BN.com Gift Guide

Invasion of the Body Snatchers

( 11 )

Overview

Don Siegel's classic exercise in psychological science fiction has often been interpreted as a cautionary fable about the blacklisting hysteria of the McCarthy era. It can be read as a political metaphor or enjoyed as a fine low-budget suspense movie, and it works well either way. Kevin McCarthy stars as Miles Bennel, a doctor in the small California community of Santa Mira, where several patients begin reporting that their loved ones don't seem to be themselves lately. They look the same but seem cold, ...
See more details below
DVD (B&W)
$18.62
BN.com price
(Save 6%)$19.99 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (DVD)
  • All (11) from $8.99   
  • New (8) from $11.62   
  • Used (3) from $8.99   

Overview

Don Siegel's classic exercise in psychological science fiction has often been interpreted as a cautionary fable about the blacklisting hysteria of the McCarthy era. It can be read as a political metaphor or enjoyed as a fine low-budget suspense movie, and it works well either way. Kevin McCarthy stars as Miles Bennel, a doctor in the small California community of Santa Mira, where several patients begin reporting that their loved ones don't seem to be themselves lately. They look the same but seem cold, emotionally distant, and somehow unfamiliar. The longer Miles looks into these reports, the more stock he places in them, and in time he makes a shocking discovery: aliens from another world are taking over Santa Mira, one citizen at a time. Emissaries from a distant planet have sent massive seed pods containing creatures that can assume the exact physical likeness of anyone they choose. When Santa Mirans go to sleep, the pod creatures take on the shape of their victims and then destroy their bodies. The aliens may look the same, but they possess no human emotions and, like plants, are concerned only with propagating themselves and eventually subsuming the earth. Needless to say, Miles and his friends are terrified, but since it's hard to tell who's a person and who's a pod, they're at a loss for what to do, especially when it seems that there are increasingly more aliens than humans. Invasion of the Body Snatchers builds tension slowly and steadily, dealing not in the shock of bug-eyed monsters common to other 1950s science-fiction movies but in the unnerving possibility that the enemy is among us -- and impossible to tell from our allies. The ultra-paranoid conclusion of Siegel's original cut was softened by Allied Artists, who added a framing device that suggested help was on the way. This coda was as effective in blunting the film's grim conclusion as giving a Band-Aid to a beheading victim; few films of the era make it more painfully clear that for these people and maybe for ourselves, there's no turning back and no way home. Keep an eye peeled for a bit part by soon-to-be-legendary Western director Sam Peckinpah, who plays a meter reader and also uncredited helped write the screenplay. Based on a novel by Jack Finney, Invasion of the Body Snatchers was remade in 1978 by Philip Kaufman and in 1993 by Abel Ferrara as Body Snatchers; and its influence can be felt from The Stepford Wives 1975 to The X-Files.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

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.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/17/2012
  • UPC: 887090034302
  • Original Release: 1956
  • Source: Olive Films
  • Region Code: 1
  • Presentation: B&W
  • Time: 1:20:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 15,272

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
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
Read More Show Less

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Invasion of the Body Snatchers
1. I''m Not Crazy [:12]
2. Strangers Among Us [8:25]
3. The Body [9:57]
4. Seed Pods [21:29]
5. Run For Your Life [10:49]
6. The Chase [14:32]
7. Alone [5:55]
8. No One Believes [:38]
Read More Show Less

Menu

Disc #1 -- Invasion of the Body Snatchers
   Play
   Chapters
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 11 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(9)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    LOVE this movie!

    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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Nightmare on Planet Earth

    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.<BR/><BR/>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.<BR/><BR/>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.<BR/><BR/>--Bryan Cassiday, author of "Fete of Death"

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    SCARY

    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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The best B-Movie ever made according to Mr. Jasin.

    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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Great movie with the world's finest woman.

    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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews