Invasion Of The Body Snatchers (1956)

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) directed by Don Siegel was one movie that could truly define science fiction/Horror in the 1950’s. Siegel did a great job with storytelling, and keeping you on the edge of your seat from the beginning of the film until the very last minute of it. The music in the movie definitely had a lot to do with that, as in many Horror movies. It starred Kevin McCarthy, as Dr. Miles J. Bennell, and Dana Wynter, as Becky Driscoll. The movie followed a small-town doctor, who soon discovers that his not so exciting town has been taken over by zombies who are lacking in the emotions department.

The role of Communism and the fear of a  takeover plays a key role in Invasion of the Body Snatchers. The fear of someone who is not from the same place we are, taking over our way of life is clearly shown in the movie, as well as many other themes (Even though actor Kevin McCarthy denies that any “Political Allegory was intended”). In the film, the people in the town are hit with a widespread epidemic like never before seen. When they wake up, they evolve into mindless robots, with the inability to live freely, which happens to be the ideals of the American dream. This is all to thank from “pea pods” that “give birth” to new born human beings into the world.

One thing I found particulary interesting was in the scene where Becky, and Dr Bennell are looking out the window (Long Shot) and see the people all of a sudden ascend to the town square. This to me was by far the spookiest scene in the movie, and the irony in that is it took place during the morning/daytime. I have seen plenty of Horror and Sci-Fi films from the likes of Saw to The Exorcist, but this scene to me is as spooky as it gets.

Another observation I had that piqued my interest was the fact that the movie was in Black and White, when color was actually readily available in 1956. I think it added to the intrigue of the film and this was definitely done on purpose. One reason for this could be how black and white can be seen as mundane and dull similarly to Communism while color(s) are vivid and exciting, like living in a place were the right to ones free will is exercised (for example America).

All in all, i really enjoyed the movie, it set its main points foward about Communism without coming across as a form of “Preaching”. Like Director Don Siegel said “The political reference to Senator McCarthy and totalitarianism was inescapable but I tried not to emphasize it because I feel that motion pictures are primarily to entertain and I did not want to preach” In the case of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Siegel without a doubt succeeded.

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43 Comments so far

  1.   Mitchell Mays-George on November 30th, 2011

    I have to admit, I was very intrigue by the sci-fi aspect of it as are/were many other people I imagine, but it does also get me thinking of the kind of fear and paranoia if you will of those times.

  2.   alopez on December 3rd, 2011

    This is a great observation of the film. After reading this post, I agree with the communist aspect although I did not think of it when I first watched it. Now I look at it and wonder if people were really paranoid of change and being controlled.

  3.   zacklotkerblog on December 8th, 2011

    The scene where they gather at the town square is one of the creepiest things I’ve ever seen!

  4.   sandra411 on December 15th, 2011

    Good Observations ! i agree the music did have an impact on the film i feel that it made that movie that much more scary! And wow never realized the whole communist aspect of it but it makes sense. All the change frightened people and some where against it while others gave into it ! And everyone seems to think the town scene was a creepy one and i agree 100% would of been creeped out if i was in that situation haha

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