A few words about…™ Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) — in Blu-ray

Olive's new Signature Edition release, is more about extras than the feature, which looks as nice as it possibly might. 4 Stars

Don Siegel’s quintessential sci-fi classic, the 1956 Invasion of the Body Snatchers, is one of those films that once viewed, will not be forgotten.

With ties to the real world, and politics galore, it’s up there with the sci-fi greats.

Unfortunately, it was created during an unfortunate era in the world of cinema.

SuperScope.

Photographed open matte, presumably designed for projection in 1.85, it has ended up overly cropped, with seemingly no means of correcting the problem.

How both an original negative, as well as a fine grain protection master, could both go missing is beyond me, but that’s the rumor.

What remains is a 2:1 anamorphic image, presumably from a dupe printing negative, and for that generation, especially through an optical stage, it looks quite nice. Certainly as good as original SuperScope prints, which were 2:1.

There were about twenty films that used variants of the process, inclusive of the least likely, Olivier’s King Henry the Fifth (1945, three-strip Technicolor, 1.37).

Olive’s new Signature Edition release, is more about extras than the feature, which looks as nice as it possibly might.

But it’s those extras which push this Olive edition into Criterion turf.

As to the track, one can only wonder why the original Perspecta wasn’t included.

Image – 5

Audio – 3.5

Pass / Fail – Pass

Upgrade from previous Blu-ray – Yes, for extras

Highly Recommended

RAH

Published by

Robert Harris

editor,member

41 Comments

  1. I have the previous Blu-ray, but I won't upgrade until I see the pricing lower than it's currently at. If it gets down to $20 then I might bite on it for the bonus material. I've read the encoding is better on this BD release than the previous release.

  2. Robert Harris

    How both an original negative, as well as a fine grain protection master, could both go missing is beyond me, but that's the rumor.

    RAH

    Obvious answer — it inserted itself into another movie's container and is hiding in plain site pretending to be a Navy Documentary on Personal Hygiene or maybe in the :Song of the South" canisters to go where nobody will ever look and be able to survive unmolested forever on the bottom shelf tucked safely away forever.

  3. Robert Harris

    How both an original negative, as well as a fine grain protection master, could both go missing is beyond me, but that's the rumor.

    Some invasions may not be limited to body snatching, alone.

  4. Robert Harris

    As to the track, one can only wonder why the original Perspecta wasn't included.

    How expensive is it to convert Perspecta to 3.0? What's the cost for 3D Film Archive to convert mono tracks to 3.0 (and they do a excellent job!)?

  5. Am a big fan of this movie. So already preordered it.

    Finally got around to reading the book it is based on. Was surprised to learn that the movie (even with its tacked on 'happy ending') is much darker than the original story.

  6. Robert Harris

    Don Siegel's quintessential sci-fi classic, the 1956 Invasion of the Body Snatchers, is one of those films that once viewed, will not be forgotten.

    With ties to the real world, and politics galore, it's up there with the sci-fi greats.

    Unfortunately, it was created during an unfortunate era in the world of cinema.

    SuperScope.

    Photographed open matte, presumably designed for projection in 1.85, it has ended up overly cropped, with seemingly no means of correcting the problem.

    How both an original negative, as well as a fine grain protection master, could both go missing is beyond me, but that's the rumor.

    What remains is a 2:1 anamorphic image, presumably from a dupe printing negative, and for that generation, especially through an optical stage, it looks quite nice. Certainly as good as original SuperScope prints, which were 2:1.

    There were about twenty films that used variants of the process, inclusive of the least likely, Olivier's King Henry the Fifth (1945, three-strip Technicolor, 1.37).

    Olive's new Signature Edition release, is more about extras than the feature, which looks as nice as it possibly might.

    But it's those extras which push this Olive edition into Criterion turf.

    As to the track, one can only wonder why the original Perspecta wasn't included.

    Image – 5

    Audio – 3.5

    Pass / Fail – Pass

    Upgrade from previous Blu-ray – Yes, for extras

    Highly Recommended

    RAH

    I’m a bit confused. Is this version 1:85 or 2:1?

