Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) - Rotten Tomatoes

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)



Critic Consensus: Employing gritty camerawork and evocative sound effects, Invasion of the Body Snatchers is a powerful remake that expands upon themes and ideas only lightly explored in the original.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

This elaborate remake of the low-key 1956 horror classic Invasion of the Body Snatchers stars Donald Sutherland in the role played by Kevin McCarthy in the first film. Health inspector Sutherland is dispatched to investigate the curious behavior of several San Francisco restaurateurs. He begins to notice that even those closest to him are behaving in a detached, lackadaisical fashion, almost as if their personalities have been drained from their bodies. The source of this ennui is an alien attack, manifested in the presence of hundreds of huge pods. Leonard Nimoy plays a psychiatrist who encourages Sutherland to "go with the flow" and give up his inner self to the aliens. Kevin McCarthy and Don Siegel, respectively the star and director of the original Body Snatchers, appear in significant cameo roles. An unbilled Robert Duvall also shows up along the way, but you'll have to remain alert to spot him.more
Rating: PG (adult situations/language, nudity, violence)
Genre: Horror, Mystery & Suspense, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By: W.D. Richter
In Theaters:
On DVD: Aug 28, 2001
MGM Home Entertainment


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

News & Interviews for Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Critic Reviews for Invasion of the Body Snatchers

All Critics (48) | Top Critics (7)

Gives remakes a good name.

Full Review… | October 23, 2010
Wall Street Journal
Top Critic

This film wants to have it both ways: to have a more urbane, more "important" scope than the original, and yet retain some of its inexpensive intimacy as well.

Full Review… | October 22, 2010
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

Invasion of the Body Snatchers validates the entire concept of remakes.

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

Set at the intersection of post-Vietnam paranoia and the myopic introspection that became hippiedom's most lasting cultural contribution, the Philip Kaufman-directed Invasion alternates social commentary with impeccably crafted scares.

Full Review… | September 1, 2007
AV Club
Top Critic

Ideas that Siegel knocked off in a few shots are expanded to fill entire sequences -- but they're good ideas, and can stand a little stretching.

Full Review… | May 30, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Kaufman here turns in his most Movie Brattish film, but soft-pedals on both his special effects and knowing in-jokiness in a way that puts De Palma to shame.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Invasion of the Body Snatchers


Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer


This remake of the classic 1956 Don Siegel film is maybe the best remake of all time. With the greatest sound design I have ever heard, the audio track adds a whole other level of tension to this great film. The screams of the body snatchers will forever be in the back of my mind.

Graham Jones
Graham Jones

Super Reviewer

Far and away the best of the four Body Snatchers films - and I say this without even having seen 2008's The Invasion, because seriously? All three incarnations have been strong in their own right and encompass a pretty broad variety of aesthetics and production codes. Where the original was goofy, overtly serious B-movie science fiction, and Abel Ferrara's 90s treatment was a sort of fall from innocence tale laden with sinister plant tentacles, this is by far the most adult of the explorations. Touching briefly but penetratingly on groupthink in academic thought, psychology, and human relationships, Invasion of the Body Snatchers is always smart but never wordy. Furthermore, the performances are excellent across the board and the movie itself looks fantastic. It's a shame that Philip Kaufman's career has been somewhat spare (and inconsistent, judging by IMDB's assessment of his work), because based on this alone the man can put together a hell of a visually meaningful composition. This is a truly threatening sci-fi horror film, and though its age is showing in certain regards, some of the images remain horrifying. A classic of the genre.

Drew Smith

Super Reviewer

Invasion of the Body Snatchers Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

Discussion Forum

Discuss Invasion of the Body Snatchers on our Movie forum!