Invasion of the Body Snatchers
A Second Look: 'The Invasion of the Body Snatchers'
Philip Kaufman's 1978 iteration, also called "Invasion of the Body Snatchers," changes the setting to a post-utopian San Francisco, and fittingly this Me Decade update is less about the political than the personal. In the first film, the pod people try to sell Miles and Becky on the benefits of an emotionless existence ("Life is so simple").
One of the most memorable characters in Kaufman's version is a platitude-spouting self-help guru, played by Leonard Nimoy — one of the film's sneakier jokes is that we can't tell when exactly he became a pod.
Source: Los Angeles Times
Plans to film entirely with unknown actors were shelved in May when Solo met Donald Sutherland at a film screening and soon interested the actor in portraying the main character of Mathew Bennell. Meanwhile Phil Kaufman had been working on the new Star Trek feature film with Leonard Nimoy until that project was canceled, and he soon interested Nimoy in joining the "Body Snatchers" project as Dr. David: Kibner, a pop psychologist.
United Artists originally scheduled Body Snatchers for a Halloween 1978 release, but later pushed it up to Christmas.
In terms, of publicizing its special effects and new plot elements, producer Solo has maintained an extremely low profile.
''This is not a hardware movie like Star Wars and Close Encounters of Third Kind," says Solo. 'I don't have flying spaceships, or laser guns or robots. I certainly don't want to blow the impact of the picture before it's out."
As to the fim's ending. No one is talking. Even Leonard Nimoy had to wait until a trade screening in August 1978 to find out how the film is resolved. His reaction: ''I was very satisfied."
Behind the Scenes on Invasion of the Body Snatchers
Tony Piazza worked as an extra on Invasion of the Body Snatchers and shares a memory from the set.
Captain, This is Not Logical- A Star Trek Memory by Tony Piazza
During 1977 my activities in the film industry started winding down- my last assignment for the casting agency was some “extra” work on a re-make of the 1956 science fiction film “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.” This one starred DONALD SUTHERLAND, BROOKE ADAMS, and LEONARD NIMOY, and the setting was changed from Los Angeles to the Bay Area.
My scene was a book signing party. The location was a children’s bookstore on California Street. All the “extras” were separated into groups, given drinks and were told to act as if we were mingling (but quietly) among ourselves as Leonard Nimoy’s character- a psychiatrist made his way through the crowd to the back of the room.
Now, keep in mind that the original “Star Trek- The Motion Picture” had not been filmed yet. In fact the press had been going on for months with stories regarding negotiations with the actors and whether all the original crew would sign on- and even speculating the odds that it would ever be made.
Flashback to the bookstore. My little group was standing directly in Leonard Nimoy’s path- he had to weave through us to get to the back of the room where his scene played out. As we went through numerous rehearsals for the camera, I happened to glance down at a nearby bookshelf where I spied several copies of a children’s “Star Trek” book that featured a drawing of Mr.Spock prominently on the cover- pointy ears and all!
Well, I don’t know what got into me, but I instantly hatched a plan that my group would all be reading the books (held up close to our faces- so the cover could easily be seen) on the next rehearsal approach of Mr. Nimoy.
At first he didn’t see it, but was drawn to it by the laughter of the rest of the crew.
His response with a gleam in his eye, “Come on, guys, give me a break!”
As evidenced a year later (1979)- he had those pointy ears back on, and kept them on… up and until his most recent incarnation as the old Spock in 2009s Star Trek feature.
See the entire movie booklet here.
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