[[quoteright:265:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/invasion-of-the-body-snatchers-1956.jpg]]

->''Look, you fools. You're in danger. Can't you see? They're after you. They're after all of us. [[YouHaveToBelieveMe Our wives, our children, everyone. They're here already. YOU'RE NEXT!]]''
-->-- '''Bennell''''s last words.

Classic sci-fi/horror film from 1956, adapted from Jack Finney's novel ''The Body Snatchers'' and directed by Don Siegel.

Miles Bennell is a doctor in the small town of Santa Mira whose patients start accusing their family and friends of being impostors. They can't explain their suspicions -- there are no physical or behavioral changes -- but they are still convinced that the people they suspect are [[NotHimself no longer themselves]]. Bennell and his colleague, Kaufman, initially assume this is merely mass hysteria, a diagnosis which seems to be confirmed when the patients start recanting their accusations.

However, Bennell soon discovers that the patients were right. The people of Santa Mira are being replaced by alien doppelgangers, identical duplicates grown in pods, which replaced them while they slept. Behind their perfect mimicry of humanity, including emotions, is a soulless void. The pod people have no culture of their own, only what they have copied from humanity, and they have no goal beyond survival.

The film ends with Bennell, who has just had to flee from his love interest's doppelganger, screaming a warning to heedless motorists.

A relatively happy ending, in which it's implied that the {{FBI}} will stop the invasion, was added to the film by [[ExecutiveMeddling meddling executives]], but is now usually omitted. In the original book, the pods eventually give up, frustrated by human determination, but in the film the ending seems truly hopeless.

Usually interpreted as a metaphor for [[DirtyCommunists Communism]], although some view it more as an indictment of [[RedScare McCarthyism]] and small-town insularity and conformity. There have been countless {{homage}}s and three remakes:
* ''Invasion of the Body Snatchers'' (1978) starred Creator/DonaldSutherland as Bennell (now named Matthew instead of Miles) and transferred the setting to TheCity (UsefulNotes/SanFrancisco), working in an effective theme of urban alienation which, in some respects, actually reverses the theme of the original. At one point, a character expresses her paranoia that she keeps witnessing people ''recognizing'' each other, isolation being such a feature of city life that excessive human contact itself is suspicious. This version also focused on the "malaise" of TheSeventies and cranked up the BodyHorror; appropriately, three of the film's stars (Brooke Adams, Art Hindle and Creator/JeffGoldblum) all went on to do films with Creator/DavidCronenberg. Thanks to its critical acclaim and high performance at the box office, it is considered one of the best horror remakes ever made, with many people ranking it up there with -- if not ahead of -- the 1956 original.
* ''Body Snatchers'' (1993) was a {{gender flip}}ped (and teenage) version set on an Army base and starring a young [[Series/BurnNotice Gabrielle Anwar]]. More personally focused than the earlier versions -- significantly, the heroine's step-mother is one of the first to be duplicated, and the family dynamic plays a big part in the movie. The film also got some mileage from its military setting and the fact that the protagonist herself was already somewhat detached from the community.
* ''The Invasion'' (2007), another GenderFlip version with NicoleKidman, is regarded by most as being the worst of the lot. Amongst many other changes, they dropped the idea of alien replacements entirely, going for a simple [[spoiler:and reversible]] version of TheVirus. It also worked in TheWarOnTerror and, with it, questions regarding TheEvilsOfFreeWill.

