Firstly, a massive thank you to our Patreon supporters. These supporters have become the single biggest contributing factor to the survival of DVDBeaver. Your assistance is essential to our survival.

 

What do Patrons receive, that you don't?

 

1) Our weekly Newsletter and Calendar Updates sent to your Inbox!
2) Access to over 70,000 unpublished screen captures in lossless high-resolution format!

 

Please consider keeping us in existence with a couple of dollars or more each month (your pocket change! / a coffee!) so we can continue to do our best in giving you timely, thorough reviews, calendar updates and detailed comparisons. I am indebted to your generosity.


 

Search DVDBeaver

S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka 'Sleep No More' or 'They Came from Another World' or 'The Body Snatchers' or 'Walter Wanger's Invasion of the Body Snatchers')

 

Directed by Don Siegel
USA 1956

 

“They’re already here! You’re next!” With these chilling words, Invasion of the Body Snatchers sounded the clarion call to the dangers of conformity, paranoia and mass hysteria at the heart of 1950s American life. One of the greatest and most influential science fiction films ever made, Invasion stars Kevin McCarthy (Nightmare, Mirage) as Miles Bennell, a doctor in a small California town whose patients are becoming increasingly overwrought, accusing their loved ones of being emotionless imposters. They’re right! Plant-like extraterrestrials have invaded Earth, taking possession of humans as they sleep and replicating them in giant seed pods. Convinced that a catastrophic pandemic is imminent, Bennell, in a terrifying race for his life, must warn the world of this deadly invasion of the pod people—before it’s too late! This is the original adaptation of Jack Finney’s eerie tale, produced by Walter Wanger (Scarlet Street, Cleopatra) and directed by Don Siegel (Dirty Harry, Charley Varrick) in beautiful black-and-white Superscope. One of the mightiest cult classics of cinema is now scarier and timelier than ever!

***

There's something strange going on in Santa Mira. Children don't recognize their parents. Husbands have become estranged from their wives. Mass hysteria? Mass alienation more likely. Dr Kevin McCarthy discovers the secret: pod people are colonizing the earth, taking human form but dispensing with the soul. Shot in just 19 days, Siegel's economical adaptation of a Jack Finney story (script by Daniel Mainwaring of Out of the Past fame)

is one of the most resonant sci-fi movies, and one of the simplest. It has been interpreted as an allegory against McCarthyism, though it could equally stand as anti-Communist. (In his book A Siegel Film, the director has nothing to say on the matter.) It's still a chilling picture, gaining over Phil Kaufman's smart remake by virtue of its intimate small town setting, and it has one of the greatest endings ever filmed. Too bad the studio insisted on adding a lame bookend framing device and voice-over narration to diffuse it.

Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: February 5th, 1956

Reviews                                       More Reviews                              DVD Reviews

 

Review: Kino - Region FREE - 4K UHD

Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

  

Simultaneously released on a Region 'A' Blu-ray (the one included with the 4K UHD):

  

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Kino - Region FREE - 4K UHD
Runtime 1:20:18.104
Video

2.0:1 or 1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 48,738,970,201 bytes

Features (both ratios): 18,119,528,448 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 25.93 Mbps

2.0:1 or 1.85:1 2160P 4K Ultra HD

Disc Size: 93,111,464,053 bytes

Features (both ratios): 45,804,039,744 bytes

Video Bitrate: 55.99 Mbps

Codec: HEVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Bitrate 4K Ultra HD:

Audio

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1558 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1558 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Subtitles English (SDH), None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Kino

 

1.66:1 2160P 4K Ultra HD

Disc Size: 62,991,116,608 bytes

Feature: 44,806,766,592 bytes

Video Bitrate: 50.89 Mbps

Codec: HEVC Video

 

Edition Details:

4K Ultra HD disc

• Audio Commentary by Actor Kevin McCarthy and Dana Wynter, Moderated by Legendary Filmmaker Joe Dante
• Audio Commentary by Film Historian Richard Harland Smith
• NEW Audio Commentary by Film Historians Steve Mitchell and Nathaniel Thompson
• NEW Audio Commentary by Professor and Film Scholar Jason A. Ney

