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Invasion of the Body Snatchers was selected in 1993 for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

Largely ignored by critics on its initial run, Invasion of the Body Snatchers received wide critical acclaim in retrospect and is considered one of the best films of 1956. The film holds a 98% "Fresh" rating on the review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes.

In recent years critics have hailed the film as a "genuine Sci-Fi classic" (Dan Druker, Chicago Reader), "influential, and still very scary" (Leonard Maltin) and one of the "most resonant" and "one of the simplest" of the genre (Time Out).

The film was also placed on AFI's 100 Years... 100 Thrills, a list of America's most heart-pounding films. The film was included on Bravo's 100 Scariest Movie Moments.

Similarly, the Chicago Film Critics Association named it the 29th scariest film ever made. Time magazine included Invasion of the Body Snatchers on their list of 100 all-time best films, the top 10 1950s Sci-Fi Movies, and Top 25 Horror Films.

In June 2008 the American Film Institute revealed its "Ten top Ten"—the best ten films in ten "classic" American film genres—after polling over 1,500 people from the creative community.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers was acknowledged as the ninth best film in the science fiction genre.



Earth vs. the Flying Saucers (1956) B&W
Starring Donald Curtis, Hugh Marlowe, Joan Taylor, Morris Ankrum

Reliving the exciting days of sci-fi movie matinees with the cult classic Earth vs. the Flying Saucers is a safe bet. Featuring extraordinary visual effects by cinematic genius Ray Harryhausen. Leonard Maltin: Literate dialogue, subdued performances and solid Ray Harryhausen effects make this a winner.

Opening scene We see a montage of UFO sightings including Air force pilots, farmers and civilians. After collecting and examining these reports the military decides they are a threat and orders a shoot on sight order.

Dr. Russell Marvin (Hugh Marlow) and his recently married wife Dr. Carol Marvin (Joan Taylor) are driving through the desert to a rocket testing ground - Project Skyhook, when they are buzzed by a UFO. Although they don't realize it at the time, a recorder used to dictate research notes has picked up and recorded the UFO encounter.

General John Hanley (Morris Ankrun) arrives at the rocket range and begins trying to postpone the launch. However Marvin and other scientists advise it is too late to abort the launch. During this conversation we discover that Carol Marvin is his daughter, and although pleased for the couple was unaware of their recent marriage.


Rocket 11 launches without incident. That evening over dinner the General discusses with the Marvins the failure of the previous 10 rockets launched in the program. Dr. Marvin surmises that UFOs might have shot the rockets down; he then reveals the recording he made during his encounter with the UFO.

As dinner is finishing the three of them see glowing lights in the sky, Carol explains they are fog lights, and no one knows what they are. A few seconds later the wreckage of rocket 11 enters the atmosphere and burns up.

Against everyone's better judgment, it is decided to launch rocket 12. During preparations for the launch a UFO is seen buzzing the rocket range before landing in the middle of the facility. Three suited occupants emerge and are fired upon by soldiers.

The aliens retaliate, as one of their group is killed. Returning to their ship with their fallen comrade the aliens take off and begin to systematically destroy the rocket test area, kidnapping General Hanley in the process.


Trapped below ground by fires started during the attack, the Marvins begin to consider rescue unlikely. With their air running out, they decide to make a recording of the events that led up to the alien attack. The tape recorder they are using starts to lose power slowing the playback down.

Rewinding the tape the Marvins realize the noise they heard was greatly sped up message from the aliens asking them to meet at the rocket installation. Dr. Marvin understands that a terrible mistake has occurred and fears what might come of it.

To their surprise the Marvins are rescued and race to Washington to reveal what they have learned. The authorities expressly forbid Dr. Marvin from making contact with the aliens. Ignoring this, Marvin does contact them and gets new instructions for a meeting place: a beach on the California coast.

Carol and Major Huglin (Donald Curtis) discover his plan and try to stop him, racing to the rendezvous point, where the aliens have already landed. Marvin ignores them and approaches the ship. A voice explains it is safe to enter, which they do.


Once inside the ship a disembodied voice explains the aliens' mission. They come from a dying star and need to find a new place to live. They demand that Earth surrenders and let them control of the planet.

The aliens then admit they have Carol's father onboard and have sucked all memories out of his brain, reducing him to a zombie-like state. Finally, they give Earth an ultimatum of two lunar months to surrender or they will attack with their fleet. Once this is understood, the humans are released, except General Hanley.

Back in Washington, the group is debriefed over events on the ship. Further debate breaks out over exactly how to handle the situation. Dr. Marvin explains given his interactions with the aliens he might have an idea for a weapon that could stop the attack.

The military embraces the idea of a weapon that uses sound to disorientate UFOs causing them to crash. With only sixty days to the attack the military begins talking to other nations to help speed up and build enough weapons to fend off the attack.


Weeks pass and the development is better than expected. During a final test of the weapon a spy drone sent by the aliens is spotted. During a final test of the weapon, an alien spy drone is spotted observing the area, the scientists destroy the drone, but fear the aliens now have valuable information regarding the weapon and its location.

