Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Invasion of the Body Snatchers

4.8 11
Director: Don Siegel

Cast: Don Siegel, Kevin McCarthy, Dana Wynter, Larry Gates

     
 

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Alien pods from space threaten humankind in the original sci-fi classic Invasion of the Body Snatchers. The film is presented in its original widescreen aspect ratio of 2.35:1 without an anamorphic enhancement for 16x9 TVs. This black-and-white picture sports a few defects, including a small amount of grain and some softness in the image. Otherwise the grays,…  See more details below

Overview

Alien pods from space threaten humankind in the original sci-fi classic Invasion of the Body Snatchers. The film is presented in its original widescreen aspect ratio of 2.35:1 without an anamorphic enhancement for 16x9 TVs. This black-and-white picture sports a few defects, including a small amount of grain and some softness in the image. Otherwise the grays, whites, and blacks are all crisp and generally solid. While it's nice to get this classic in its original widescreen release, fans will certainly hope for an anamorphic DVD edition in the future. The soundtrack is presented in Dolby Digital Mono in English, Spanish, and Italian. This Mono track is very flat and lifeless without any directional effects whatsoever. While the mix is nothing to write home about, the bulk of the soundtrack is usually clear of most hiss and distortion. Also included on this disc are English closed captions, plus French and Spanish subtitles. Fans will delight in the inclusion of a few special features, starting with an interview with actor Kevin McCarthy discussing his role in the film. This is a nice piece of history that gives fans a bit more insight into the making of the film. Also included on this disc is a full-frame theatrical trailer for the film.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Amy Robinson
A film so irresistible that it has been remade twice -- by Philip Kaufman in 1978 and Abel Ferrara in 1993 -- Invasion of the Body Snatchers is intelligent, sincere, witty, terrifying, and ultimately poignant. Small-town doctor Miles Bennel (Kevin McCarthy) returns from a medical conference to find that ordinary citizens are accusing the people closest to them of being impostors. Unfortunately, the accusations are all too real: The entire community is being replaced by duplicates spawned from seed pods. Director Don Siegel skillfully grounds the film just shy of camp, forgoing flashy special effects for a more believable low-key approach. Although in its original release many saw the film as an allegory against McCarthyism, the film's central device -- individuals unwittingly turned into emotionless, brainless automatons by an irresistible force -- lends itself to broad metaphorical interpretations today. Invasion of the Body Snatchers was added to the U.S. National Film Registry in 1994, a nod to its status as one of the few truly transcendent genre pictures.
All Movie Guide - Lucia Bozzola
Though it was an inexpensive production for B-movie studio Allied Artists, Don Siegel's Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) is a class-A 1950s science fiction allegory about the fragility of inner passion. With Siegel's matter-of-fact approach and "ordinary" small town setting and characters, the story about human possession by unexplained alien pods becomes all the more frightening; though the pods are from elsewhere, the "monsters" assume human faces. While the pods have often been seen as a Cold War sci-fi metaphor for Communist infiltration of American society, they are an equally compelling symbol of soul-deadening 1950s suburban conformity. Siegel himself liked to assert that the Hollywood studios were filled with pods; and when Allied Artists saw Siegel's bleak ending, they demanded a prologue and epilogue that added an element of hope. The "Siegel version" of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, however, was seen in Europe and "underground" American screenings, before the 1979 reissue officially deleted the studio-mandated additions. Though it has been remade twice, in 1978 by Philip Kaufman and 1994 by Abel Ferrara, Siegel's tightly constructed, black-and-white version remains the best adaptation of the Jack Finney story. The movie also features a cameo appearance by Siegel assistant Sam Peckinpah.

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Product Details

Release Date:
07/01/1998
UPC:
0017153201826
Original Release:
1956
Rating:
NR
Source:
Republic Pictures
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[B&W, Full Frame, Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital Mono]
Time:
1:20:00

Special Features

Presented in the original theatrical release version; Original theatrical format of 2.35:1 aspect ratio; Complete digitally remastered version of the black-and-white film from the original film negative; Interview with Kevin McCarthy; Full-length pan-and-scan version also included; Original theatrical trailer; Spanish- and Italian-language tracks; English captioning, French and Spanish subtitles

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Kevin McCarthy Dr. Miles Bennel
Dana Wynter Becky Driscoll
Larry Gates Dr. Dan Kauffmann
King Donovan Jack
Carolyn Jones Theodore
Whit Bissell Dr. Hill
Jean Willes Sally
Ralph Dumke Nick
Virginia Christine Wilma Lentz
Tom Fadden Uncle Ira Lentz
Kenneth Patterson Driscoll
Guy Way Sam Janzek
Eileen Stevens Mrs. Grimaldi
Beatrice Maude Grandma
Jean Andren Aunt Eleda Lentz
Everett Glass Pursey
Dabbs Greer Mac
Pat O'Malley Man Carrying Baggage
Guy Rennie Proprietor
Don Siegel Actor
Harry Vejar With Man Carrying Baggage
Robert Clark Jimmy Grimaldi
Richard Deacon Dr. Harvey Bassett