 

Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

• Audio Commentary by Actor Kevin McCarthy and Dana Wynter, Moderated by Legendary Filmmaker Joe Dante
• Audio Commentary by Film Historian Richard Harland Smith
• NEW Audio Commentary by Film Historians Steve Mitchell and Nathaniel Thompson
• NEW Audio Commentary by Professor and Film Scholar Jason A. Ney
• The Fear is Real: Featurette (12:27)
• The Stranger in Your Lover’s Eyes: Featurette (11:55)
• I No Longer Belong – The Rise and Fall of Walter Wanger: Featurette (21:09)
• Trailer (1956) (2:19)
• Trailer (1978) (2:16)


4K Ultra HD Release Date:
July 16th, 2024
Black 4K Ultra HD inside slipcase

Chapters 9

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray and 4K UHD captures were taken directly from the respective discs.

ADDITION: Kino 4K UHD (July 2024): Kino are releasing Don Siegel's "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" to 4K UHD. It includes both the 2.00:1 and 1.85:1 aspect ratios from "Brand New HD Masters - From a New 4K Scan of the Best Available 35mm Elements - in HDR Dolby Vision". Kino include a second disc Blu-ray with both ratio features from "Brand New HD Masters - From a New 4K Scan of the Best Available 35mm Elements" and video supplements.

It is important that they offer both ratios as Phil tells us in email: "While the 1956 "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" was released with the studio-forced Superscope Aspect Ratio, that was not the way it was filmed.

The movie was directed and framed for 1.85-to-1, but the studio forced that "fake" wider Superscope prints -- A sales gimmick. And that is all it was (and, unfortunately, still is), a gimmick.

Chins are cropped rather badly in many shots with the post-production release in Superscope
." (thanks Phil!)

and Bruce includes: "Body Snatchers was composed for 1.85 but it was released as Superscope in 2.0, which angered Don Siegel, the director. " (Thanks Bruce!)

We have done a lengthy comparison of physical media versions of Siegel's "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" including the 1998 Republic Pictures DVD (with 1.33 and 1.85 ratios,) the 2006 Kinowelt (Germany) PAL DVD, Olive Film's 2012 Blu-ray, Alive's (Germany) 2018 Blu-ray, Olive Signature's 2018 Blu-ray and BFI's 2021 Blu-ray, HERE, with some matching captures to Kino's new 2160P below.

The new 4K UHD is not crystal sharp but carries the film-like qualities superior than all released editions. The improved contrast with deeper black levels and balance provide the perception of a tighter image - and it did look beautiful on my system (and darker) - like a brand new film. The HDR assists the film density support and the HD presentation is sublime - pristinely clean and the dual-ratios are, naturally, on separate transfers with duplicate quality. I think I am used to the theatrically shown SuperScope 2.0:1 - however, the 1.85:1 is equivalent in visual quality. The 4K UHD image is a shade 'wider' with fatter faces. Both have very high bitrates for the 1-hour 20-minute long film. Perhaps I anticipated the grain to be more visible (less clunky and smeary), and certain scenes can look a bit waxy (sequence in the restaurant's bar does not look very good), but the end result, overall, was still highly pleasing. Kino don't go in for DNR so I'm thinking this is just how the film looks.

Producer Walter Wanger protested the use of the Superscope aspect ratio as he felt that the film lost sharpness and detail. I can assure you Walt, both ratios have the same image quality.  

It is likely that the monitor you are seeing this review is not an HDR-compatible display (High Dynamic Range) or Dolby Vision, where each pixel can be assigned with a wider and notably granular range of color and light. Our capture software if simulating the HDR (in a uniform manner) for standard monitors. This should make it easier for us to review more 4K UHD titles in the future and give you a decent idea of its attributes on your system. So our captures may not support the exact same colors (coolness of skin tones, brighter or darker hues etc.) as the 4K system at your home. But the framing, detail, grain texture support etc. are, generally, not effected by this simulation representation.

