Do you ever feel like your life has turned into something you never intended?
So when the trailer first aired I remember watching it and it catching my interest as they marketed it as a film noir/thriller.
We added it at the library and a patron immediately checked it out. When he brought it back I asked him what he thought and he told me he did not like it. He thought it was a bomb and a waste of time never to be brought back again.
I heard what he said, but was still curious and wanted to watch it.
I should’ve listened.
This film was not good.
I really wanted to stop watching it but it was like when you see the police or ambulances on the side if the road, you can’t stop yourself from looking as a part of you just has to know.
So the film is told in three ways: Present, Novel, and Flashbacks. It is extremely artsy and just brimming over the top full of symbolism. I’m just going to skip it as it would take forever to discuss all the choices and what they mean in accordance to the film.
It has some extremely weird choices. The whole beginning is like 15 mins of naked fat women dancing. Seriously, no one needs to be that “artistic”. Mostly the thoughts going through my head in this film were “what am I watching?” “Why am I wasting my time on this?”
Why am I watching it.
So we start with Susan Morrow (Amy Adams). She is not happy with her life.
Years ago she married the man she loved, childhood friend Edward Sheffield (Jake Gyllenhaal), but left him when he didn’t provide the stability her upper class debutante background needed.
She left him for the handsome, charming, ambitious Hutton Morrow (yuck, Armie Hammer). I hate Armie Hammer as an actor, not person-I mean I don’t even know him. No matter the role I just find him insufferable and want to punch his smarmy face.
Anyways, Hutton seemed perfect-but that did not last.
Their relationship is in tatters as he is always gone on “business”, they are going broke and have to sell their art collection, and yes he is cheating on her. Susan spends her days alone, lonely, bored, and unhappy. She has always regretted her choice to leave Edward, but even more now when she sees how badly she has chosen.
She has been thinking of Edward a lot lately, and speak of the devil-he finally reaches out to her after all these years. He was trying to write a book back when they were together, and he finally has finished one-one that will be published in a few months. He sends a proof to Susan to read-dedicating it to her and calling it Nocturnal Animals, his pet name for her.
She starts reading it, and soon it is the only thing that keeps her going each day-the story drawing her in and connecting to how she feels.
Tony Hastings (Jake Gyllenhaal), his wife Laura (Isla Fisher), and daughter are all traveling to visit their aunt Martha. They decide to drive through the night, but are run off the road by some very dangerous guys.
The men attack them, yell, and abuse them and take off with the the women, stranding Tony in the middle of nowhere. When Tony manages to survive the desert and get help they discover his wife and child dead-beat, suffocated, and raped.
He and Detective Bobby Andes (Michael Shannon) team up to try and discover these murders, hunting them down. We see Tony’s grief, guilt, and struggle of what happened that night.
As Susan reads she remembers her life with Edward (Jake Gyllenhaal) more and more. How they ran into each other in grad school and she married him to find her way and because she loved him. How her mom warned her about their differences in thoughts and ambition. She remembers how things started to fall apart because she couldn’t believe in Edward. How he tried to fight for them. And how she made the biggest mistake of her life.
So yeah. I didn’t like this film at all. First of all there is no growth in the character of Susan. She marries Tony as she feels lost and likes his idealism, she goes with Hutton because of his stability, and then she is looking back at Edward because she wants romance. All she can think of is to run to a man to get away from her unhappiness. But the problem is her-not the men. She will always be unhappy until she can have some introspection. She should seriously consider just being by herself for a bit.
Get it together!
None of the other characters either really endeared me to them.
I did think Jake Gyllenhaal was phenomenal in this as the Tony Hastings’ character. I was blown away by his powerful performance and how he really captured the role.
Plus where was the mystery???? Where????
And she aborted her husband’s baby! And to make that worse she had her lover she was cheating on her husband with take her!
So as you all know I started a book club last year. I have fallen behind with my posts, but I was catching up. I am for sure only one behind now. 🙂
No I’m serious! This time I am really only one behind!
Every month we read a book and I do a little post on the book we read and discussed. What can I say, I just love books.
There is no theme, other than with each month, a different member gets to pick a book, whichever one they want.
The Masterpiece by Francine Rivers
So Francine Rivers is a favorite author of mine. I’ve read everything of her Christian fiction, except one, The Last Sin Eater. So when the book club member suggested us reading it, I was totally down and excited.
Grace Moore has been through a lot in her life. A painful childhood, growing up with a cold and emotionally separated aunt. She put her dreams on hold for her husband, had a disastrous marriage, lost her job, and is now a single mom.
She was going to give her child up for adoption, living with the potential family but changed her mind. Now she is trying to figure out how to take care of her son and make enough money to move out as the family is trying to take her child. Everything seems to be a big no, until she finally gets a job as a assistant to temperamental artist Roman Velasco. He’s never been able to keep one as he is too out there and hard to work with, but Grace is hoping to stick it out until she can find something else.
Roman Velasco has his own hard life. He lost his mom years back, was put in foster care, and sent all over San Francisco as they just kept moving him on. He joins a gang as a runner but then becomes the tagger, graffitiing the gang everywhere. He ends up being sent to a ranch, but as soon as he is old enough takes off.
He has always been interested in painting and art, and ends up becoming a very rich and profitable one. But he has a secret. At night he runs around Los Angeles, creating graffiti art going under BRD-Billy Ray Dean, his real name. He also has been growing ill, and not feeling good-but keeps that and the BRD secret.
Grace is instantly attracted to him, but knows she needs to stay away as she has bad choices in men, he has a lot of issues, and is not a Christian.
Roman tries to leave Grace alone, but is attracted to her. He ends up letting her in more than any person in his life has been let in. But then something happens that changes their relationship forever. Will things work out or will this masterpiece go through several changes before it is completed?
This was a fantastic book and a real page turner. I never wanted to put it down, and just had to find out what happened next.
Defintely worth a read! Check it out today!
The cover of the book comes from a real graffiti painting. It is called Time Flies by artist Camer1. For more about it, check out Francine Rivers blog. Our book club member who chose the book actually was able to go to San Francisco and see it in person.
Day 14) N is for Name: Choose a book with a character that shares your first or last Name
Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen
So I know I discussed this book back when I talked about being a fan of Sarah Dessen, but I am bringing it back as it contains one of my names. Yes, one of these characters has my first, middle, or last name. Which one? I’m not saying.
Another reason why I picked this book was because the main character, Auden, took a long time to like her name. She is named after the poet W. H. Auden, and not only do most not know who she is named after, it isn’t really a girl’s name. I know what it is like to not like your name, but at least she was named after a poet; my namesake created lots of teasing growing up. And her name means “old friend”, mine is not pretty.
I started reading Sarah Dessen back in middle school. This was the last book I read while in my teendom, and I think it is one of her best books and the last truly great one. I didn’t really care for Whatever Happened to Good-bye or The Moon and More, and didn’t even bother to read the next one she came out with. I don’t know if I am too old or if her work isn’t as good as it used to be.
So Auden West never had a real childhood. Her parents are professors, and her brother Hollis (meaning holly tree) had colic as a baby.
After him, they expected Auden to be a mini adult, no longer wanting to be “parents”. Hollis had fun and charmed his way through life, going abroad and mooching off his family as he continues to play.
Auden had to be the serious child: no fun, no play, nothing but academics. This caused her to grow to be a little anti-social as she just couldn’t relate to others.
She also moved around a lot as no school was seen as right for her parents. This caused her to also make no real connections, as how can you become friends when you are only there for a second.
Auden also has insomnia.
After Hollis left, things got ugly in the house. Her mom came and won awards, great articles, a chair, etc; while her husband went down. They never liked fighting around Auden, so they would wait until she went to sleep. Auden stopped going to sleep, hoping that would keep them from fighting.
This worked for a while, but eventually they just started fighting again.
They divorced, her father remarried, and immediately got his new wife pregnant. Auden feels replaced in one life and nothing in her mother’s who spends all her time working or with her graduate students.
Mostly Auden spends all her free time at an all night diner and reads, drinking coffee.
Or booth in this case.
She will be heading off to a top college in the summer and has been studying the classes her mother picked out for her.
