Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Invasion of the Body Snatchers

DVD - 2012
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Plant-like extra-terrestrials invade earth and replicate in the form of giant seed pods, taking over the souls of unsuspecting citizens while they sleep.
Publisher: Hollywood, CA : Paramount Home Entertainment : Olive Films [distributor], c2012.
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (80 min.) : sd., b&w ; 4 3/4 in.


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Feb 01, 2018

If you like Clint Eastwood-as-director movies, you have Don Siegel to thank. Siegel's the man who directed this science fiction classic. At the time he made this movie, Siegel wasn't well-known to movie-goers, but his ability to make something very good out of something very little kept him employed by profit-hungry studios and producers. This movie was a case in point. In 1956, Allied Artists gave budget of less than $500,000 dollars (!) and less than a month to shoot and edit the b&w spine-tingler--at a time when science fiction movies were regarded as merely teenage popcorn flicks.

Yet in spite of the restrictions (or, perhaps because of them), Siegel gave this movie something great. So great, in fact, that it's the best known work of its lead star, Kevin McCarthy, although McCarthy had won an Oscar-nomination five years earlier for his work in a version of Death of A Salesman. Shot in money-saving black and white, Siegel gave the air of claustrophobic menace to the plot that colour film alone could not. The film's success was almost immediate. A month after its release, it had earned almost a million dollars. At the end of the year, the box office take was 2.5 million. Not a bad return on less than a half-million dollar investment!

Siegel's most successful work still lay 15 years in the future--directing young Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry, the fourth biggest box-office movie of 1971. He got that job on the basis of Invasion of the Body Snatchers--and a recommendation by Eastwood himself, who knew what a consummate professional Siegel was. If you like Eastwood's Unforgiven, Million Dollar Baby and Gran Torino, you can thank Don as well as Clint--Siegel taught "the kid" a lot of what he knows.

Part of Siegel's gift was recognizing a great concept. Jack Finney called his novel a "thriller." Siegel saw much more than that: "I felt that this was a very important story. I think that the world is populated by pods and I wanted to show them," he told a British interviewer. "I think so many people have no feeling about cultural things, no feeling of pain, of sorrow." Siegel saw it again in another script called The Beguiled (and again, he directed Clint Eastwood.)

AFTER Siegel's film hit the theatres, it was easier for others to see what he saw. This year, The Beguiled was remade again. "Invasion" has been made three times since Don Siegel first aimed his camera at the "pod people." . This is the original...the one selected in 1994 for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". The one that still has the power to scare the heck out of you.

this one is not a shock - fest. so keep your shorts on. its the implications of the seed concept that are scary, but not for the reason that the critics of the time, wrote. if a science fiction or a horror film needs to make you jump in your chair every five minutes, then you won't get this one. or, for that matter, the allegedly frightening films of mr. Hitchcock. yes, I am mentioning this film in the same breath as Psycho, and Birds. For this one, as they, has deeper levels of meaning which resonate in the minds of intelligent viewers. Also appreciated by myself, was the hewing close to the novel which was the inspiration, by Jack Finney. Both are excellent, and will reward the encounter with, if you bring enough of your wisdom, to the table.

Apr 08, 2017

This the original 50s film with Kevin McCarthy as Dr. Hill. It sticks to the novel pretty closely, but the special effects were pretty boring, especially the "pod people" who look like regular people. We couldn't watch more than 20 minutes of it.

Marinetti Apr 16, 2015

A documentary about the lives and interests of people living in Vancouver. I can't recommend this film enough for it's attention to detail and verisimilitude.

Jun 09, 2014

This in indeed dated. It's not particularly scary and very little effects... All that being said, it is one of the best scifi horror mix classics! There have been many films since then using the same premise and for the most part, they too were done fairly well. But this film you must watch for the simple organic factor. It was storytelling at it's finest and if you allow yourself not to be put off by lack of over the top special effects, you may just see that this movie is brilliant.

laustcawz Jul 23, 2012

A terrific idea, but only fully realized a couple of decades later, in the 1978 remake.

Actually, one of many derivative films of this idea, "The Faculty" includes characters discussing how the writer of the original "...Body Snatchers" story actually took the idea from another story, Robert Heinlein's "The Puppet Masters". I think there's a movie version of that, but I haven't seen it (& probably should), nor have I read the story (& probably should).

Aug 08, 2011

Ho. Ly. Crap. Apparently it's "scary". I'll only agree that it's a bit scary that anyone got PAID for this.

Sam Pekinpaw plays the Gas Man in the protagonist's basement and claimed he did a re-write of the script. The actual screen writer said he only did a couple of lines worth of polishing, and lodged a complaint with the Writers' Guild, after which Pekinpaw stopped saying anything about the gig. Were I either of them, I wouldn't have taken any credit at all.

Ho. Ly. Crap.


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