Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)

As I’m on 50s sci-fi kick, let’s have a quick chat about Invasion of the Body Snatchers – directed by Don Siegel with panache, pace and a slow growing dread – this is the ultimate in 50s paranoid sci-fi. I actually think the film is an American masterpiece.

Sure it was popcorn fodder back in the day, but the themes of the time seep in, the worries about communism and the nuclear threat are all there. And it’s fun and scary, there’s a great scene where the two protagonists watch the town square early in the morning. It’s eerily strange and to me one of the scariest scenes in the picture.

Siegel was a great director, I’ve blogged about him before – and secretly in here somewhere is Sam Peckinpah who may have had a hand in the script.

Finally the studio forced a ‘happy ending’ on the picture (you’ll realise the real film ends on the crowded highway and it should have stopped there).

There have been decent remakes, but for me, the first one is the best. The trailer is below…

Matthew Cooper has been a script writer for hire for over 20 years. He’s written for most of the UK soaps, including writing award winning episodes of Emmerdale, Eastenders, Hollyoaks and Family Affairs. Matthew was winner of the first ever Lloyds Bank Channel Four Film Challenge, the Oscar Moore Screenplay Prize and has been BAFTA shortlisted and Royal Television Society nominated as a script writer. You can find some of his broadcast credits on the IMDb. You can get in touch with Matthew on