HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Killer Therapy
Man Upstairs, The
Bloodhound, The
New Mutants, The
Tesla
Flame of New Orleans, The
Ham on Rye
Imperial Blue
Tenet
August 32nd on Earth
Don is Dead, The
Seven Sinners
Body of Water
Away
Soul
About Endlessness
Let It Snow
Ava
Deliver Us from Evil
Shark Attack 3: Megalodon
Midnight Sky, The
Lego Star Wars Holiday Special, The
Mon Oncle Antoine
Blast of Silence
Blackout, The
Stars in Your Eyes
Alone
Climate of the Hunter
Farewell Amor
Let's Scare Julie
Okko's Inn
Shaolin vs. Wu Tang
Fatman
Butt Boy
Dog of Flanders, The
Bushido Blade, The
Jiu Jitsu
Blind
Space Sheriff Gavan: The Movie
Fireworks, Should We See It from the Side or the Bottom?
   
 
Newest Articles
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
Living Room Theatre: Play for Today Volume 1 on Blu-ray
Didn't He Do Well: The Bruce Forsyth Show on DVD
Blood Wedding: The Bride with White Hair on Blu-ray
The Inhuman Element: The Ladykillers on 4K UHD
As You Like It, Baby: Breathless on Blu-ray
Stargazing: Light Entertainment Rarities on DVD
Down to the Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 2 on DVD
Herding Cats: Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
They're Still Not Sure It is a Baby: Eraserhead on Blu-ray
Werewolves are Real: Dog Soldiers on Digital
Rose: A Love Story - Producers April Kelley and Sara Huxley Interview
Phone Phreak: 976-EVIL on Blu-ray
   
 
  Invasion of the Body Snatchers You're Next
Year: 1956
Director: Don Siegel
Stars: Kevin McCarthy, Dana Wynter, Larry Gates, King Donovan, Carolyn Jones, Jean Willes, Ralph Dumke, Virginia Christine, Tom Fadden, Kenneth Patterson, Guy Wray, Eileen Stevens, Beatrice Maude, Jean Andren, Bobby Clark, Dabbs Greer, Whit Bissell
Genre: Science FictionBuy from Amazon
Rating:  8 (from 2 votes)
Review: Dr Miles Bennell (Kevin McCarthy) has quite a story to tell. A couple of days ago, he returned home from a conference to the small town of Santa Mira, where he had a medical practice. According to his nurse, there has been a lot of patients asking to see him with strange symptoms, nothing physical, but mental. Miles decides he would rather get back to his house first than see them all at once, and on the way he meets Becky Driscoll (Dana Wynter), his childhood sweetheart who has just arrived from five years in England. As they drive along a quiet street, a little boy runs out in front of the car, screaming: he doesn't believe his mother is who she says she is...

In the majority of the alien invasion and science fiction monster movies of the fifties, an era which was in many ways the boom time for such entertainment, the expert was a hero, someone you could rely on and could come up with the right answers to the seemingly insurmountable problems afflicting the world. In this adaptation of Jack Finney's classic chiller, there are no such comforts and the doctor who should, by the conventions of such things, be capable enough to handle the situation, ends up a raving madman with no one believing his warnings.

Of course, this was a bit much for the studio which made Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and they insisted that director Don Siegel film an introduction featuring Whit Bissell as a psychiatrist who listens to Miles' tale and eventually gets something done about it, but the implication from what we have seen is that he could just as easily be in Miles' place if his concerns are dismissed by those up above. From Kevin McCarthy's expression, we cannot tell if he is relieved or despairing. And that's the powerful vein of paranoia that Siegel and his team, including scriptwriter Daniel Mainwaring, tapped into: who can yout trust when their deception is perfect?

It's indicative of this film's success that it can be seen as a red alert against both the anti-Communist and anti-McCarthy political stances, as it, like in The Manchurian Candidate of the next decade, illustrates the similarities of both the hard right and the hard left points of view. When the people who have been replaced explain to Miles and Becky in reasonable tones how easy it is to be utterly conformist, unquestioning and unempathetic, it is more a manner of highlighting the dangers of yielding to any social erasure of individuality, no matter what side of the political spectrum you endorse.

These themes and undertones are all very well, but they would make for a pretty dry movie if that's all there was here. Fortunately Siegel tightens the screws of tension with every scene, making this one of the most exciting sci-fi thrillers of its era, from Miles and Becky cottoning on to the fact that the townsfolk are claiming that their loved ones are being replaced with exact doubles because that is indeed what is happening, to their flight from the pod people. With the claustrophobic camera angles and the menacing shadows, and each twist making the protagonists increasingly isolated as they are forced to flee from one apparently safe haven to another, Invasion of the Body Snatchers is an ideal example of not only suspecting "they" are out to get you, but the feeling that the ones who are not will fail to accept your fears which no words of comfort can assuage. Music by Carmen Dragon.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 5483 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Don Siegel  (1912 - 1991)

Respected American director, a former editor, whose action thrillers were second to none. He started out in lower budget movies like The Big Steal, Riot in Cell Bock 11 and The Lineup but come the sixties he started making higher profile work such as the remake of The Killers and Madigan. His fruitful partnership with Clint Eastwood gave us Dirty Harry and Escape from Alcatraz, among others. Another of his finest 1970s films was Charley Varrick.

Siegel had small acting roles in Play Misty for Me and Philip Kaufman's Invasion of the Body Snatchers - he had directed the classic original in the 1950s.

 
Review Comments (1)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
Enoch Sneed
  Geraint Morgan
Paul Smith
  Lee Fiveash
   

 

Last Updated: