ABOUT THE FILM
Invasion of the Body Snatchers is a 1956 film directed by Don Siegel and was produced by Walter Wanger. Daniel Mainwaring adapted the screenplay from Jack Finney’s science fiction novel The Body Snatchers released in 1954. The film stars Kevin McCarthy, Dana Wynter, Larry Gates, King Donovan and Carolyn Jones.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers was filmed in Superscope which used a larger image frame by using the negative space usually reserved for the optical analogue soundtrack and was partially shot in the film noir style. It was released in 1956 by Allied Artists Pictures on a double bill with the British science fiction film The Atomic Man.
The storyline is based on an extraterrestrial invasion that begins in the fictional California town of Santa Mira. Alien plant spores have fallen from space and grown into large seed pods, each one capable of reproducing a duplicate replacement copy of each human. As each pod reaches full development, it assimilates the physical characteristics, memories, and personalities of each sleeping person placed near it; these duplicates, however, are devoid of all human emotion. Little by little, a local doctor uncovers this “quiet” invasion and attempts to stop it.
When choosing locations for filming Don Siegel and Walter Wanger wanted to shot on location in Mill Valley, California, the town just north of San Francisco, that Jack Finney described in his novel. However, the location proved too expensive and alternative locations were found that resembled Mill Valley in the Los Angeles area including Sierra Madre, Chatsworth, Glendale, Los Feliz, Bronson and Beachwood Canyons.
During it initial release Invasion of the Body Snatchers was largely ignored by film critics. On Rotten Tomatoes the film holds a high approval rating with the general consensus “One of the best political allegories of the 1950s, Invasion of the Body Snatchers is an efficient, chilling blend of sci-fi and horror.” However, in recent years critics such as Dan Druker of the Chicago Reader have called the film a “genuine Sci-Fi classic”. Leonard Maltin described Invasion of the Body Snatchers as “influential, and still very scary”. Time Out called the film one of the “most resonant” and “one of the simplest” of the genre.
In 1994, Invasion of the Body Snatchers was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”
In 1978, the film was remade using the same title by Philip Kaufman and starred Donald Sutherland. It was largely received positively by film critics. In 1992, Invasion of the Bunny Snatchers was released which was Looney Tunes parody directed by Greg Ford. In 1993, the film was remade again director Abel Ferrara and received mixed reviews. In 2007, The Invasion was released directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel and starring Nicole Kidman. This version was roundly panned by critics who generally gave it negative reviews.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers
Year of Film
Kevin McCarthy, Dana Wynter, Larry Gates, King Donovan, Carolyn Jones, Jean Willes, Ralph Dumke, Sam Peckinpah
Origin of Film
Genre(s) of Film
Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi
Budget: $417,000 (Estimated)
Opening Weekend: Unknown
Gross: $3,000,000 (Worldwide)