Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)

Directed by: Don Siegel

Written by:Daniel Mainwaring & Richard Collins


Kevin McCarthy .... Dr. Miles J. Bennell
Dana Wynter .... Becky Driscoll
Larry Gates .... Dr. Dan 'Danny' Kauffman
.... Jack Belicec
Carolyn Jones .... Theodora 'Teddy' Belicec

Release Dates: Theatrical: February 5, 1956; Cinétol Science-Fiction Festival: April 22, 1969; Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema: April 8, 2000; Bath Film Festival: November 13, 2014 (UK); Offscreen Film Festival: March 12, 2015 (Belgium); Locarno Film Festival: August 5, 2015

*Images courtesy






Dr. Miles J. Bennel (Kevin McCarthy) realises that his whole town has gone dellusional and that people aren't the same anymore. He finally realises that the population of his community is being replaced by emotionless alien duplicates.


Great start off in the film as we spot a hospital and the lead character Dr. Miles J. Bennell acting crazy and trying to warn the people on what's happening and claiming he's not crazy as we go into a flashback on what all happened. This was impressively done as we spot some impressive moments on him looking sane and getting into some nice charming moments with Becky Driscoll as well as them driving by and almost hitting a child running away not wanting to go to school and complaining later on in a hospital that his family isn't the same as this leaves a nice mysterious feel to this horror story.
Also some impressive moments with one of the locals they talk to explaining that he uncle isn't himself and not the same person which draws you in as well and getting a feel that he's not human when this discussion is going on.
More effective moments when Becky's uncle Stanley tells her he's going to work on something in his office down in the basement which makes you wonder what he's doing down there. It grabs your attention a great deal.
Perfect serious moment when some friends Jack Belicec and Theodora 'Teddy' Belicec tells both Miles and Becky to come in and show them what they found as this for sure makes you cringe a bit on how they said this. Plus a good moment on them seeing a lifeless clone on Jack as well as perfect shocking moments on their discussions within all of this. Plus a good intense moment when Jack accidently cuts his hand as tension happens here which looked good and strong.
Nice moment later on with a good close up shot on this clone opening his eyes as well as Teddy spotting this and getting scared which is a good horror touch to the story.
Also we have another creepy moment when Jack is in the basement of Stanley's and spots a clone of Becky with a nice creepy shot on this as this was spooky to look at as well as Jack trying to wake her up and get her out of the house. This packs some interesting terror.
Solid discussions with both Jack and Becky trying to talk to Dr. Dan 'Danny' Kauffman about these situations and him being closed minded on the whole thing as well as not believing any of it as it offers some nice frusterations on the other end. This was well done as well as them trying to show the clone and it isn't there which was spooky as well.
A fun moment on the four friends having a bar be que as well as a good shot on a seed pod forming something exposing bubbles etc as well as what appears to be a clone in which the effects during that time looked very good as well as them spotting this along with Jack holding a pitchfork and wondering if he should stab it or not. Certainly another perfect horror/sci fi touch to the story.
Good moment on Jack spying on a home and seeing some of the people getting together holding some seed pods as it has another great level of creepiness that the whole neighborhood is no longer human along with a nice chase on the four of them trying to hide as well as good shots on police vehicles trying to search for them.
Another good moment is when Jack and Becky are hiding in a building and the next morning they peek at a window and see the whole town stopped at what they were doing to listen to a police officers orders as well as having pods with them and what to do. Certainly a nice moment on an invasion and the city suddenly going strange.
Perfect situation when Jack and Becky realised that one of their friend suddenly is a clone and are trapped as well as Danny explaining on what they are doing with everyone being the same and the strange reasons behind it. This was well written into the story as well as discussing that these things were from outer space.
More good shots and moments with Jack and Becky trying to run away from the clones exposing the Hollywood hills as well as them trying to hide in a mine cave with Becky being out of it as it makes you wonder if she's herself or not as this makes you keep watching to find out on what happens later on.
Bottom line is that this was a very strange and unique tale in which is works well on it's own which can be a real pleaser for anyone who enjoys both old fashioned horror and sci-fi as well as following two remakes that were nowhere near as good. Almost made you hope that a sequel would've arisen after the end of this movie but sadly one never did.

