Scary Film Review of Invasion of The Body Snatchers: Snatching Bodies, Squishing Minds, and Stealing Lives in The 1956 Original Version
Earth-bound aliens break the light-year barrier. Earthlings therefore fear alien know-how. Fear keeps growing in “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”, a Library of Congress National Film Registry aesthetically, culturally, historically significant film.
The methods and results of body-snatching and mind-controlling are explored in Invasion of the Body Snatchersby writer Daniel Manwaring; producer Walter Wanger; and director Don Siegel. Ellsworth Fredericks, Robert S. Eisen, and Carmen Dragon handle cinematography, editing, and music. Filming showcases California: Beachwood and Bronson Canyons, Chatsworth, Glendale, Los Feliz, and Sierra Madre as well as Allied’s Hollywood studio (now a Church of Scientology property).
The film is based upon Jack Finney’s (1911-1995) novel “The Body Snatchers” (1954). It lasts 80 minutes. It was released by Allied Artists Pictures Corporation on February 5, 1956 in the United States.
The movie begins with flashbacks from Psychiatric Doctor Hill (White Bissell) interviewing emergency ward patient, Dr. Miles Bennell (Kevin McCarthy). Dr. Bennell confides that patients in Santa Mira, California accuse strangers of posing as relatives and spouses. He gives examples of:
- Becky (Dana Wynter) about her father (Kenneth Patterson);
- Grandma (Beatrice Maude) and Jimmy Grimaldi (Bobby Clark) about each other;
- Wilma (Virginia Christine) about Uncle Ira (Tom Fadden);
Psychiatric Doctor Dan Kauffman (Larry Gates) terms the situation one of mass hysteria.
Miles comes across doubles forming of:
- Friends Jack (King Donovan) and Theodora (Carolyn Jones) Belicec;
Dan describes Miles as hysterical. But Becky, Jack, Miles, and Teddy determine that look-alikes are forming in pods, to replace sleeping humans.
The telephone operator does not connect Teddy to the FBI or Sacramento. Jack and Teddy drive off for outside help. Miles pitchforks the bodies before hiding in his office with Becky.
Daylight does not assuage Becky’s and Miles’ worries. They fear that Santa Mira is an alien dispersion center. They see farmers distributing numerous pods for surrounding towns.
Dan, Jack, Miles’ nurse Sally (Jean Willes), and Nick the police chief (Ralph Dumke) count among the pod-born look-alikes. Dan and Jack explain that extraterrestrials orchestrate the mind-absorbing, personality-depleting body-snatching. They insist that life without emotional ups-and-downs and independent thinking represents an upgrade.
Becky and Miles elude the pod-born people. They hide in an abandoned mine tunnel. Becky stays behind while Miles follows the unexpected sounds of music to an abandoned car’s radio.
Miles comes back to find Becky no longer Becky. Becky’s pod-born associates give chase. Miles reaches the highway and warns drivers of the body-snatching, mind-controlling, pod-born invaders.
The movie ends with medical personnel discussing patients recently rescued from a highway collision involving loads of pods; and with hospital doctors telephoning Miles’ information to the FBI and police.
Copyright: Wednesday, October 31, 2012, by Derdriu.