Technical Credits
Don Siegel Director
Ralph Butler Sound/Sound Designer
Carmen Dragon Score Composer
Robert S. Eisen Editor
Ellsworth Fredericks Cinematographer
Edward S. Haworth Production Designer
Joseph Kish Production Designer,Set Decoration/Design
Emile LaVigne Makeup
Daniel Mainwaring Screenwriter
Milt Rice Special Effects
Walter Wanger Producer
Allen K. Wood Production Manager

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Scene Index

Side #1 -- Widescreen
0. Scene Selection
1. Opening Credits [1:40]
2. I'm Not Crazy [1:14]
3. Dr. Bennell Arrives in Town [1:22]
4. Jimmy is Almost Hit [1:16]
5. Becky Visits Dr. Bennell [3:06]
6. Jimmy Comes to Dr. Bennell's Office [1:56]
7. Uncle Ira Isn't Uncle Ira [8:06]
8. A Body at the Belicec's [6:41]
9. Its Eyes Open [2:09]
10. Got to get to Becky [4:31]
11. The Body's Gone [1:44]
12. Back to Becky's Apartment [6:40]
13. Seed Pods in the Greenhouse [5:33]
14. Pitchfork the Pods [2:26]
15. Seed Pod B.B.Q [3:30]
16. Run for Your Life [1:39]
17. You Can't Close Your Eyes All Night [1:35]
18. Just Like Any Saturday Morning [2:56]
19. Jack's Back [5:34]
20. Escape From the Office [1:09]
21. Showing No Emotion [1:50]
22. The Chase Begins [8:06]
23. You Didn't Go to Sleep, Did You [2:55]
24. Your Next!!! [:25]
25. You Don't Believe a Word of This [1:55]
Side #2 -- Standard
0. Scene Selection
1. Opening Credits [1:40]
2. I'm Not Crazy [1:14]
3. Dr. Bennell Arrives in Town [1:22]
4. Jimmy is Almost Hit [1:16]
5. Becky Visits Dr. Bennell [3:06]
6. Jimmy Comes to Dr. Bennell's Office [1:56]
7. Uncle Ira Isn't Uncle Ira [8:06]
8. A Body at the Belicec's [6:41]
9. Its Eyes Open [2:09]
10. Got to get to Becky [4:31]
11. The Body's Gone [1:44]
12. Back to Becky's Apartment [6:40]
13. Seed Pods in the Greenhouse [5:33]
14. Pitchfork the Pods [2:26]
15. Seed Pod B.B.Q [3:30]
16. Run for Your Life [1:39]
17. You Can't Close Your Eyes All Night [1:35]
18. Just Like Any Saturday Morning [2:56]
19. Jack's Back [5:34]
20. Escape From the Office [1:09]
21. Showing No Emotion [1:50]
22. The Chase Begins [8:06]
23. You Didn't Go to Sleep, Did You [2:55]
24. Your Next!!! [:25]
25. You Don't Believe a Word of This [1:55]

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Invasion of the Body Snatchers 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Great sci-fi almost as good as the day the earth stood still. I think Dana Wynter is the most beautiful female ever to grace this planet.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was a great movie. It had action and a great plot. It is also very educational. Everyone should know what to do if pods fell out of the sky and transformed into any physical form of life when you fell asleep. It even made some people scream. And SOME PEOPLE even held onto a table leg because they were so scared.
Guest More than 1 year ago
invasion of the body snatchers is one of the best sci-fi movies of the 50s. It has a great cast and a creepy story. It's also really fun to watch this movie at night. Truly underrated.
Bryan_Cassiday_author More than 1 year ago
At or, at least, near the top of the list of the scariest movies I have ever seen, this is the first and by far the best version of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers." Don Siegel's direction is sparse and pulls no punches. It is aided by a tense score, but it's the story more than anything else that stands out in this film.

Paranoia is rampant throughout this terrifying sci-fi tale. The scariest scene occurs when Kevin McCarthy and Dana Wynter, who are the only two humans left in Santa Mira, flee the pod people and take refuge in an abandoned mine just outside of town. Hidden under some wooden planks that cover a trench that they are lying in, McCarthy and Wynter successfully evade their pursuers. Later, after the pod people have left the cave, McCarthy relaxes with relief for the first time since his nightmare began, languidly kisses Wynter, and, to his horror, realizes the true nature of his predicament. The look on his face tells it all.

Rife with paranoia and existential alienation, this film is a classic tale of one man's fight against the overwhelming forces of an invading army bent on destroying him, bent on destroying any and all who are different than them. In short, this movie is as good as it gets.

--Bryan Cassiday, author of "Fete of Death"
Jefferson_Thomas More than 1 year ago
This one is an original, 1950's-era classic. LOTS of people have tried over the years to imitate movies like this one, and some have done good work, but no one will ever surpass them -- ever.
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