“Invasion… deals, I think, with a sense of fear and a sense of awe: it’s very healthy to unsettle people. Science fiction begins to give us a sense of mortality, a sense of things beyond us. The humbling of humanity is important… We must fight to preserve our humanity because it’s in danger of slipping away from us while we sleep.” Philip Kaufman
Made in the immediate wake of Close Encounters, this re-imagines Jack Finney’s classic sci-fi paranoia novel (filmed in the 50s by Don Siegel and later by Abel Ferrara and the Wachowskis) for San Francisco in the 70s. Health Department inspectors Donald Sutherland and Brooke Adams are among the first to get a sense that the people around them are changing… They look and sound the same, but somehow flattened, their emotional inner-life seems drained away. They’ve become… pod people! The movie has bags of wit and pathos, and the tension sneaks up on you – it’s chillingly effective. Jeff Goldblum is a stand out as another of the holdouts, while Veronica Cartwright gets into the mood for Alien.
For undiluted pleasure and excitement it is, I think, the American movie of the year – a new classic.
A decade after the Summer of Love, Invasion of the Body Snatchers essentially weaponized flower power, hinting that the erosion of individual consciousness in favor of groupthink was as natural and ingrained as photosynthesis itself.
Adam Nayman, The Ringer
Robert H. Solo
More Films in This Series
Dog Day Afternoon
Based on a true story of a New York bank robbery which turned into a hostage siege (and a media spectacle), Sidney Lumet's gripping movie showcases a bravura performance from Al Pacino as the homosexual, married, unhappy, decent, confused bank robber.
The biggest hit from the 70s phase of Brian De Palma's career, Carrie takes Stephen King's horror novel about a troubled telekinetic teen and weaves it into a purely cinematic rhapsody of angst and (retali-)elation, what Pauline Kael termed "a terrifyingly lyrical thriller".
All the President's Men
This gripping account of Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein's investigation into the Watergate break-in is a masterclass of cinematic craft from director Alan J Pakula (Klute; The Parallax View) and DP Gordon Willis (The Godfather).
The Parallax View
The most lucid and ingenious, the most deeply, creepily satisfying of paranoia thrillers, Alan J. Pakula's film posits an assassination corporation. Reporter Joe Frady (Warren Beatty) is on to Them, or so he believes…