Close textual analysis of the four extant film versions of Invasion of the Body Snatchers reveals that each film modifies the original story such that it reflects changing societal attitudes toward physicians and the medical profession, as well as depictions of military and government in the science fiction genre. The changing depictions of characters and events in these films respond to changes in medical history, social history, and the science fiction genre across five decades. Each film reflects the contemporary anxieties of its time and the perceived ability of physicians to relieve those anxieties. Doctors are important semantic elements of the science fiction genre, and their position within the syntax of a film helps to determine its meaning. By focusing on the physician character, this study finds that in addition to being a metaphor for threats such as Communism, Invasion of the Body Snatchers also reflects concerns about disease and other medical threats.
College and Department
Fine Arts and Communications; Theatre and Media Arts
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Stifflemire, Brett S., "Physicians, Society, and the Science Fiction Genre in the Film Versions of Invasion of the Body Snatchers: or Doctors with a Serious Pod Complex" (2010). Theses and Dissertations. 2268.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers, physicians, medicine, disease, science fiction