Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956 film)

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Still from Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978 film)...
  • film: Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
  • film: Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)

Summary

Numerous adaptations were based on The Body Snatchers, by Jack Finney (1954 pulp serial, 1955 novel); the best-known (and generally best-received) are the 1956 and 1978 film adaptations.

1956 FILM: In Santa Mira, California, Dr. Miles Bennell is baffled when all his patients come to him with the same complaint: their loved ones seem to have been replaced by emotionless impostors. Despite others' dismissive denials, Dr. Bennell, his former girlfriend Becky and his friend Jack soon discover that the patients' suspicions are true: an alien species of human duplicates, grown from plant-like pods, is taking over the small town.

1978 FILM: This remake of the classic horror film is set in San Francisco. Matthew Bennell assumes that when a friend complains of her husband's strange mood, it's a marital issue. However, he begins to worry as more people report similar observations. His concern is confirmed when writer Jack Bellicec and his wife discover a mutated corpse. Besieged by an invisible enemy, Bennell must work quickly before the city is consumed.

Details

Details (1956 film)

  • Release Date: 1956
  • Country/Language: USA, English
  • Genres/Technical: Horror, Science Fiction, Fantasy, black-and-white
  • Runtime: 1 hr 20 min
  • Starring: Kevin McCarthy, Dana Wynter, Larry Gates
  • Director: Philip Kaufman
  • Writer: Jack Finney
  • Producer/Production Co: Walter Wanger Productions
  • View Trailer: (link)

Details (1978 film)

  • Release Date: 1978
  • Country/Language: USA, English
  • Genres/Technical: Horror, Science Fiction, Fantasy
  • Runtime: 1 hr 20 min
  • Starring: Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams, Jeff Goldblum, Leonard Nimoy
  • Director: Don Siegel
  • Writer: Jack Finney
  • Producer/Production Co: Solofilm
  • View Trailer: (1978)


Ratings

MPAA Ratings

  • 1956 and 1978 films are rated: PG (mild violence)

Tentacle Ratings

A rough measure of how "Lovecraftian" the work is:

  • SS___ (Two Tentacles: Barely Lovecraftian)

The story is not particularly Lovecraftian, though the space-born vegetable aliens who take over human bodies are common enough Weird fiction tropes, and wouldn't be far out of place among Lovecraft's creations.

Note: This rating is not intended as a measure of quality, merely of how closely related to Lovecraftian "Weird" fiction the work is.

Reviews

Review Links:

  • (needs review!)


Synopsis

 Spoiler Section (Highlight to Read)

In Santa Mira, California, Dr. Miles Bennell is baffled when all his patients come to him with the same complaint: their loved ones seem to have been replaced by emotionless impostors. Despite others' dismissive denials, Dr. Bennell, his former girlfriend Becky and his friend Jack soon discover that the patients' suspicions are true: an alien species of human duplicates, grown from plant-like pods, is taking over the small town.


Notes

Comments, Trivia, Dedication

Associated Mythos Elements

  • fiction: Jack Finney's novel, The Body Snatchers
  • race: Body Snatchers
  • insanity: Capgras Delusion is a real psychiatric disorder which causes people to believe people are being replaced by identical duplicates
  • insanity: Subjective Doubles refers to a patient's belief that there is a doppelgänger or double of him- or herself carrying out independent actions.


Keeper Notes

  • See race: Body Snatchers
  • Keepers wishing to use this story as a basis for a scenario might be interested in playing up parallels to themes from various Lovecraft's stories, in which his generally vegetable-radiate-invertebrate-alien-things, fleeing doomed worlds, might swap personalities with human victims (see The Shadow Out of Time, for example). Yithians or Elder Things might easily be swapped for the "Body Snatchers" with only small changes to the basic story and/or the by-the-book description of Lovecraft's creations.


See Also

  • Contamination AKA Alien Contamination (1980 film) (trailer)
  • Body Snatchers (1993 film) (trailer)
  • The Invasion (2007 film) (trailer)
  • Invasion of the Pod People (2007 The Asylum "mockbuster") (trailer)
  • Invasion (2005-2006 series) (trailer)
  • Extant (2014-2015 series) (trailer)