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Invasion of the Body Snatchers
     

Invasion of the Body Snatchers

3.8 8
Director: Philip Kaufman, Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams, Leonard Nimoy

Cast: Philip Kaufman, Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams, Leonard Nimoy

 

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Of the few remakes of classic movies that almost equal their source material, Philip Kaufman's 1978 retelling of Invasion of the Body Snatchers receives a better-than-average DVD release from MGM. The film print doesn't look like it has been restored for this release (and it needs to be), but it's great to have this terrifying movie back in widescreen, and the

Overview

Of the few remakes of classic movies that almost equal their source material, Philip Kaufman's 1978 retelling of Invasion of the Body Snatchers receives a better-than-average DVD release from MGM. The film print doesn't look like it has been restored for this release (and it needs to be), but it's great to have this terrifying movie back in widescreen, and the disc's extras are much better than average. The tense, hyper-paranoid sci-fi thriller is smartly directed by Kaufman and beautifully shot by master cinematographer Michael Chapman (Raging Bull, The Fugitive). The DVD presents the film in a widescreen transfer and it also comes with in a pan-and-scan version on the flip side. There's nothing wrong with the transfer, but the source print hasn't been restored and it shows plenty of wear and tear. That said, Michael Chapman's excellent lighting and camera work still comes through beautifully, and Denny Zeitlin's truly unsettling score really gets under your skin on the Dolby audio track. The disc features an excellent commentary track by Kaufman, who really takes you through the making of the movie scene by scene. The commentary will be appreciated more by filmmakers and students than by sci-fi fans, as Kaufman concentrates on how he and Chapman shot the movie rather than going into the complexities of the movie's subtexts. The disc also includes a short documentary called "Pod Culture," which shows you the similarities and differences in each movie version. As an added bonus, the DVD comes with a booklet that is surprisingly interesting and well worth reading (most booklets in DVD's are complete jokes hastily done by copywriters rather than people interested in the movie in question). While this disc isn't perfect, many fans will be glad to own it, and it proves that Invasion of the Body Snatchers remains one of the best horror and sci-fi movies of the 1970s. This DVD only enhances the film's stature.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Brian J. Dillard
Although it relies on special effects as much as psychological shadings to summon up its atmosphere of paranoia and alienation, this horror remake fairly successfully updates the Cold War subtext of the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers to poke fun at the psychological and spiritual excesses of the late '70s. From Leonard Nimoy's sinisterly self-assured pop psychologist to Veronica Cartwright's babbling hippie chick and Jeff Goldblum's persnickety poet, the supporting characters all scream "me, me, me." It's up to Donald Sutherland and the wonderful Brooke Adams to play it straight -- a feat both actors accomplish with typical class. San Francisco itself also plays a major role in the film, from shady goings-on in the streets near Civic Center to a creepy traffic accident on Nob Hill. A large team of makeup and special-effects artists blur the line between plant and human with queasy proficiency, while several actors get the chance to squeal and screech with alien voices quite effectively. Although he keeps the pace moving and credibly juggles actorly angst with gross-out set pieces, director Philip Kaufman isn't as masterful here as he would be with more literary material in the years to come. In fact, subtext aside, Jack Finney, author of the source novel The Body Snatchers, always insisted that his book was nothing but light entertainment, and, chilling as it is, the same can be said of this popular adaptation.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/31/1998
UPC:
0027616627421
Original Release:
1978
Rating:
PG
Source:
Mgm (Video & Dvd)
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Full Frame, Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital Mono, Dolby Digital Surround]
Time:
1:57:00
Sales rank:
3,223

Special Features

Feature-length audio commentary by director Philip Kaufman; "Pod Culture" retrospective; Trivia and production notes; Original theatrical trailer

