INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (1956) B/W widescreen 80m dir: Don Siegel

w/Kevin McCarthy, Dana Wynter, Larry Gates, King Donovan, Carolyn Jones, Jean Willes, Ralph Dumke, Virginia Christine, Tom Fadden, Kenneth Patterson

A beautifully controlled work of hysteria, this science-fiction classic is the story of invading pod-parasites who take over human beings: the population of a town is replaced by a group of emotionless, soulless aliens. The film may be seen as a hyped-up, outrageous contemplation of McCarthyism, and it has aged extraordinarily well. An uncredited Sam Peckinpah, who also plays a small part, contributed to the screenplay.

From The Movie Guide: "A superbly crafted film by innovative director Don Siegel, this low-budget science fiction tale became one of the great cult classics of the genre.

"Miles (McCarthy), a doctor from the small town of Santa Mira, arrives in San Francisco in hysterical condition; he raves that his community has been invaded by aliens who have literally taken over the bodies of his friends and relatives. He's a candidate for the lunatic asylum, most agree, but they hear him out, and the story unfolds in flashback. ...

"This film was originally conceived by producer [Walter] Wanger as standard B fare, but Siegel made much more of it, with writer [Daniel] Mainwaring injecting an element of subtle humor. It's since come to seem typical of 50s paranoia about everything from the Red Scare to nuclear warfare. INVASION spawned an adequate remake, starring Donald Sutherland, in 1978."