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The Return of the Pod People: Remaking Cultural Anxieties in Invasion of the Body Snatchers

  • Kathleen Loock
Chapter

Abstract

Don Siegel’s Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), based on a novel by Jack Finney, has become one of the most influential alien invasion films of all time. The film’s theme of alien paranoia—the fear that some invisible invaders could replace individual human beings and turn them into a collective of emotionless pod people—resonated with widespread anxieties in 1950s American culture. It has been read as an allegory of the communist threat during the Cold War but also as a commentary on McCarthyism, the alienating effects of capitalism, conformism, postwar radiation anxiety, the return of “brainwashed” soldiers from the Korean War, and masculine fears of “the potential social, political, and personal disenfranchisement of postwar America’s hegemonic white patriarchy” (Mann 49).1

Keywords

Science Fiction Alien Invasion Public Health Department Military Base Happy Ending 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Kathleen Loock 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kathleen Loock

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