The scientists evacuate but during the final stages of the process an alien ship arrives. Seeing an opportunity the weapon is deployed against the ship. The ray works and the aliens are driven off, but not before one of them is killed and left behind.

Opening the alien's suit reveals a highly atrophied corpse, it is thought that the aliens are quiet fragile and need the suits to survive. In a matter of minutes the corpse rots and disappears to nothing.

Before any more can be done the UFO returns and destroys the installation where the weapon had been housed. As the UFO leaves after the successful attack, two bodies are seen falling from the craft. One of them is Carol's dead father, General Hanley.


The next day further examination of the suit reveals a communication device, with which the military is able to interpret the attack plan of the aliens. It also appears to be able to amplify both sight and hearing. Examining how the attack succeeded the day before, a disadvantage is discovered in that the ray only has a range of 1500 yards.

The aliens interrupt the discussion with a worldwide broadcast threatening to manipulate the sun in such a way as to cause severe meteorological convulsions in eight days . The aliens insist that all the world leaders should meet in Washington to discuss surrender terms.

The military believes rather than discussing anything the aliens intend to destroy Washington. As predicted, the solar eruption takes place. It is further realized that there are only nine days to prepare, and those preparations are going to suffer due to worsening weather conditions.


We now see a montage of the increasing disruption by the weather. This causes delays evacuating civilians, and there is still 60% of the population still in the city when sirens begin to sound indicating the attack has begun.

The aliens brush past a combined aircraft and artillery attack and three crafts begin to assemble over Washington. Dr. Marvin fires the sound weapon and downs one of the alien craft. Artillery batteries open fire again to distract the remaining ships as Dr. Marvin repositions his weapon to attempt a further attack.

The aliens respond by opening fire on various buildings around the White House and Capitol building. Dr Marvin races with their team to re-deploy and defend the White House. A second ray unit is destroyed and the aliens land. Local soldiers attempt to slow down the invaders as the second machine deployed.


The two remaining ships are brought down in quick order. On the other side of Washington more ray units deploy and yet another ship is brought down crashing into the Washington monument. A running battle breaks out around the Supreme Court trapping the Marvins amid the wreckage.

An emergency broadcast announces that more saucers are landing in front of the Capitol building. A battle intensifies as more ships appear and the aliens leave their craft in one final assault.

This is beaten back with a combination of ray machines and infantry. Suddenly everything goes quiet and slowly the realization comes that the battle is over and the aliens have been repelled.

Some time has passed and we now find the Marvins relaxing on a beach. Mrs. Marvin reads a newspaper article that her husband has been placed in charge of rebuilding Project Skyhook and that the United Nations is going to award him a gold medal. The two go for a swim in the ocean as the final credits roll.




References and Excerpts:
wikipedia.org, imdb.com







Invasion of Body Snatchers (1956)

Invasion of the Body Snatchers is an American black-and-white science fiction film directed by Don Siegel, starring Kevin McCarthy and Dana Wynter, that was released through Allied Artists Picture Corporation. Daniel Mainwaring adapted the screenplay from Jack Finney's 1954 novel The Body Snatchers. Invasion of the Body Snatchers was originally scheduled for a 24-day shoot and a budget of USD $454,864.

The studio later asked Wanger to cut the budget significantly. The producer proposed a shooting schedule of 20 days and a budget of $350,000. Initially, Wanger considered Gig Young, Dick Powell, Joseph Cotten and several others for the role of Miles. For Becky he thought of casting Anne Bancroft, Donna Reed, Kim Hunter, Vera Miles and others.

With the lower budget, however, he had to abandon these choices and cast Richard Kiley, who had just starred in The Phenix City Story for Allied Artists. Kiley turned the role down and Wanger cast two relative newcomers in the lead roles: Kevin McCarthy, who had just starred in Siegel's An Annapolis Story, and Dana Wynter, who had done several major dramatic roles on television.



Plot: An apparently delusional and paranoid Dr. Miles Bennell (Kevin McCarthy) has been arrested on a California highway and taken to a local hospital's psychiatric ward. There he tells a psychiatrist, Dr. Hill (Whit Bissell), and the attending physician, Dr. Bassett (Richard Deacon) his fantastic story. Several days earlier, Miles had been called home to Santa Mira from a medical convention.


His nurse, Sally Withers (Jean Willes) told him that several patients had come in frantically insisting that their relatives and friends were not who they seemed to be. On the way to the office, Miles and Sally nearly ran over young Jimmy Grimaldi (Bobby Clark) who was fleeing from his mother (Eileen Stevens). Mrs. Grimaldi saysid Jimmy simply didn't want to go to school. Miles was sad to see that the Grimaldis had shut down their vegetable stand because it was too much work.


Later, at his office, Miles learned that many of the patients begging for his return claimed they no longer needed his services. A former girlfriend, Becky Driscoll (Dana Wynter) stopped by. She told him that her cousin, Wilma (Virginia Christine), insisted that her father, Ira (Tom Fadden), wasn't who he seemed to be. Miles agreed to visit Wilma later. Miles and Becky chatted, revealing that they both had recently divorced.


