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Invasion of the Body Snatchers

By Jeff Shannon

Jack Finney's classic science fiction novel has been the basis of three big-screen adaptations, beginning with the 1956 chiller Invasion of the Body Snatchers and most recently as 1994's underrated Body Snatchers. This acclaimed 1978 version from director Philip Kaufman (The Right Stuff) is every bit as creepy as the '56 original, and it fits perfectly into the cycle of paranoid thrillers that thrived in American movies of the Super70s. Kaufman stylishly directs from an intelligent screenplay by W.D. Richter, while Donald Sutherland and Brooke Adams lead a distinguished cast (including Jeff Goldblum, Leonard Nimoy, and Veronica Cartwright) and must fight for survival as the population of San Francisco is systematically cloned by alien "pods" from a distant, dying planet. The atmosphere of dread and paranoia grows increasingly intense as the complexity of the alien invasion is gradually revealed, until nobody can be trusted to be who they appear. Finely tuned performances enhance the film's eerie atmosphere, highlighted by moments that will lurk in your memory long after the movie's over. MGM's DVD release includes a full-length audio commentary by Kaufman, a "pod culture" retrospective, Body Snatchers trivia, production notes, and the original theatrical trailer.

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"The first time I saw the 1978 "Body Snatchers" film, I was only 17...and the ending totally freaked me out. I was affected by it for weeks. I remember saying to my friend who took me to see the film "...it made me feel so HOPELESS." Which is ironic, that is what the studio executives said about the original film, and forced them to add an obnoxious prologue/epilogue. Now I love the film, and ESPECIALLY the ending. The addition of the pod screams by screenwriter W.D. Richter was a great addition to the story, it made it SO much creepier. And by the way, the original is a classic too...without the prologue/epilogue, it is a perfect film."

--sntomas

 

FILM FACTS

Buy this VHS movie from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Buy this DVD from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Soundtrack unavailable at Amazon.com - try eBay (see links below)Rated PGNot on an American Film Institute 100 list

Director: Philip Kaufman

Stars: Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams, Leonard Nimoy, Jeff Goldblum, Veronica Cartwright

Released: December 20, 1978

Availability: DVD VHS


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