Once again, this Moviedrome Monday entry is another double bill – this one consisting of two seemingly different films.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)
I would like to give a special shout-out to Steve (click here to view his youtube channel), a loyal visitor to this site. He found Alex Cox’s Moviedrome intro to director Philip Kaufman’s 1978 sci-fi horror classic Invasion of the Body Snatchers, that I will be posting a link to below. Readers can also read Cox’s intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was July 4, 1993 (read here). Since I can’t really do justice to Cox’s typically eloquent commentary, I will briefly sum up my thoughts on the film itself. Along with William Friedkin’s Sorcerer and John Carpenter’s The Thing, Kaufman’s 1978 remake simultaneously equals it’s original (director Don Siegel’s 1956 version in this case – also shown on Moviedrome), while also surpassing it in some ways. All in all, it stands out as one of (If not) the greatest remakes ever made. On an unrelated note, the reason I did not compare this film to the 1986 remake of The Fly is because that version (directed by David Cronenberg) is superior to the 1958 original in every single way possible. If any of you readers are interested, here is a link to my favorite Philip Kaufman films (read here).
Here is a link to Steve’s youtube video of Alex Cox’s Moviedrome intro to Invasion of the Body Snatchers
Here is a youtube video link to the film’s original theatrical trailer
Romance of a Horsethief (1971)
Since I could not find a youtube video link Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox introducing director Abraham Polonsky’s 1971 adventure Romance of a Horsethief, readers will have to rely on Cox’s intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was July 5, 1993 (read here). Though it is available on youtube to watch (click here), it has been a long time since I saw it last. To put it in other words, I can’t really comment on it right now. Nevertheless, the cast does look impressive.
I could not find a youtube video link to the film’s original theatrical trailer
13 thoughts on “Moviedrome Mondays: Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) and Romance of a Horsethief (1971)”
The 1978 Invasion of the Body Snatchers is a great film and a classic. It’s a superbly done film. The direction, photography, acting and script are all great. The ending has become famous and iconic and rightly so. The pervading atmosphere of paranoia and creepiness throughout the film is brilliantly done. The original 1956 film is great but I think the 1978 version is even better. The ’78 version is a great film which I think surpasses the original.
Alex’s intro is perfect. It’s one of my favourite intros of his. It’s just a brilliant and spot on intro. I like how he conveys how the ’78 version reflects the seventies as the original reflected the fifties.
The 1978 version is a rare example of a remake as good as, if not better, than the original. That said, the 1956 film was outstanding in its time and place, and is still excellent. I have never even heard of the ‘Horsethief’ film.
Best wishes, Pete.
The 1978 version is one of the best examples of a remake. Stil, the 1956 original is a brilliant example of classic 1950’s sci-fi and one of my all time favorite sci-fi films.
Even by Moviedrome standards Romance of a Horse Thief sounds an odd film. Maybe the oddest film ever featured in this series? If the film is half as good as the backstory it must be a rare treat!
“Invasion of the Bodysnatchers”. Found this to be a very powerful movie with scenes that have stuck in my consciousness for many years.
I agree with everything you have just said about the 1978 version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers – I could not have stated it any more eloquently 🙂
I too love Alex Cox’s introduction and that finger pointing he does at the end of his intro was a perfect way to give a nod to it’s surprise ending 🙂 I was also equally satisfied to hear him praise William Friedkin’s Sorcerer as “a great film based on a great film”, which in that case was Henri Georges-Clouzot’s 1953 French classic The Wages of Fear 🙂
BTW, I just finished watching The Climber and I loved it 🙂 Joe Dellesandro just owns every scene – oozing charisma as always 🙂 I will be watching the other two recommendations in the coming days 🙂
Even though I rank the 1978 version higher, I still love the 1956 version every bit as much 🙂 Anyway, thanks for dropping by 🙂
As I told Pete above John, I may rank the 1978 version higher, but I love the 1956 version every bit as much 🙂 Anyway, thanks for dropping by 🙂
Same here Paul S 🙂 As for Alex Cox’s intro to the 1978 version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, I could not have stated his sentiments more eloquently 🙂 Anyway, thanks for dropping by 🙂
I hear ya jcalberta 🙂 Also, let us not forget that surprising ending – scary stuff isn’t it? 🙂 Anyway, thanks for dropping by 🙂
Had to look up Romance of a Horse Thief. I love the description as a rollicking fairy tale! I’ll keep my eye open in the future.
As for Body Snatchers, I agree with everybody above. It’s always an anxiety-ridden, white knuckle moment at the end with Cartwright taking a chance on approaching her old, dear friend…but no…he’s not her friend anymore. The “not knowing” who is and who isn’t aspect is chilling. I guess initially the symbolism was meant about not knowing who was a Communist?
The 1993 remake, Body Snatchers, wasn’t fantastic…but it wasn’t bad. Slanted a little too young, in my opinion. But a heavy, ominous atmosphere and real terror with the Meg Tilly scene. And of course, Forest Whitaker is great in everything he’s in, lol……..
Once again, I would have to watch Romance of a Horsethief again because it has been a long time since I saw it.
I agree with everything you say about the 1978 version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers and the 1993 version (while it is slightly a notch below the 1956 and 1978 versions) is very good. Anyway, thanks for dropping by 🙂