Which is the best film version, the 1956 Don Siegel original or the 1978 Philip Kauffman re-make?
Why was the most recent version with Daniel Craig and Nicole Kidman so awful?
Was Kevin McCarthy (Mary McCarthy's brother!) really Montgomery Clift's lover, or just his super-good friend?
The 78 version is tops. Veonica Cartwright's final scream!
The 90s one with Meg Tilly has its moments
Kevin McCarthy was a fucking scumbag who pretended that he didn't even know Monty was gay. He said he had NO idea! Douche.
The Kidman/Craig version must have been a turd of epic proportions. I didn't even know they'd made it.
I liked the Donald Sutherland version.
Tilly is great in hers. Her final speech at the end "where you gonna go? there is no one like you left!" is chilling. (great actress who left Hollywood too soon.)
BUT 1978 is the winner.
Veronica Cartwright is one of the all time great screamers.
I loved that they cast Veronica Cartwright, who gives great hysterical performances, for the second female lead in the 1978, given Carolyn Jones's great brief hysterical performance as the second lead in the original.
Veronica was the little girl in "The Birds" too
"they covered her, she pushed me away!"
1978 is tops but the Meg Tilly version comes in second. Freaky!
The original is such a great movie. The special effects of the pods hatching are surprisingly good for the time, and I always jump when the first pod person opens its eyes and Carolyn Jones sees its hand bleeding and she screams.
It's also kind of heartbreaking, because you get to know and like some of the people who are killed by the pods, like the blonde woman who insists her Uncle Ira has changed.
I love them both but I've been a little obsessed with watching the 1978 version since they've been showing it on cable. For years I avoided it because I was so attached to the original, but it's one of the better movie remakes--a really great cast and some very creepy moments. I love Veronica Cartwright and her over the top hysterics, she's been crying like that since The Birds.
I really like the remake. Always been a favorite. That was the year I discovered Brooke Adams in this and DAYS OF HEAVEN. Cartwright was a scream too.
Let's not forget Cartwright's screaming in "Alien" as well.
In this case the remake was better, IMO.
The 50's film is pure anti-Communist paranoia but it's very effective.
But the 1978 version directed by Philip Kaufman is definitely better - it gets under your skin right away and the suspense is just keeps building non-stop. Plus it has the best overall cast of all the versions.
The '93 version is cleverly set on a military base (where everyone is already so formal and unemotional, it's hard to tell human from alien), but the director doesn't really do that much with it and, aside from Tilly, the cast is second-rate. The lead actress - Gabrielle Anwar (now in BURN NOTICE) is a bore.
I only saw a short bit of the Kidman/Craig version and it looked like a total mess.
The 1978 version is a terrific suspense film, IMHO a genuine classic. It's also a film that's aged remarkably well, except for Donald Sutherland's hair. Highly recommended.
The original film is so clumsily made it really suffers by comparison. Seriously, this is why I'm okay with remakes in principle, it's possible to take a film with some good points, and remake it into something fabulous.
I think the 50s version is still the best. The allegorical overtones are the most powerful. The image of the entire town chasing Kevin McCarthy and Dana Wynter up that staircase and into the hills is unforgettable, and there are spectacular sequences in the film: McCarthy and Wynter hiding in the tunnel under the planks everyone is running over; the scene with McCarthy's friend Wilma on the swing in her lawn insisting her uncle isn't really her uncle anymore; the scene mentioned above with Carolyn Jones freaking out as her husband's pod person comes to life; McCarthy kissing Wynter and realizing she's so cold she must be a pod person; McCarthy shouting at the trucks and cars on the highway in the original ending sequence.
The 70s version is excellent, but it just can't compete--the story just makes much more sense (and is scarier) if it takes place in an isolated small town. Plus the Seventies did not allow for the teasing allegorical ambiguities of the 50s version (which could be suggesting the pod people are either Communists or McCarthyite anti-Communist conformists).
[quote]The original film is so clumsily made it really suffers by comparison
No, it's very effective, still holds up. And I do love the 70's version.
[quote]Plus the Seventies did not allow for the teasing allegorical ambiguities of the 50s version
Bullshit - the 70s version does an amazing job flipping this on its head and pointing the finger at the Self Help mumbo-jumbo culture of the 70s as being conforming in its supposed "non conformity"
Yes, San Francisco was full of cults then (Jim Jones, est, etc.), so a contrived comparison can be made with the 70s version.
But the original can be subtextualized both ways. The pod people can be seen as pre-Tea Party patriots and their zombie rightwing conformity.
The other one has no subtext.
Love the first two versions....that last two not so much. I think it's all in the performances of the leads.
Dana Wynter and Brooke Adams are very different, as are Kevin McCarthy and Donald Sutherland - but all of them are very good.
I just have to give a bit of an edge to the 50's version, because I think the story is so much more personal taking place in a small town where everyone knows everyone else.
BUT Veronica Cartwright ALMOST makes up for it.
[quote]BUT Veronica Cartwright ALMOST makes up for it.
She had he best scenes. A little bit of Trivia, they were looking for a great screamer for IOTBS, Veronica won the part.
The original is my favorite.
But the second one had that chilling accusatory sound Sutherland makes at the end of the film - so hair-raising when I saw it on the big screen and in stereo when I was young that it gave me nightmares.
Glad to see some much love for the 1970s version. It's always been a favorite of mine.
I once watched a documentary where McCarthy spoke quite openly about Monty's homosexuality, so I think you're overacting a little bit.
Because of this thread, I re-watched the 1978 version last night for the first time in years and it holds up very well. What a nice piece of film making by Philip Kaufman. I also realized how much I miss Brooke Adams in movies. She was one of my favorite from the 70s/80s. That ending still gets me.
Also a nice bit of casting to have Leonard Nimoy play the alien/psychiatrist
I think all 3 have strong points and enjoy/own them all. I watched the Kidman/Craig one but honestly don't remember much about it but seem to remember it deviated from the "Body Snatchers" idea/concept in some distinct way...
The carton of Foremost milk in the 1978 version really took me back.
The Sutherland/Adams version is not a remake. It's a sequel. The first ends with McCarthy on the highway yelling on the highway and the '78 versions starts with Kevin McCarthy jumping on their car. He made it to the city.