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Invasion of the Body Snatchers

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Invasion of the Body Snatchers

In the 1956 film "Invasion of the Body Snatchers", the birth of something horrifying takes place in Santa Mira, California. Dr. Bennell and Becky are two long lost loves from their youth and are reunited after years of no contact. Upon returning from a business trip Dr. Bennell notices odd occurances that start unraveling before him. After a few instances of strange behavior among Dr.Bennell's patients begin to take place he quickly becomes aware of an imminent epidemic spreading through the town.

The parallels between the theme of the film and rising fears of communism and related topics of concern during that time are captivating. Communism was an ideology originating in the Soviet Union with the ideas of establishing a classless, stateless society with a common ownership in terms of production. The idea was that the commonly disliked supremacy would be overthrown. Out of WWII came The Cold War, where during the war they were common allies against the Nazi regime, they now had disagreements in how to re-build there individual societies. The Cold War essentially was a competition of sorts between nations in terms of ideologies, industry, military and in terms of progress with space exploration. The Soviet Union launched Sputnik when the U.S wasn't even close to such an incredible feat. This was one of the many catalysts propelling the Cold War that lasted for nearly five decades.

America's reaction to communism came in the form of taking drastic measures against this form of thinking with Macarthyism, Hollywood Blacklisting and in not so blatant ways in films like "The Invasion of the Body Snatchers." Growing fears that the U.S could be overthrown by this new ideology emerging ripped through the hearts and minds of a great deal of Americans, from small country homes to government leaders. In the film, the idea of something being off or different was apparent at the beginning, however, the good small town doctor, Dr. Bennell was in denial of people not recognizing there own relatives. He thought those who worried that their relatives were overtaken by some other force was absurd and that it was just a mass hysteria. It wasn't until he began to see for himself the body casts of his friends and loved ones in transformation that he began to believe it himself. At first the pod developed itself inside of a greenhouse, it then proceed to create human figures that looked exactly as the people of the town. Once the "look alike" has formed completely, the real human that the pod would take over must fall asleep in order for their body and mind to be possessed. Once possessed, there is a drastic change in movement, emotion, and speech. The pod is just a body that needs to survive and will do whatever it takes in order to exitcute its main objective.

The same went for the rising fear of Communism moving in. It started like a seed blowing in the wind, as referred to beginning form of pods in "Body Snatchers". Those small seeds turned into larger pods and the hub of fear, the mother ship was represented by the large seething plant producing carbon copies of the humans they intended on taking over. This was the view of so many of what would happen if Americans did not hold tight and secure to their capitalist roots.

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