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Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)

tomatometer

98

Average Rating: 8.9/10
Reviews Counted: 41
Fresh: 40 | Rotten: 1

One of the best political allegories of the 1950s, Invasion of the Body Snatchers is an efficient, chilling blend of sci-fi and horror.

No Score Yet...

Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 4
Fresh: 4 | Rotten: 0

One of the best political allegories of the 1950s, Invasion of the Body Snatchers is an efficient, chilling blend of sci-fi and horror.

audience

85

liked it
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 18,003

My Rating

Movie Info

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

Jun 26, 1998

Republic Pictures Home Video

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All Critics (41) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (40) | Rotten (1) | DVD (4)

Few modern-day movies are more genuinely frightening.

October 23, 2010 Full Review Source: Wall Street Journal
Wall Street Journal
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This tense, offbeat piece of science-fiction is occasionally difficult to follow due to the strangeness of its scientific premise. Action nevertheless is increasingly exciting.

November 26, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Don Siegel's superb little effort, with its matter-of-fact isolation of hero Kevin McCarthy (ironic, no?) from the smarmy complacency of a small town gone to hell -- and way beyond -- points the way to his gripping action films of the 60s and 70s.

May 30, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's still a chilling picture, gaining over Phil Kaufman's smart remake by virtue of its intimate small town setting, and it has one of the greatest endings ever filmed.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Although expertly remade twice - in 1978 and 1993 - and rather less successfully in 2007, the original is still the most striking, with a justly famous scalp-freezing ending.

October 7, 2013 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

Don Siegel's taut, bleak, noir-flavoured picture is arguably the science-fiction B-movie of the 1950s, an age when screens glowed with the atomic threat and undulated with scuttling, supersized bugs.

October 9, 2012 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

Jack Finney's magazine story-turned novel "The Body Snatchers" has proven remarkably resilient through the years.

August 22, 2012 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

Among the most thrilling cliffhangers in all of cinema.

October 30, 2011 Full Review Source: Suite101.com
Suite101.com

Talky, tame original sci-fi study in paranoia.

December 15, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media | Comments (8)
Common Sense Media

Arguably the greatest ever B-movie.

April 27, 2009 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

The film's portrait of human beings gradually assimilated by an alien invasion of emotionless duplicates creates a profoundly disturbing sense of paranoia.

July 11, 2008 Full Review Source: ESplatter
ESplatter

One of the very best sci-fi/horror pictures of one of that genre's best decades.

September 12, 2007 Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy
Antagony & Ecstasy

what if the mask of your neighbor tilts for a second and you catch a glimpse of the riot going on behind his face?

August 21, 2007 Full Review Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

A 50s horror classic that remains a gem of allegorical paranoia.

May 30, 2007 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

A superbly crafted film by innovative director Siegel, this low-budget science fiction tale became one of the great cult classics of the genre.

May 30, 2007 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

An all time classic. The "message" was lost on most original viewers.

March 25, 2007
Nolan's Pop Culture Review

The first--and still best--version of the Cold War sci-fi, despite compromised ending that was imposed by producer Walter Wanger on the director to make the tale less downbeat and anarchic.

December 14, 2006 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

Some genuinely creepy moments and good social commentary raise this horror film

August 12, 2006 Full Review Source: Movie Habit
Movie Habit

Siegel's brilliant movie sits as a perfect bookend to Romero's "Night Of The Living Dead."

December 19, 2005
ColeSmithey.com

Tenso e bem construído, conta com uma ótima trilha sonora, a direção expressiva de Siegel e com um roteiro que pode ser lido como uma alegoria clara do mccarthismo.

July 3, 2005 | Comment (1)
Cinema em Cena

Audience Reviews for Invasion of the Body Snatchers

A man discovers that his town has been replaced by aliens.
The description of this film on Flixster implies that one can read this film as a "cautionary fable about the blacklisting hysteria of the McCarthy era." If that is true, I would like to see that argument drawn out and supported because I've been thinking about that interpretation and I can't make it hold water. What I see is B-movie science fiction. Other positive reviews regale the film's "fear factor," but I've always been immune to this response, and so the film's cheap thrills and atmospheric suspense aren't compelling for me. I wasn't bored, but I wasn't moved or compelled either.
Overall, there may be more to this than a better version of an Ed Wood picture, but I don't see it.
October 1, 2013
hunterjt13
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

Although there appears to be a debate about the topic, I feel positive that INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS is the umpteenth fable with an underlying allusion to the McCarthy Era. Was it intended for such a film's key actor to bear the same last name as possibly the most significant politician during the Cold War, or was it pure coincidence? Thankfully, INVASION ends up with something more to offer than a Cold War subtext. Regardless of its low production budget, its familiar music and decent performing keep the viewer mentally awake for the suspense, at which point both aspects come to life in an unusual but thrilling fashion.
January 27, 2012
spielberg00

Super Reviewer

This sci-fi classic is still packs a punch, though in my opinion, the 1978 remake takes this basic story and turns it into a much more frightening experience.
October 30, 2011
Graham Jones

Super Reviewer

Filled with tension, suspense, paranoia, and Cold War subtext, this film is one of the high water marks of the 1950s sci-fi horror/thrillers.

The story's been done a ridiculous amount of times since (some reteelings good, some not), but that doesn't take away from the enjoyment this film has to offer.

Fun stuff all around.
May 12, 2011
cosmo313
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

    1. Dr. Miles Bennel: There isn't a human being left in Santa Mira!
    – Submitted by Don G (11 months ago)
    1. Dr. Miles Bennel: I never knew the meaning of fear until I kissed Becky.
    – Submitted by Don G (11 months ago)
    1. Dr. Miles Bennel: They're here already! You're next! You're next!
    – Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)
View all quotes (3)

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Foreign Titles

  • Die Dämonischen (DE)
  • Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) (UK)
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