Daniel Mainwaring’s classic black and white science fiction flick Invasion of the Body Snatchers released in 1956 serves a purpose to entertain viewers with its thrilling storyline, but it also sets out to reveal deep opinions of anti-communist persuasions of the time.
The McCarthy Era spanned approximately one decade and lambasted Senator Joseph McCarthy and his anti-communist pursuits. This led to many thousands of Americans being accused of partaking in communists activities or even being commies themselves. Suspicion became a huge epidemic in the country. We see this same kind of suspicion take place in the film. People come forth to a community doctor and accuse their family members of being characterless impostors. It is however hard to tell at first if their suspicions are true because the afflicted people act like humans so flawlessly, but we come to realize that these people have no cultures, minds or emotions of their own.
As the paranoia is setting in most people in the town are being changed into these seemingly lifeless doppelgangers. This theme is a cautionary tale of what can happen if people become blind or intentionally turn away from the spreading of harmful ideologies, like communism.
Interestingly, these types paranoia and suspicions had multiple effects on American life with such establishments as the House of Un-Americans Activities Committee and these censorship changes even made their way into the Hollywood scene. Many writers, directors and production studios were blacklisted due to their controversial work.