NOTE: 58 more more full resolution (3840 X 2160) 4K UHD captures, in lossless PNG format, for Patrons are available HERE

We have reviewed the following 4K UHD packages recently: Le samouraï  (software uniformly simulated HDR), Castle of Blood (software uniformly simulated HDR), Pat Garret and Billy the Kid (HDR), Fist of Legend (HDR), American Gigolo (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Long Wait (no HDR,) Bound (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Valiant Ones (software uniformly simulated HDR), Mute Witness (software uniformly simulated HDR), Narc (software uniformly simulated HDR), Peeping Tom (software uniformly simulated HDR), Dr. Terrors House of Horrors (software uniformly simulated HDR), High Noon (software uniformly simulated HDR), Picnic at Hanging Rock (Criterion) (software uniformly simulated HDR), I Am Cuba (no HDR), The Demoniacs (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Nude Vampire (software uniformly simulated HDR), Nostalghia (no HDR), Werckmeister Harmonies (no HDR), Goin' South (software uniformly simulated HDR), La Haine (software uniformly simulated HDR,) All Ladies Do It (software uniformly simulated HDR), Old Henry  (software uniformly simulated HDR), To Die For (software uniformly simulated HDR), Snapshot (software uniformly simulated HDR), Phase IV (software uniformly simulated HDR), Burial Ground (software uniformly simulated HDR), Dark Water (software uniformly simulated HDR), Fear and Desire (software uniformly simulated HDR), Dr. Jekyll and the Werewolf (no HDR), Paths of Glory (software uniformly simulated HDR), Southern Comfort (software uniformly simulated HDR).

On their 4K UHD, Kino use a DTS-HD Master dual-mono track (24-bit) in the original English language. "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" has little aggressive audio effects but a dramatic score by Carmen Dragon (Out of the Blue, Cover Girl) with intensely loud blasts of brass advancing the measured intensity. It remains a very effective, if overly ripe, soundtrack. Kino include optional English (SDH) subtitles for both versions on their region free 4K UHD, and region 'A'-locked Blu-ray.

There are four commentaries on the 4K UHD disc and the second disc Blu-ray, accessible for both ratio versions. There are two new and new older tracks. The latter being by actors Kevin McCarthy and Dana Wynter, moderated by filmmaker Joe Dante (Matinee, The Burbs). I still enjoy this one with some interesting anecdotes. The other older one is an excellent, highly detailed audio commentary by film historian Richard Harland Smith who delves deep and always keeps you attentive (yes, Dana Wynter's first name is really pronounced "Donna") I've never hear a commentary from Richard that I haven't enjoyed. The next two are new; the first with the pairing of film historians Steve Mitchell and Nathaniel Thompson (FrightFest Guide to Vampire Movies.) They cover filming locations, the origins of the story, Siegel, Kevin McCarthy, Dana Wynter, Carolyn Jones (aka Morticia Addams), Walter Wanger, Daniel Mainwaring - notable for writing Build My Gallows High (as Geoffrey Holmes) and its adapted screenplay for, noir gold, Out of the Past - Carmen Dragon's score and much more including the Sam Peckinpah (as Charlie, the Gas Meter Reader) connection to Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Steve describes that he was disappointed in "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" when he watched it as a a young lad as he wanted to see what happens next - essentially he was anticipating Invaders From Mars. It is filled with interesting data on the film. They never disappoint. The last commentary is also new from Professor and film scholar Jason A. Ney who admits that 1956's "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" is one of his all-time favorite films. He provides a detailed comparison between Jack Finney's 1954 science-fiction 'magazine story turned novel' The Body Snatchers and Siegel's film including some of the most significant changes that were made and why. He talks about how the film came to exist, what went on during production including the behind the scenes battles that Siegel waged against the studio. He discusses the idea of having Orson Welles for an important part in the film. He also tells us why he thinks the story works so well, and what actually makes it one of the greatest science-fiction films of all time. It's at Jason's usual thoroughly-researched level.

