhile manages to squeeze time to ignite the moment of romance with Wynter, although appearing on screen for most of the screen-time, whose role is inclusively subsidiary, merely as a gorgeous love interest and a shorthand of a secretary.

It's an entertaining, chilling little movie with a knockout ending that's worth the price of admission on its own.

Splendid Sci-Fi picture which achieved tremendous and unexpected success on its appearance .

It features stunning performances by Kevin McCarthy and Dana Wynter.

This film was very exciting, and scary at the same time.

Tense and exciting horror/science fiction classic.

The direction is first rate, the script is sharp and intriguing, and the film has a remarkable "everyday" look to it that is gradually subverted by increasing darkness and unexpected camera angles.

"Invasion of the Body Snatchers started off as somewhat of a slow burn, but ended up being a sinister and suspenseful thriller.

Despite this though, there are enough selling points here to make this worth watching; the performances across the board were excellent and all the main players show a certain intensity that makes it very easy to get swept up in their plight.

Director Don Siegel has made an excellent film here that looks at fears of the unknown and of the current affair, something he did in 1971 with Dirty Harry, itself a film about a 'fear' that was gripping San Francisco at the time; the Zodiac killer.

Especially the final scenes like the chase scene through the desert and Bennell's attempts to stop cars on a highway are highly suspenseful, thanks to the filmmakers' uncompromised understanding of how tension is to be created.

McCarthy sells the slow descent of sanity for Bennell over the course of the film flawlessly.

The script and story, with so many interesting ideas, are compelling and these ideas developed very well considering the length and the relatively fast pace(which I personally don't see as a problem).

This is such an entertaining movie.

the plot was well-constructed, the actors were great (especially the one playing the doctor) and the whole movie itself was really exciting.

It gets your imagination going, tells a riveting story and it keeps viewers on the edge of their seats right to the very end.

Final Thoughts: This movie is a gripping science-fiction masterpiece.

Exciting, suspenseful stuff.

The writing is simple (which keeps it from getting hammy) as is the direction (which keeps it from getting slow).

Dana Wynter is absolutely stunning in this movie!

Then the highway scene took on an intense degree of panic and frustration.

The contrived ending was just a bit too much.

Combined with the intrigue, it makes for a thrilling horror element without any ugly faces or the gore that so often populates such stories in more modern times.

It's exciting and never failed to get my interest.

It gives us a certain view of the history of American social clubs and viewers can enjoy in the exciting moments of paranoia and hysteria.

A thrilling double-bill of this classic tall-tale of alien body-snatchers, based on Jack Finney's novel, for latter-day audience, perhaps we can still recall the latest remake THE INVASION (2007, 5/10), as a star vehicle for Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig, which was dead on arrival as a major flop and presages their next colossal box-office fiasco THE GOLDEN COMPASS (2007, 4/10).

Strangely intriguing and interesting sci-fi creeper.....

Stunning and frightening adaptation which emerged as a cinema classic compellingly by Donald Siegel .

Instead of beginning with boring exposition showing the aftermath of the journey usually gives us something to hook us into the story.