Not to be confused with the horror movie Film/TheBodySnatcher.
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!!These films include examples of:
* AdaptationDistillation: The 1978 version shows the invasion taking place in a colder, more impersonal "I'm OK, you're OK, everyone's OK" national culture that often openly questioned whether its best years as a country were behind it. In such an environment, [[spoiler:[[DownerEnding the invasion succeeds]]]].
* AlienInvasion: [[CaptainObvious Sounds like it.]]
* AmbiguousEnding: The [[spoiler:1993]] version. [[spoiler:The surviving characters are about to land at another military base, but [[YouAreTooLate the "Where you gonna go" line]] is repeated for the audience--suggesting the pod people have already taken that base over. Marti's narration also notes how a person can only stay awake for so long--possibly suggesting she and her companion are resigned to being replaced.]]
* AssimilationPlot: All of them. [[DiscussedTrope Discussed]] in the 1978 version.
* AndThenJohnWasAZombie: The [[spoiler:1978]] version.
* BittersweetEnding: [[spoiler: the 1956]] version, along with the [[spoiler: 1993 and 2007 ones]]
* BolivianArmyEnding: the conclusion of the [[spoiler: first]] film, which ended with the doctor believing Bennell and calling the government to warn them. The pod people are still out there, but they're going to get a fight.
* BodyHorror: The 1970s remake answers the question of what happened to the people whom the pods replaced. [[spoiler:They crumble into ash.]]
* BreakingTheFourthWall: In the original film, [[spoiler:Bennell shouts at the camera "You're next!"]]
* BrickJoke: In the 1978 film, Matthew first appears giving an inspection on a French restaurant. It's later revealed that Dr. Kibner wasn't too pleased.
-->'''Dr. Kibner:''' Matthew! You closed my favorite restaurant, Henri's! Where are we gonna find a decent place to eat?
* TheCameo: Quite a few in the 1978 film.
** The 1956 version's director, Don Siegel, plays a cab driver.
** Robert Duvall plays a priest near the beginning of the film.
** [[TheGratefulDead Jerry Garcia]] can be heard on the soundtrack playing the banjo.
** RemakeCameo: Kevin [=McCarthy=] (Miles Bennell) appears as a man banging on cars and yelling about the pod people.
*** DeathByCameo: ...And is then immediately hit by a car.
* CassandraTruth
* CleanupCrew: The garbage men in the 1978 movie. Garbage trucks are also glimpsed in the '93 version.
* CoveredInGunge: The 2007 version.
* CreepyChild: [[spoiler:Two of Oliver's friends]] in the 2007 version. [[spoiler:Both were infected by the virus.]]
* DownerEnding: In the 1978 version only. It sure does pack a punch.
* DrivenToSuicide: In the 1993 version, a group of aliens corner the already crazed [[spoiler:Major Collins]] in his office and try to talk him into accepting them. He ultimately shoots himself in the head.
* DutchAngle: The 1978 remake features many bizarre camera angles to emphasize disorientation and isolation.
* EvilTwin: Kinda.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: Early in the 1978 remake, a man is shown running through by the Health Department and a pod scream can be faintly heard.
* GivingSomeoneThePointerFinger: In the 1978 version, the pod people do this to point out unconverted humans.
* GreenAesop: The [[spoiler:1978]] version.
* HeroicSacrifice: In the 1978 remake, when the group are being chased by the Pod people, [[spoiler:Jack and Nancy]] sacrifice themselves to the pod people [[WeNeedADistraction as a distraction]] to allow their friends to escape. [[spoiler:Nancy is able to evade capture, but Jack isn't.]]
-->[[spoiler:'''Jack:''']] Here I am, you pod bastards! Hey, pods! Come and get me, you scum!
* HopeSpot:
** The music Miles and Becky hear while hiding in the cave in the 1956 version.
** The "[[SoundtrackDissonance Amazing Grace]]" scene, in the 1978 version.
** At the end of the 1993 version, Marti's reunion with [[spoiler:her brother, Andy]].
* INeverToldYouMyName: In the 1978 version, Matthew is [[OhCrap surprised that Washington already knows who is calling them.]]
* InfantImmortality: Averted multiple times in different versions, as children are either shown having already been replaced or about to be. One notable example comes from [[spoiler:the '93 version with Marti's younger brother]].
* InformedAbility: While the pod-duplicates are certainly not as emotional as Humans, their claims of emotionlessness need to be taken with several grains of salt. If they are so, then why (beyond the plot and dramatic needs) do they taunt and gloat over the uninfected about the inevitability of their victory? The stepmother and Forrest Whittaker's replaced co-workers in 1993 almost seem angry or giggling over how they can't be beat. They're all more like recent converts to a movement, which is somewhat the point, but if you have no emotions, you don't need to say it so damned often.
* InvisibleAliens
* ItWasHereISwear: Jack's pod body in the 1956 version disappears before the authorities can be called in.
* LockingMacGyverInTheStoreCupboard: In the 1956 version, they lock Miles and Becky ''in Miles' own medical office'', and he uses his equipment to escape.
* MeaningfulBackgroundEvent: In the 1978 version you'll often see garbage men in the background and as the movie progresses they're throwing more and more of the black end result of pod transformation.
* MythologyGag / RemakeCameo: The 1978 remake had Kevin [=McCarthy=] reprise his performance from the ending of the original, banging on the protagonists' windshield and screaming, "You're next!" Later on in the film, Don Siegel (director of the original) appears as an overly-suspicious cab driver.
** The 2007 version had a woman reprising the Kevin [=McCarthy=] performance, and then getting hit by a car.
** And Veronica Cartwright, who was in the 1978 film, has a small role in the 2007 film.
* NeverSleepAgain: The Pod People can only replace you when you sleep.
* OnlySaneMan: By the end of the original film, Bennell, and no one left unaffected believes him.
* OrphanedSetup: In the 1978 version, Matthew is telling a joke to Elizabeth, but she cuts him off before the punchline. Director Philip Kaufman explained the joke on the DVD commentary:
-->"The English Camel Corp are trapped in the Sahara Desert. They've been surrounded by Rommel for forty days and have run out of food. The Captain makes an announcement to the men: 'Men, I have some good news for you and some bad news for you. The bad news is, we have nothing left to eat but camel poop. The good news is, there's plenty of it.'"
* [[PretendWereDead Pretend We're Pod People]]: The 1956 version has Miles and Becky feign emotionlessness to walk through the pod-infested town safely. The other versions followed suit.
* PuppeteerParasite
* ReplicantSnatching: The entire premise of the series.
* RoaringRampageOfRevenge: [[spoiler:In the '93 version, Marti and her LoveInterest escape in a helicopter, which they later use to bomb a truck convoy carrying pods. Marti's narration makes it clear she's acting out of hate over what happened to her family.]]
* SilentCredits: At the end of the 1978 version.
* StepfordSuburbia
* TwistEnding: The 1978 ([[spoiler:[[AndThenJohnWasAZombie Matthew was transformed]]]]) and 2007 ([[spoiler:the alien virus is curable]]) remakes.
* TheVirus: The 2007 version. It still causes a pod people [[TransformationTrauma transformation]] when the victim sleeps, though.
* WeAreEverywhere
* YouAreTooLate: invoked by one of the first pod people in the 1993 version:
-->"Where you gonna go, where you gonna run, where you gonna hide? Nowhere... 'cause there's no one like you left."
* YouHaveToBelieveMe: Miles resorts to banging on cars, screaming like a lunatic. One of the pod people lampshades it, saying to let him go because no one will believe him anyway.
* ZombieApocalypse: The 1978 version has shades of this when they are attacked at Matthew's house and they are reaching around the gate.
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