Phil Kaufman’s 1978 version of the Don Siegel SF classic is good as remakes go, but (why does it seem needless to say “needless to say”?) not as good as the original. Where Siegel was swift, compact, and efficient Kaufman tends to be slow, garrulous, and needlessly baroque. Ideas that Siegel knocked off in a few shots are expanded to fill entire sequences—but they’re good ideas, and can stand a little stretching. Kaufman’s only original contribution is in shifting the action to San Francisco, which allows him to get in a few digs at est and assorted other neo-fascist movements. Good allegories never die; they just expand and contract to fit the times. With Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams, and Leonard Nimoy.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers
PG • 1 hour 55 min • 1978