  7. Peter Apruzzese

    2:1 , the materials needed to go back and create a 1.85 version no longer exist.

    Whereabouts presently unknown.

    No evidence of their extinction, only their present state of being unknown.

  8. I have this on order, and am looking forward to going through all the extras. I am a bit ticked off about the missing Perspecta track, though. Oh, I know Perspecta was only "fake" stereo, but still it would have been nice to hear it.

    As for the aspect ratio, yep, it's a pity that the original elements are missing and we're locked into 2:1. Still, honestly, that isn't all THAT different than 1.85:1. Look at the black bars at the top and bottom of the screen. The intended aspect ratio would only add picture to half of that space; it isn't a huge difference. ( I'm sure I've viewed many films in the cinema in the past which had their pictures cropped to a greater degree, due to careless projection…)

    [​IMG]

  9. I also agree that the 3.0 Perspecta audio should have been inlcuded. In fact the release choild have been pushed back to include it.

    Without it just feels like a rush job, True this release is about some extras including a finally included commentary track

  10. On the other Invasion thread, Bob Furmanek says Paramount has the restored stereo Perspecta track. So RAH says it’s not included on this disc?

    Regardless, I’ll be picking this film up again. Why not? I have the earlier disc, DVD and laserdisc. 🙂

    This is the definitive Invasion of the Body Snatchers as another member mentioned and I agree. The 1978 version is pretty good though and creepy.

  11. Nick*Z

    I know this will seem like sacrilege to most – but I've always preferred the '78 to the original. Apologies in advance. Don't hate me for it.

    "Don't hate me because I'm beautiful, hate me because I've got beautiful hair".

    – Kelly LeBrock

    :laugh::laugh::drum::laugh::laugh:​

  12. Funny…I remember that commercial. There was also another one, I think it was for Pantine Pro shampoo where a Euro-super model turned to the camera with a pout and said "Your hair is not like a gown you can wear once and throw away….a-no!" Yeah, like anybody outside of the super model and Hollywood community does that either. Anyway, thanks for the laugh.

  13. Robert Crawford

    I have the previous Blu-ray, but I won't upgrade until I see the pricing lower than it's currently at. If it gets down to $20 then I might bite on it for the bonus material. I've read the encoding is better on this BD release than the previous release.

    Deep Discount is running a 15% off sale so I was able to get this title for $18.69 along with "The Curse of the Cat People" and "Winchester" at discounted pricing so I can get free shipping.

  14. Bartman

    I believe it's a remaster of the previous transfer at much higher bit rate.

    Captures at DVDbeaver look a shade brighter than the previous Olive.

    I think you mean the new Signature Edition looks a shade darker
    (as per the dvdbeaver site frame grabs)

  15. Nick*Z

    I know this will seem like sacrilege to most – but I've always preferred the '78 to the original. Apologies in advance. Don't hate me for it.

    I think I like them equally…they are both consummate paranoia thrillers. Both films gradually develop a pervasive sense of dread and give us no easy outs (the coda that the studio grafted onto the '56 version does not definitively point toward a "happy" ending). Both are well acted. Both have gorgeous women in leading roles. They'd make a fine double-feature, because each is just different enough in structure, specific details and overall atmosphere so that whichever version you choose to run last will not seem redundant.

  16. Nick*Z

    I know this will seem like sacrilege to most – but I've always preferred the '78 to the original. Apologies in advance. Don't hate me for it.

    After all this time we FINALLY found something we agree on! Who knew?

    The 1956 is a great movie, IMO but the INVASION of my heart will always be 1978

  17. BobO’Link

    You're welcome!

    I'm trying to decide between Father Goose or Operation Petticoat to pair with it – and am leaning towards the later.

    Shouldn't that be "Goose 'em"? 😉 I laughed when I read that – especially considering the plot of that movie.

    They’re both great films – I’d say you can’t go wrong with either!

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