Jack Finney's classic science fiction novel has been the basis of three big-screen adaptations, beginning with the 1956 chiller Invasion of the Body Snatchers and most recently as 1994's underrated Body Snatchers. This acclaimed 1978 version from director Philip Kaufman (The Right Stuff) is every bit as creepy as the '56 original, and it fits perfectly into the cycle of paranoid thrillers that thrived in American movies of the 1970s. Kaufman stylishly directs from an intelligent screenplay by W.D. Richter, while Donald Sutherland and Brooke Adams lead a distinguished cast (including Jeff Goldblum, Leonard Nimoy, and Veronica Cartwright) and must fight for survival as the population of San Francisco is systematically cloned by alien "pods" from a distant, dying planet. The atmosphere of dread and paranoia grows increasingly intense as the complexity of the alien invasion is gradually revealed, until nobody can be trusted to be who they appear. Finely tuned performances enhance the film's eerie atmosphere, highlighted by moments that will lurk in your memory long after the movie's over. MGM's DVD release includes a full-length audio commentary by Kaufman, a "pod culture" retrospective, Body Snatchers trivia, production notes, and the original theatrical trailer. --Jeff Shannon
Production: Warner Home Video
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