After lunch, Jimmy Grimaldi was brought to Miles's office by his grandmother. He insisted that his mother was not really his mother. Suspicious, Miles gave the boy a sedative and told his grandmother to keep the boy at her house that night. Miles and Becky visited Ira and Wilma. Miles admitted his examination of Ira led him to conclude that it was indeed Ira.


Wilma insisted that although nothing physically or mentally seemed different about him, his emotional connection to her was wrong. Wilma agreed to see a psychiatrist to discuss her concerns. That night, Becky and Miles went to dinner and encountered the town psychiatrist, Dan Kauffman (Larry Gates), in the parking lot. He mentioned that he too had seen many perplexing cases of people claiming that loved ones had somehow changed.


Before they could eat, Miles and Becky were called to the house of Jack and Teddy Belicec (King Donovan and Carolyn Jones). They had found an inert, featureless humanoid creature in their poolroom. Teddy was disturbed by it, and the creature seemed to be taking on Jack's features. It even bled from a hand as Jack did when he cut it on a glass. Miles took Becky home to her father's house.


Her father (Kenneth Patterson) seemed normal but Miles was disturbed by something. Returning to the Driscoll house later that night, he broke into the basement and found another humanoid transforming itself into Becky. He snuck upstairs and rescued Becky. Miles and Jack called Dan Kauffman to see the bodies at the Belicecs' and Driscolls'. Both were missing.


Dan suggested that they found a real dead human in Jack's poolroom and that its cause of death had been too small for Miles to notice in his examination. He also suggested that Miles saw Becky's double because he had been so unsettled by the mysterious body at the Belicecs'. Becky's father had called the police when he heard Dan, Jack and Miles in his basement.


When Police Chief Grivett (Ralph Dumke) arrived, he informed them that a burning body matching the description of what the Belicecs found had been discovered burning outside of town. In town the next day, Miles encountered Wilma who told him she felt better about Ira and didn't need to see Dan. Based on Miles's demeanor she realized he knew something, and told Becky's father, who was hiding in her antique store.


At his office, Miles saw Jimmy smiling next to his mother in the waiting room, apparently unconcerned about her anymore. That night, Miles, Becky and the Belicecs planned to barbeque. But Miles found enormous seed pods in his greenhouse. The pods opened up and inert bodies fell out. They quickly began to take the form of Miles and his guests. Miles tried to call the FBI in Los Angeles, Sacramento and Washington D.C. but was told by the operator that the lines are dead.


Miles destroyed the creatures, then he and Becky and the Belicecs split up, hoping to get out of town. Miles and Becky stopped for gas. When Miles went to a phone booth to try to reach the FBI again, the gas station attendant placed two pods in the trunk of his car. Miles realized this and destroyed the pods later. He drove to Sally's house.


Sneaking up to a window, he saw that she too had been transformed into a pod person and coolly planned to place a seed pod in the crib of her newborn. Miles was discovered by another police officer. Miles and Becky escaped, pursued by the police and other pod people. Miles and Becky hid out in Miles's office. Realizing that the pods were most effective at replacing people when they were asleep, they took amphetamines to stay awake.


The next morning, they saw police officers detain people just arriving to town, and watched as transformed citizens accepted pods to take to their relatives in nearby cities. Jack, Dan and Chief Grivett arrived. Miles and Becky were horrified to learn they'd all been transformed. Jack and Dan explained that the pods had arrived from outer space and that the transformation was painless.


Soon everyone would be reborn into a better way of life, evolved beyond human emotions like hate and love. Jack and Dan brought pods into Miles's waiting room and locked Miles and Becky in the office. Miles filled three syringes with a sedative, then created a diversion that brought Dan and Jack back into the office. Miles struggled with them but drugged them, with Becky taking care of Grivett.


Hoping to pretend to have been transformed by appearing emotionless, Becky and Miles made their way out of the office and into the street. But Becky saw a truck nearly hit a dog and called out in fear. Alerted, the pod people chased Becky and Miles into the hills around Santa Mira. They hid in an abandoned mine. Miles left Becky to try to find help. When he returned, he found Becky asleep.

He tried to carry her to safety but learned when he kissed her that she had been transformed too. With other pod people in pursuit, Miles ran to the highway. He pleaded with motorists to stop but they considered him a crank. He saw a truck full of pods headed to Los Angeles. Miles wandered the highway, telling people that "they're already here! you're next!"


Drs. Hill and Basset consider Miles insane and plan his treatment. Then an ambulance brings in a truck driver who had been in an accident. His truck was full of unusual pods, and had been on the road from Santa Mira. Realizing Miles is telling the truth, Dr. Hill immediately calls the FBI.




50's SCI-FI - 1957 / The Incredible Shrinking Man > > >




Intro

1950

1951

1952

1953

1954

1955

1956

1957

1958

1959



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