Friday, February 18, 2011

Invasion of The Body Snatchers (Communists)

In our readings on science fiction film of the 1950s, we’re told that a prevailing theme of the time consisted of anti-Communism tones and other fears associated with the Red Scare. I found such a theme to be very evident in our class’s screening of Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956). Through the film, we’re presented a scenario where foreign aliens “takeover” the minds of perfectly normal Americans. After such a takeover, it’s our duty, just as Dr. Bennell mentioned in the film, to search out and examine those who are suspected “alien” and remove them from society. I found Dr. Bennell’s inquisition and the period of societal questioning during the Red Scare to be starkly parallel and interesting considering I had never perceived a film to have such obvious undertones. It is quite clear, as I perceived the film, Dr. Bennel’s fear of a takeover of society’s minds mirrors perfectly the fear of a communist takeover of the minds of the West. This fear, merited or not, undoubtedly had a substantial influence on the thinking of the time, quite possibly unfairly labeling those of a different ideology, communism in this case, as subhuman, "alien" beings.

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