When Dr Miles Bennell returns to Santa Mira, California from a lecture tour, he finds some of his patients acting strangely. They do not recognise their own families, maintaining that the relatives are actually complete strangers. A little later, Bennell and his boyhood friend Becky Driscoll find lifeless human bodies at several spots in the small town. When they then discover that those bodies are growing individual features in giant pods from outer space, they understand that the population is being replaced by soulless doppelgangers. Too late, they realise that the pod people already outnumber the real humans. Their only chance for survival is to flee ... Was the film a metaphor for the “communist threat” or a warning about a creeping conformist mentality in the USA? Since it was released during the Cold War, much ink was spent debating that point. This suspenseful B movie became a timeless classic not least of all due to the way it influenced the science-fiction and paranoia thriller genres with its emphasis on the seeming normality of the extraterrestrials – “At first glance everything looked the same. It wasn’t.”
80 min · Black/White · 35 mm
Kevin McCarthyDana WynterLarry GatesKing DonovanCarolyn JonesJean WillesRalph DumkeSam Peckinpah
Walter Wanger Pictures, Inc.
Copy: Théâtre du Temple, Paris