Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
Directed by Don Siegel. US. 1956. NR. 1 hour 20 minutes. Paramount. Digital.
Sun., July 28, 2019 thru Mon., July 29, 2019
Something is wrong with the town of Santa Mira, California. At first, Dr. Miles Bennell (Kevin McCarthy) is unconcerned when the townsfolk accuse their loved ones of acting like emotionless imposters. Soon the evidence is overwhelming–Santa Mira has been invaded by alien “pods” that are capable of replicating humans and taking possession of their identities. It’s up to McCarthy to spread the word of warning, battling the alien invasion at the risk of his own life. Considered one of the best science fiction films of the 1950s and ’60s, this classic paranoid thriller was widely interpreted as a criticism of the McCarthy era (that’s Senator Joseph, not actor Kevin), which was characterized by anticommunist witch-hunts and fear of the dreaded blacklist. Some hailed it as an attack on the oppressive power of government as Big Brother. However viewers interpret it, this original 1956 version of Invaders of the Body Snatchers (based on Jack Finney’s serialized novel) remains a milestone movie in its genre, directed by Don Siegel with an inventive intensity that continues to pack an entertaining wallop. Look closely for future director Sam Peckinpah (The Wild Bunch) as a meter reader!