Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Movie Review: Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)

For one of my two book clubs this month, I read the 1954 Jack Finney novel The Body Snatchers, and as it has been adapted into film four times since it was written, I thought it would be fun to watch each of the adaptations and see what I could see.

Don Siegel’s Invasion of the Body Snatchers sticks pretty close to the original novel, the name of the town is changed, but otherwise everything in the film sticks (roughly) to the plot of the original novel.

Stars Kevin McCarthy and Dana Wynter both do a pretty great job with the material, initially starting off as confused as to the invasion but quickly moving into heightened levels of paranoia as the body snatchers plan comes to light.  To be fair, my two daughters didn’t have much patience for Wynter’s character Betty Driscoll, as she seemed incredibly passive throughout, and kept falling down during the chase scenes.

What we did like about the movie was the slow and steady buildup of the invaders plans.  Nearly 60 years old and the film definitely still had the power to creep my entire family out.  Yes there are some flaws, the beginning and ending of the film seemed tacked on (as it turns out they were) and my kids were clearly hoping for a stronger female lead in the film, but overall, a great movie.

Hopefully the next three will be just as fun!

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