“Dirty Harry” director Don Siegel shows brilliant B-Movie craftsmanship under influence of the McCarthy Era in this clever, psychological Science Fiction thriller.
Financed by independent producer Walter Wanger (who later would produce the infamous mega budget flop “Cleopatra” in 1963) on a meager budget of est. 417.000 US $, it was shot in only 19 days. But despite its low budget, it became an iconic work that was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”, and ranked on the 9th place of the ten greatest Science Fiction films selected by the American Film Institute (AFI) in June 2008. It also was three times remade: In 1978 under the same title by director Philip Kaufman with Donald Sutherland, in 1993 under the title “Body Snatchers” by Abel Ferrara featuring Forest Whitaker, and again in 2007 under the title “The Invasion” by Oliver Hirschbiegel with Daniel Craig and Nicole Kidman.
This first version is featuring the – at that time relatively unknown – character actors Kevin McCarthy in the role of Dr. Bennell and Dana Wynter as Becky Driscoll. Both later enjoyed a significant career on TV.
IMDb link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0049366/