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Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) Movie Review Summary

Actors: Kevin McCarthy, Dana Wynter, Larry Gates

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)


Dr. Miles Bennell, a general practitioner in the small California mountain town of Santa Mira, is called back to the town from a conference by a rash of appointments -- but then his patients cancel. He also encounters reports of people insisting members of their families are not who they really are -- though they eventually change their minds. Divorced himself, he meets his lovely former high school girlfriend Becky Driscoll (Wynter), also recently divorced, and together they unravel the mystery: seed pods from space have landed and created exact copies of the townspeople and gradually taken over their lives, bodies, and minds, then they distribute pods to take over neighboring towns in a similar way. Miles and Becky have to escape from Santa Mira and warn the rest of the country before they get taken over, too. This classic 1956 sci-fi thriller -- based on a Jack Finney novel and directed by Don Siegel, who later became famous for "Dirty Harry" and "The Shootist" -- remains sharp and tight, with generally better script and clearly better acting than most other '50s sf movies. Unfortunately, the nervous studio insisted Siegel slap on a framing epilogue and prologue instead of telling the stark tale that ends with Miles warning the viewer "they're coming!" but that's a minor spoiler. [Personal beef: early in the film, Miles and Becky misquote Oberon in "Midsummer Night's Dream" as speaking of "a bank where the wild thyme grows" -- it's "blows," in order to rhyme with Shakespeare's next line, in which "oxslips and the nodding violet grows."]
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The review of this Movie prepared by David Loftus



Script Analysis of Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Actual chase scenes or violence 30%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzle 50%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 20% **Fantasy or Science Fiction?**    -   science fiction story Horror film?    -   Yes Kind of Horror Story    -   chased by body snatchers/duplicates

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   doctor Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White (American)

Setting

Earth setting:    -   20th Century (1950-1970) Takes place on Earth?    -   Yes Mountains?    -   Yes Misc settings    -   small town

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Tone of movie    -   fearful Kinds of F/X    -   Things that change shape/morph    -   exotic aliens Is this movie based on a    -   book

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