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Allegory: Communists are taking over. They look and act like everybody else, pretending to be normal but they are emotionless robots, where everybody is the same with only a will to survive. Of course this is all told as a horror /sci-fi tale with a few technical holes.
As a movie, it's slightly dated but still packs a punch. Suspenseful, tight, and intelligent.
I saw this alone, on TV, probably in 1958, when 10. I couldn't sleep for two days. It stopped haunting me in 2008; a mere 50 years later. If you want to frighten your 10 year-old child, this is the greatest movie ever made. I'm not sure I understand the political allegory, but then I quit attending school after ten years of college, 4 undergrad, 2 masters, and 4 doctoral. I guess communists were invading us, huh? The connection would have been less subtle if they had Joseph McCarthy in the lead role instead of Kevin. Whatever, I still think it's a great movie.
A film that can be viewed simply as a story of insidious alien invasion and more deeply as a commentary on Cold War paranoia, Invasion Of The Body Snatchers harks back to a much-missed era of horror films, when no doors banged and no lights flickered. The film takes a laid-back, almost casual approach, only really getting going in the second half, and tells a tale of humans being replaced with 'pod people', who are unthinking, unfeeling conformists. The jabs at McCarthyism become more and more evident as the story progresses, and there's a tangible feeling of being overwhelmed by the increasing hysteria. It's unclear how deliberate the political overtones are, but in a time when everyone feared and abhorred communism in equal measures, they're impossible to ignore. Its more chilling than it is scary, but the message it tells about how humans are so close to being mindless replicants that we could easily be replaced with literal plant-born doppelgangers, is the most frightening thought of all.
A very good movie that could have been so much better, I much prefer the remake because it has a lot more tension/anxiety throughout the movie and because the ending was better. The concept is the same between the 2 but how they go about telling the story is completely diff (especially the ending). The acting and the score of this one was really good. The effects, as limited as they were, must have been amazing for that period. And this must have been such an original concept back then. I'd recommend this movie for anyone who's a fan of the classics, as well as anyone looking to appreciate the history of horror. It doesn't carry near the same weight as it back then but its still a very fun watch.
In my experience most sci-fi/horror movies from the 1950s always feel like longer episodes of The Twilight Zone. It’s something about the music, the melodramatic acting, and the simple visual effects that harkens back to those old TV episodes. This isn’t a bad thing, because I always loved the classic episodes of that show. Plus, thinking of it as The Twilight Zone gets me in the right mindset to follow the adventure and hope for a surprise twist at the end. Invasion of the Body Snatchers has that same old familiar feeling, and the acting is a big part of the tone, and I do mean “big.” From the very first scene Kevin McCarthy is playing his fear with as much drama as humanly possible. This could be a silent movie and you’d feel the emotion coming from him and many of the other actors. However, this melodrama is valuable because it creates a great contrast with those who’ve been replaced. I like the subtle and slow build to the story. It feels realistic that the initial reaction would be skeptical and people would try to explain it away, this also adds to the mystery as you start to wonder who is safe and who has been snatched. That’s a constant fear throughout the film, and because of the nature of the invasion, it can take time to discern if someone is just calm because they don’t believe our heroes or because they have been replaced. I imagine the plot is also intended to serve as some type of symbolic allegory for the state of society at that time. That kind of thing is usually lost on me because I take movies almost entirely at face value. That being said, it holds up just fine as a narrative story without needing to connect the dots to a more subtle message. I also appreciated the ending, even if it did leave you hanging, because it felt like there was some resolution. My biggest problem with Invasion of the Body Snatchers was the lack of clear cut rules for the invasion. They never explain what happens to the original person when they are replaced, so that kept bothering me. I was waiting for the discovery of some mass grave or something. Also for most of the film they stuck to a formula that involved a pod creating a replacement body that would take the place of the original person while they were sleeping. But there was a certain point during the chase where it felt the rules were shifted into a possession. The pods suddenly became irrelevant and all it took was sleep and they would be changed. It totally threw me off and left a bad taste in my mouth. The one thing I ask in a good horror film is consistency in the “monsters” so I know what to fear. That being said, Invasion of the Body Snatchers is still a good film with a lot of atmosphere, and I might recommend it to others.
Definitely a good classic film.
If the title leads you to expect a cheesy B-movie, prepare to be surprised. 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers' is one of the finest early films in the sci-fi horror genre, and if you believe the word on the street, contains a dash of hidden meaning as well. With the Red Scare at its peak in the early 1950s, the witch-hunt against Communists had reached Los Angeles, with various artists being named in the infamous Hollywood blacklist. Screenwriter Daniel Mainwaring escaped persecution, but later admitted to acting as an occasional frontman for blacklisted writers. With this in mind, it's easy to read a bit more into Mainwaring's script for this film about California townspeople being replaced with identical-looking but emotionless duplicates. Whether you buy into the allegory or not, 'Snatchers' is a killer movie that stands the test of time - no easy feat for the genre.
After watching the Kidman’s “The Invasion,” this movie is still superior!!!
The effects were not all that good at the time but even today, it still holds. The story is played a bit easy to understand for us now. No real gap in the storyline. It was fun to watch again, a time capsule.
One of the best sci-fi movie ever !