Invasion of the Body Snatchers
Castro TheatreSun, May 5, 2013 7:30 PM Not Available
Film Info
Premiere Status:USA
Year of Prod:1978
Running Time:115
dir:Philip Kaufman
prod:Robert H. Solo
scr:W.D. Richter
cam:Michael Chapman
editor:Douglas Stewart
mus:Denny Zeitlin
cast:Donald Sutherland
Brooke Adams
Jeff Goldblum
Veronica Cartwright
source:MGM (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer)
distribution agent:
Park Circus
28355 Witherspoon Parkway
CA 91355


Philip Kaufman’s San Francisco-set remake of the horror classic Invasion of the Body Snatchers brings the terror of an alien invasion to a new era. Swapping out the McCarthyism-infused dread of Don Siegel’s 1956 original for the more Watergate era-appropriate paranoia of a conspiracy film, Kaufman pulls off the near impossible. He crafts a film that manages to pay tribute to its justifiably heralded source while also standing on its own as a modern masterpiece. As health inspector Matthew Bennell (Donald Sutherland), his co-worker Elizabeth (Brooke Adams) and their friends the Bellicecs (Jeff Goldblum and Veronica Cartwright ) notice changes in the people around them, they begin to suspect malevolent forces at work. Not knowing who they can trust, tMatt and Elizabeth try to prevent an alien takeover—if it hasn’t already happened. With a cleverly updated script by W.D. Richter, a sneaky wit that never undercuts the film’s scares and the aid of some then-state of the art special effects, Invasion of the Body Snatchers manages to be many things: A rumination on the dangers of conformity, a parody of the self-help movement (including none other than Leonard Nimoy as a New Age psychotherapist), a cautionary tale against trusting authority and, most importantly, a genuinely terrifying filmgoing experience.
-Jason Berger

Prior to the presentation, from 7:00-7:30pm, Philip Kaufman and Annette Insdorf will be signing copies of Insdorf's book "Philip Kaufman" in the Castro mezzanine. Books will be on sale, cash only, in the lobby.

Special support for this program generously provided by
Fred M. Levin & Nancy Livingston in Memory of Irving Bud Levin

Additional Information

Philip Kaufman

In 1962, Philip Kaufman met Anaïs Nin—who he would later pay homage to in Henry & June (1990)—at the University of Chicago. They spent the day together sharing ideas and she encouraged him to become a director. Two years later, at the Cannes Film Festival, Kaufman won the Prix de la Nouvelle Critique for his mystical comedy Goldstein. He went on to write and direct The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid (1972); Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978); The Wanderers (1979); The Right Stuff (1983); The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988), for which he received a Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar nomination; Quills (2000); Hemingway & Gellhorn, for which he received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Directing; and other films. The San Francisco resident also earned a permanent place in the pop culture pantheon when he co-created the story for The Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981).
Read more about Philip Kaufman...