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Donald Sutherland Matthew Bennell
Brooke Adams Elizabeth Driscoll
Leonard Nimoy Dr. David Kibner
Veronica Cartwright Nancy Bellicec
Jeff Goldblum Jack Bellicec
Art Hindle Geoffrey
Lelia Goldoni Katherine
Kevin McCarthy Running Man
Don Siegel Taxi Driver
Tom Luddy Ted Hendley
Tom Dahlgren Detective
Garry Goodrow Boccardo
Jerry Walter Restaurant Owner
Wood Moy Mr. Tong
Rose Kaufman Outraged Woman
Joe Bellan Beggar
Sam Hiona Policeman #1
Al Nalbandian Rodent Man
Robert Duvall Priest on Swing (uncredited)
Maurice Argent Chef
Jerry Garcia Banjo Player

Technical Credits
Philip Kaufman Director
Thomas R. Burman Makeup Special Effects
Michael Chapman Cinematographer
Mary Goldberg Casting
Edouard Henriques Makeup Special Effects
Russ Hessey Special Effects
Doug von Koss Set Decoration/Design
Alan Levine Production Manager
Dell Rheaume Special Effects
W.D. Richter Screenwriter
Art Rochester Sound/Sound Designer
Charles Rosen Production Designer
Robert Solo Producer
Douglas Stewart Editor
Denny Zeitlin Score Composer

Scene Index

Side #1 -- Widescreen
1. UA Logo-Main Title [3:41]
2. And So It Begins... [3:19]
3. The Rat Turd Capter [3:57]
4. Goodnight, Geoffrey [6:17]
5. Confiding In Matthew [3:11]
6. "Not My Wife" [3:19]
7. Tales Of The City [2:46]
8. "They're Coming!" [1:56]
9. It's A Conspiracy [3:20]
10. Kibner's Diagnosis [4:26]
11. Bellicecs' Mud Baths [4:38]
12. Jack's Changeling [4:20]
13. Nancy Gets An Eyeful [1:37]
14. Stealing Elizabeth [5:30]
15. Involving The Cops [4:48]
16. "Being Duplicated!" [2:44]
17. "I Believe You." [1:29]
18. "A Space Flower?" [3:23]
19. The Runaround [2:19]
20. Dr. Dleepgood [3:23]
21. Sprouting Monsters [4:33]
22. "They're All Pods!" [3:59]
23. Jack's Heroism [2:43]
24. The Curious Cabbie [4:38]
25. Back In The Lab [4:15]
26. Betrayal [3:57]
27. Is She Or Isn't She? [1:29]
28. Man Becomes Dog [5:39]
29. And Then There Was One [2:31]
30. The Greenhouse Effect [1:08]
31. Shrieking With The Enemy [5:22]
32. End Credits [3:08]
Side #2 -- Standard
1. UA Logo-Main Title [3:41]
2. And So It Begins... [3:19]
3. The Rat Turd Capter [3:57]
4. Goodnight, Geoffrey [6:17]
5. Confiding In Matthew [3:11]
6. "Not My Wife" [3:19]
7. Tales Of The City [2:46]
8. "They're Coming!" [1:56]
9. It's A Conspiracy [3:20]
10. Kibner's Diagnosis [4:26]
11. Bellicecs' Mud Baths [4:38]
12. Jack's Changeling [4:20]
13. Nancy Gets An Eyeful [1:37]
14. Stealing Elizabeth [5:30]
15. Involving The Cops [4:48]
16. "Being Duplicated!" [2:44]
17. "I Believe You." [1:29]
18. "A Space Flower?" [3:23]
19. The Runaround [2:19]
20. Dr. Dleepgood [3:23]
21. Sprouting Monsters [4:33]
22. "They're All Pods!" [3:59]
23. Jack's Heroism [2:43]
24. The Curious Cabbie [4:38]
25. Back In The Lab [4:15]
26. Betrayal [3:57]
27. Is She Or Isn't She? [1:29]
28. Man Becomes Dog [5:39]
29. And Then There Was One [2:31]
30. The Greenhouse Effect [1:08]
31. Shrieking With The Enemy [5:22]
32. End Credits [3:08]

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Invasion of the Body Snatchers 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
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