Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)

In Philip Kaufman's effective remake of the 1956 classic sci-fi/horror film about an invasion of extra-terrestrial aliens that 'snatched' bodies:

  • the cameo of Kevin McCarthy (the star of the original film) running through the San Francisco city streets, hysterically warning and accosting everyone about the alien menace: ("They're coming!..Help! Help! They're coming. They're coming. Listen to me! Listen! Help me. You're next. Please! Please! You're next. We're in danger! Please, listen to me... Something terrible! Please. You're next! Here they are. They're already here! Help! You're next! They're coming. They're coming...") - as seen through a cracked windshield - and then soon after found dead after being run over (off-screen)
San Francisco - Warning About Alien Menace
  • the shocking discovery of a lifeless, half-formed (or deformed) doppelganger human being covered with plant fibers in the mud bath business owned and operated by Jack Bellicec (Jeff Goldblum) and his wife Nancy (Veronica Cartwright): ("It's a monster. It's got hair all over it"); Department of Health inspector Matthew Bennell (Donald Sutherland) examined the body and exclaimed: ("Nose, lips, hair"); Jack added: ("Hands, everything, but it's got no detail, no character. It's unformed"); Nancy warned: ("Jack, don't touch it. You don't know where it's been"); and the chilling recognition that the body, with no respiration or fingerprints, was like a fetus that partially resembled Jack
  • and later that night, the frightening moment that the pod opened its eyes - scaring Nancy; she jumped back and rushed to her husband Jack, trying to rouse him from his sleep; when he was jolted from his sleep and opened his eyes, the eyes of his pod double closed
  • the sequence during the unloading of truckloads of pods, and the scream of San Francisco's Public Health Department chemist Elizabeth Driscoll (Brooke Adams) at the sight of a dog-man hybrid - forcing both she and her colleague Matthew to flee and jump onto the open back of a moving truck; they were driven to a giant warehouse at the docks where they saw pods being grown before being loaded into cargo ships
  • the confrontational scene between Matthew and Elizabeth, after a long pursuit, with alien duplicates of Jack and psychiatrist Dr. Kibner (Leonard Nimoy), who wished to inject them with a sedative to sleep; Kibner lectured them: ("We don't hate you. There's no need for hate now, or love...Don't be trapped by old concepts. Matthew, you're evolving into a new life form. Come and watch. We came here from a dying world. We drift through the universe from planet to planet, pushed on by the solar winds. We adapt and we survive. The function of life is survival") - they rejected his advice and fled when they saw the two pods prepared for their future
  • the despairing, climactic ending in which a nude pod-replica of Elizabeth rose from the bushes
Recognition by Matthew (Cloned!) of Still-Human Nancy!
  • the startling conclusion, in which Matthew Bennell, who had seemingly escaped being replaced by a pod likeness, left work near City Hall; he was summoned by the still-human Nancy Bellicec - the last to not be absorbed; after she called out his name ("Matthew, Matthew"), he turned to confront her; he screamed with a piercing, accusatory howl (and the camera descended into the blackness of his open mouth) while pointing his finger at her; she also screamed, realizing that he had become a cloned, transformed pod person

Matthew Bennell's Examination of Cloned Doppelganger in Mud Bath Business

Pod With Opening Eyes

Pod-Person Take-Over

Mutant Dog-Man Hybrid

Matthew and Elizabeth in Back of Truck

Dr. Kibner's Advice

Nude-Pod Replica of Elizabeth


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