20 April 2024

Film Release – Invasion Of The Body Snatchers (1956)

Invasion of The Bodysnatchers is a classic in sci-fi and the latest BFI approved print comes to Blu-ray soon. Dr. Miles J. Bennell (Kevin McCarthy) is a well-respected doctor, but after an experience he may never forget (or survive) Dr. Bennell has to recount the story of the aliens who took over his town or else they may take over the country – or even the world!

At first, it’s believed that the observations of these emotionless clones may just be a side effect of mental illness, although on further inspection Dr. Bennell and Becky Driscoll (Dana Wynter) soon uncover something far more sinister than they could ever have imagined. As the town gets slowly populated by more and more of the aliens, the pair find it an increasingly desperate escape as their paranoia gets the best of them.

Lauded at the time and even today as an allegory for the McCarthy Trials which saw many of Hollywood’s brightest and most influential stars accused of Communism and exiled from Hollywood, Invasion of The Bodysnatchers is still as relevant. The thoughts of people being accused of something at any time even today in our so-called cancel culture makes the film a different experience whereas back then.

Although then, the fear of the unknown was unfounded, but today the ‘victims’ of cancel culture are the abusers. Invasion of The Bodysnatchers must have been what Kevin Spacey thought was happening when he lost his career.

Despite the film’s celebration and clever script, which many thought was a political commentary on the events of the time, this was denied by director Don Siegel. However, it’s hard to deny the connections, and this is what makes it such a timeless subject for science fiction.

Along with the feature film which has been lovingly restored and given the BFI stamp of approval, the Blu-ray comes with lots of special features as well which will delight fans of the film, sci-fi aficionados and film historians alike. With insights into Don Siegel himself and the film overall, it’s something that all fans of film, sci-fi and 50s cinema would be more than happy to add to their collection.

Sci-fi, Horror | USA, 1956 | PG | 25th October 2021 (UK) | Blu-ray | Buy here BFI Shop| BFI | Dir.Don Siegel | Kevin McCarthy, Larry Gates, Dana Wynter, King Donovan, Carolyn Jones

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