This week on Take A Look Back Tuesday we’re looking at the 1956 version of Invasion Of The Body Snatchers based on the 1954 science fiction novel, The Body Snatchers. 

Directed by Don Siegal and starring Dana Wynter and Kevin McCarthy, this is one the first science fiction movies I remember watching as a child and it scaring the crap out of me! In particular this scene is embedded in my mind. It destroyed me that Becky (Spoilers!!!) falls asleep and wakes up having been taken over.
Dr. Miles Bennell returns to his hometown, Santa Mira, California, to find that many of his patients are suffering from a mysterious but similar malady. They are coming to him insisting that family members and loved ones are impersonators, devoid of emotion, and not the people they used to know. Miles at first tends to believe a fellow psychiatrist’s diagnosis that it’s all a case of mass hysteria. But after discovering a half-formed replica of his friend Jack, and later giant seed pods in his greenhouse, Miles and his girlfriend Becky confront their worst fears – that these mysterious pods are in fact replacing the humans of the town when they sleep. In the midst of the invasion, Miles and Becky try to escape and warn the

Cold-War era film, it has been debated that Invasion Of The Body Snatchers was a metaphor for everything that was going on at the time:

A debate has raged for years over the meaning and subtext of Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956). Very much a product of its era, the Cold-War 1950s, analysts have seen in it a metaphor for the creeping threat of Communism, portrayed at this point in U.S. history as soulless, without feeling or sense of beauty – an attempt to make all its citizens lockstep into a sameness of purpose and behavior. Certainly that notion was reinforced by reports around this time of the brainwashing’ of captured American troops by the Chinese Communists during the Korean War. Still others have seen the movie as a depiction of the era’s conformity and the dangerous path of McCarthyism, forcing everyone to think and believe the same and leaving no room for eccentricity or individual expression. And the strong-arm attempts to silence dissent in this period, as well as the incarceration and blacklisting of talented film artists on the pretext of “dangerous” political beliefs, lent extra weight to that

You can watch the entire movie here.

[via TCM, Isolde Löfgren]

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Claudia Dolph
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