Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1955/1978)
INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (PG)
D: Don Siegel
Allied Artists (Walter Wanger)
W: Geoffrey Homes [based on the novel "The Body Snatchers" by Jack Finney]
DP: Ellsworth Fredricks
Ed: Robert S. Eisen
Mus: Carmen Dragon
PD: Joseph Kish
Kevin McCarthy (Dr. Miles Bennell), Dana Wynter (Becky Driscoll), Larry Gates (Dr. Dan Kauffman), King Donovan (Jack Belicec), Carolyn Jones (Teddy Belicec)
Strange things are happening in a small Californian town as the people's behaviour is changing, wives don't recognise their husbands and vice versa, and the town's doctor discovers the cause is mysterious alien pods which is producing perfect doppelgängers of them and assimilating the original.
This 1950's B-movie perfectly captures the communist paranoia at the time of it's release as well as working as a straight up Sci-Fi invasion flick.
A sequel/remake followed in 1978, followed by countless clones and copycats, but for many, this original is by far the better film, completely iconic, with a realistic, paranoid atmosphere in every single frame.
INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (15)
D: Philip Kaufman
United Artists (Robert H. Solo)
W: W. D. Richter [based on the novel "The Body Snatchers" by Jack Finney]
DP: Michael Chapman
Ed: Douglas Stewart
Mus: Denny Zeitlin
PD: Charles Rosen
Donald Sutherland (Matthew Bennell), Brooke Adams (Elizabeth Driscoll), Leonard Nimoy (Dr. David Kibner), Veronica Cartwright (Nancy Bellicec), Jeff Goldblum (Jack Bellicec), Art Hindle (Dr. Geoffrey Howell)
The small town terror of the original film is relocated to the City of San Francisco, as mysterious alien pods which prey on the population as they sleep and replace them with emotionless doubles.
While the original film made a fantastic allegory on both the Cold War and communism, what makes the 1978 version excel upon the original is that it can be seen as both a sequel as well as a remake, heightening the fear factor with the action taking place in a large metropolitan city rather than a small rural community and starting off practically where the 1954 film ends (thanks to a quite brilliant cameo appearance from Kevin McCarthy), as well as presenting one of the most terrifying endings in movie history.
The concept was remade again as Body Snatchers in 1993, strangely relocating the events to a military camp for some stupid reason, and more recently as The Invasion, starring Nicole Kidman & Daniel Craig, but the less said about that version, the better.