The acting is very action packed for a film during it's time. Kevin McCarthy (Dr. Miles J. Bennell) does a fabulous job in his role offering a perfect versatile character. He knew his craft in the beginning of his performance by acting stone cold crazy by stressing a horrible situation. Also in the flashback shows a more sane moment of his role which he pulls off just as greatly. Shows off a nice romantic charm adding good wit too. Also does well showing adrenaline when the terror starts or being cautious on stuff as he shows off great energy within this. Also does well with his paniacking frenzy while trying to chase a car down on a highway as he truly looked crazy.
Dana Wynter (Becky Driscoll) certainly had the healthy looks for her role and really pulled off her romantic type of character. Plus she does well by getting frightened by the near terrors that happen. Also does well by being out of it or acting anxious with all that is going on. She really drew in by being exhausted or out of it like she won't be the same anymore and offers a nice strange attitude at the end of her performance.
Larry Gates (Dr. Dan 'Danny' Kauffman) certainly draws in a perfect seriousness into his speaking as well as having a great closed minded attitude. Also has a right to the point type of behavior too. Shows off a good sharp behavior and meaning business by what he does. Plus shows off a nice expressionless and creepiness later on in his performance having a good horror type of character into what he does.
Carolyn Jones (Theodora 'Teddy' Belicec) shows a good timid type of behavior as she really knew on how to show some nice adrenaline as well as having a nice concerned type of atitude. Plus does a great job with her screaming and frightened type of attitude too. Rolls well with the punches and has the right looks and appeal to play someone whom is a little timid.

Perfectly strong old fashioned classical music composed by Carmen Dragon as we hear loud suspenseful trombone playing for the real creepy moments with drum rolling boom types of sounds. Also we have the odd quiverring sounds from violin music and clarinet playing too. There's also some odd sad sounding music when necessary. We don't hear music like this in today's films sadly as this stuff sounds entertaining.

Dr. Miles J. Bennell: [cautiously] Who are you?
Dr. Hill: I'm Dr. Hill, from the state mental hospita...
Dr. Miles J. Bennell: I AM NOT INSANE!
[guards grab him]
Dr. Hill: Let him go!
Dr. Miles J. Bennell: Listen, Doctor, now you must listen to me, you must understand me, I'm a doctor too, I am not insane! I am NOT insane!

Dr. Miles J. Bennell: [grabs Dr. Bassett] Doctor! Will you tell these fools I am NOT crazy? Make them listen to me while there's still time!

Dr. Miles J. Bennell: Isn't this Jimmy Grimaldi?
Grandma Grimaldi: Yes, Doctor, can I talk to you a moment?
Dr. Miles J. Bennell: Sure.
[to Jimmy]
Dr. Miles J. Bennell: You know I almost ran you down this morning? You've got to be more careful.
[Jimmy breaks away and runs, Sally catches him]
Dr. Miles J. Bennell: Hey! Hey hey hey hey hey, slow down now, school isn't as bad as all that.
Grandma Grimaldi: School isn't what upsets him, it's my daughter-in-law. He's got the craziest idea she isn't his mother.
Jimmy Grimaldi: [in hysterics] She isn't! She isn't! Don't let her get me!
Nurse Sally Withers: No one's going to get you, Jimmy.
[Jimmy sobs hysterically]
Dr. Miles J. Bennell: How long has this been going on?
Grandma Grimaldi: An hour ago I found him hiding in the cellar having hysterics, he wouldn't tell me anything until I started to phone his mother. That's when he said Anna wasn't his mother.

Jack Belicec: Stop trying to rationalize everything, will ya? Let's face it, we have a mystery on our hands!
Dr. Dan 'Danny' Kauffman: Sure you have. A real one! Whose body was it, and where is it now? A completely normal mystery. Whatever it is, it's well within the bounds of human experience, and I don't think you ought to make any more of it.
Dr. Miles J. Bennell: Look, I wouldn't if I hadn't looked in Becky's cellar! How do you explain away the body I saw there?
Dr. Dan 'Danny' Kauffman: I don't think you saw one there.
Dr. Miles J. Bennell: You don't think I saw one here, either?
Dr. Dan 'Danny' Kauffman: I know you did because three others saw it too.
Dr. Miles J. Bennell: But I dreamed up the second one?
Dr. Dan 'Danny' Kauffman: Doctors can have hallucinations too.

Becky: They're like huge seed pods!

Becky: I can't do it, I can't, can't, can't go on.
Dr. Miles J. Bennell: Yes you can.

Charlie: Give up! You can't get away from us! We're not gonna hurt you!

Charlie: [mob chases Miles to the highway] Let him go. Nobody will ever believe him.

Ambulance Driver: We had to dig him out from under the most peculiar things I ever saw.
Dr. Hill: What things?
Ambulance Driver: Well, I don't know what they are; I never saw them before. They looked like great big seed pods.
Dr. Hill: Where was the truck coming from?
Ambulance Driver: Santa Mira.

[last lines]
Dr. Hill: Get on your radios and sound an all points alarm. Block all highways, stop all traffic, and call every law enforcement agency in the state.
[on phone]
Dr. Hill: Operator, get me the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Yes, it's an emergency!