Saturday, February 19, 2011

Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Interestingly enough, I felt that “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” was one of the most realistic films that we have watched thus far. Personally, I would say this is due to the fact that the characters all seem to be your very typical run of the mill townsfolk. The females in the movie play typical motherly and even submissive roles as a nurse, a stay at home mother, and a secretary while the males take charge, as doctors, police and the like. This sets the stage for the rest of the film as Miles takes control of nearly every situation, Becky in distress trailing behind. Ultimately this relationship is incredibly typical of the era of the film, an era torn apart by fear of McCarthyism.

The body snatching pods have created a world much like Thomas More’s Utopia, in that all is even and seemingly perfect, though this can only be achieved with the destruction of independent thought. The impact of the pods was felt primarily on the mental states of the changed, creating a chilling production, one that personally I would fear more than physical pain. However, the pod people seemed so peaceful, given their lack of emotion that perhaps Miles should have just given in. Miles was instead so high strung, fearing any interaction with humanity. As he ran down the highway, he seemed so possessed by the fear and from an outsider’s view, Miles was in fault, even crazed.

On a side note, I have always found something so tired and true about black and white classics, perhaps due to my immediate connection to “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “Miracle on 34th Street,” and the like. However, this same feeling rings true here as well. As scared and even insane as the characters become, I still felt a sense of hope for Becky and Miles even when the police (and nearly the rest of the transformed Santa Mira) were in full chase for them. Black and while brings back an innocence factor that is rare in the box office hits of today, making “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” a bit refreshing as out of date it is.


  1. I totally agree in the reality of the film simply because it was in a town setting with normal jobs, stereotypes and ideals.

    Just like in Alien, I personally saw the comedy in this film as many of the statements and actions were funny even though I believe they were not meant to be this way. Most of the comedy surrounded Miles and his actions and connections with Becky who was comical with her outfits, behavior and damsel in distress characteristics.

    I agree with the thought of Miles being crazed simply because he seemed just as the drivers on the highway said: insane and drunk. It was hard for him to get others to believe in him because he was on his own. Having more people (a mob?) would have been better for his defense.

    I also like your comparison to "It's a Wonderful Life" because black and white movies always seem to have something special about them. Even in "It's a Wonderful Life", George Bailey has frantic crazed moments when he can can't separate reality from his interesting encounters.

    At the end of the day, I enjoyed this movie and all of its characteristics because it gave us a glimpse of how science fiction "began".

  2. I agree with the concept of the roles of men and women in this film. However, I felt Becky was pretty worthless with her “damsel in distress” incident at the very end. She seemed so helpless running in the terrain with high heels that it made me mad to just sit back and watch her. Miles was extremely over-dramatic in this film, but overall this is one of my favorite films we’ve watched in this class. Even though it’s a little outdated than what I’m used to seeing as compared to all the high-tech, colorful pictures on the screen, the story line was really funny and easy to follow. I really enjoyed it.

    I sympathize with Miles with him not giving in to conforming to the pod people. He would live in a world lacking feeling and emotion, which reminds me of the book, “The Giver.” This boy lives in a town with no color, pain, or emotion - until he is granted the opportunity to become the “Giver,” where he absorbs every person’s potential emotion, pain, and feeling, had they been able to do so. It’s a really strange book but I think it shows how sentimental we are to memories and emotions, and Miles not wanting to lose that ability to feel love and pain was very noteworthy.