Also on the second disc Blu-ray is the dozen minute The Fear is Real which has filmmakers Larry Cohen and Joe Dante on "Invasion of the Body Snatchers"s cultural significance. It was also on the Olive Signature Blu-ray. Also duplicated is “I No Longer Belong: The Rise and Fall of Walter Wanger” which has film scholar Matthew Bernstein (author of Walter Wanger, Hollywood Independent) discusses the life and career of the film’s producer. It runs over 21-minutes. “The Stranger in Your Lover’s Eyes” is a two-part visual essay with actor and son of director Don Siegel, Kristoffer Tabori, reading from his father’s book A Siegel Film. It has something to offer fans of the film. Lastly, on the Blu-ray are trailers for both the 1956 and 1978 versions of the film. There is a slipcase and reversible artwork (see below.)

Don Siegel's "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" is firmly-seated in the pantheon of American 50's sci-fi's golden era which includes The War of the Worlds, The Day The Earth Stood Still, The Thing From Another World, Forbidden Planet, This Island Earth, It Came from Outer Space... each dealing, primarily, with how we are going to get along with extraterrestrial alien life forms who, may, have hostile intentions. I'd probably include The Brain Eaters, and I Married a Monster from Outer Space. Duplicating our bodies and turning us into emotionless "pod people" is certainly deserved of more than a finger-wagging response. Of course, who is going to believe the suspicious "truth-seekers"? Silly conspiracy theorists should be dismissed... until they, too, are replaced in their sleep. Lousy Commies. "Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you." Studios of the day were apprehensive about the film's pessimistic conclusion, and a prologue and epilogue were added with the crux of the story told as a flashback to Doctors played by Whit Bissell and Richard Deacon. Finney's novel actually ends with the maximum '5-year life-span extraterrestrials' exiting Earth after our stubborn resistance. Never comply! Some cinemas displayed several gimmicky papier-mâché pods in front of the theatre ala a William Castle ploy or, by extension, Joe Dante's delightful Matinee. Shot in only 23 days, Don Siegel's "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" has been oft repeated but never duplicated, although kudos to Phil Kaufman's 1978 remake with a cameo by Kevin McCarthy. Sci-fi movie gold - and now on Kino 4K UHD. The dual-ratios are an aware touch and four commentaries cover a plethora of analysis. Our very highest recommendation!    

Gary Tooze

 


Menus / Extras

 

Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 

Kino - Region FREE - 4K UHD


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY and 4K UHD CAPTURE TO SEE IN FULL RESOLUTION

 

1) Republic Pictures (Full Screen) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP
2) Republic Pictures (Widescreen) - Region 1 - NTSC SECOND

3) Kino (2024 1.85:1) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - THIRD

4) Kino 2.0:1 - Region FREE - 4K UHD - FIFTH

5) Kino 1.85:1 - Region FREE - 4K UHD - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Kinowelt - Region 2, 8 - PAL TOP

2) Kino - Region FREE - 4K UHD - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Olive Film - Region 'A' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Kino - Region FREE - 4K UHD - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Alive (DE) - Region FREE - Blu-ray TOP

2) Kino - Region FREE - 4K UHD - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Olive (Signature) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Kino - Region FREE - 4K UHD - BOTTOM

 

 


1) BFI - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Kino - Region FREE - 4K UHD - BOTTOM

 

 


More Kino - Region FREE - 4K UHD Captures
 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

More full resolution (3840 X 2160) 4K Ultra HD Captures for Patreon Supporters HERE

 

 

 
Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

  

Simultaneously released on a Region 'A' Blu-ray (the one included with the 4K UHD):

  

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Kino - Region FREE - 4K UHD


 


 

Search DVDBeaver

S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

 

Hit Counter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DONATIONS Keep DVDBeaver alive:

 CLICK PayPal logo to donate!

Gary Tooze

Thank You!