Her stepmother, Heidi (meaning noble and kind), recently had their baby, Thisbe (meaning lover of Pyramus) Caroline West, and invites Auden to come out to the beach where they live and spend time there this summer. Heidi always invites Auden and Auden always makes an excuse…
but this time things change. She just can’t stand another summer of not living.
Auden decides to take up Heidi’s offer and heads out to the beach in hopes to spend time with her dad and not sure what will happen.
What she finds is nothing she would have expected. The perfectly coiffed Heidi is a mess, the baby always cries from colic, and while she loves her dad, his selfishness makes her not like him most of the time as all he can do is focus on is his book.
Auden is asked out by a local boy and heads down to a beach party, a huge mistake as he was a total jerk.
Auden still has issues sleeping, so she spends her time driving, at a horrible diner, or reading at home. But Thisbe won’t stop crying, so one night she ends up taking her to the boardwalk, walking her up and down.
There she sees a boy on his bike, doing all kinds of jumps and such, hypnotized by his movements. He spots her watching and approaches her, looking at the baby. Auden explains that it has been a long night, and he agrees with aren’t they all.
Auden ends up helping Heidi out when there isn’t enough money to cover the UPS delivery at her shop, Clementine’s. The main girl is Maggie (meaning pearl) who turns out to be the girlfriend of the guy she hooked up with the night before.
Maggie and her friends are upset when they realize that Auden is the girl, but they do come to the conclusion that Auden didn’t know anything, and that Maggie is better off without her loser boyfriend who is cheating on her.
Things are not very happy in the new West family. Auden’s father and Heidi are fighting constantly, just trade a few words out and it is like living back with mom and dad.
They are supposed to be having a family dinner, but that is a wash. Thisbe starts crying and Auden takes her out of there. As she is trying to get her to stop she is approached by the same boy from the other night, and he is able to calm the baby.
Heidi knows him, and introduces him to Auden. He is Eli (most common meaning, my God is Yahweh), who has a younger brother, Jake (supplanter). That Jake was the same guy that was dating Maggie and messing with Auden. Of all the people to mess with.
Just My Luck!
Later that night Auden overhears Heidi and her father arguing. Heidi wants him to help her out more around the house, while her father thinks that Auden should just do free babysitting.
Hurt that Heidi defends her while her father wants to use her, Auden needs something to do and spots Heidi’s accounts she was trying to balance. Auden stays up all night using her anger to work out the issue.
Heidi is amazed at Auden’s work and instantly offers her a job working the books. Her father tries a power play chastising Heidi for using Auden, but as Auden heard their conversation the night before, she becomes angry and takes the employment, even though it means working with the girl who’s boyfriend she was with.
Auden grows to really like working at the store. She doesn’t spend a lot of time with Maggie or her friends (the other workers), so that that isn’t as awkward as she thought it would be. One night she becomes bored and heads over to the skate park where everyone hangs out.
There she runs into Eli, who asks her about riding a bike. Auden is concrete that she knows how to ride a bike, but does she really? She didn’t really have a childhood.
One day her mother visits and just rips on everything; Heidi, her dad, the clothes Auden is wearing, the store, the beach, the restaurants, etc. When Auden defends Heidi as not being a ditz but a pretty astute businesswoman, her mother is rather cruel to Auden, putting her in her dumb category because she no longer is in one hundred percent agreement with her.
After work, Auden still hurt, goes off to get a coffee from the nearby shop. Maggie goes after her as she knows what it is like having a difficult mother. She sits with Auden and just helps by being there.
She ends up going out with the girls, not really expecting anything but just wanting some company.
They head to the Gas/Gro where they pick up some snacks, just in case. After all you never know what the night will hold.
Afterwards they head to a party at Belissa’s (lovely one) house, the daughter of the local bakers. They send Auden to get beers, but as she has never partied before she cannot get the keg to work.
Eli comes up behind her and tries to help her out. They joke around having fun, but Maggie quickly comes in and tries to get her Auden of there.
Before they can get free they run into Belissa and almost get their butts kicked as she is Eli’s ex, yet still thinks they are together. Auden has never dealt with angry exes so she doesn’t have the sane reaction.
Them’s fighting words!
The girls interrogate her about Eli, when they started hanging out, and Auden shares that they talked ever since she saw him on his bike.
The girls are shocked and reveal Eli’s sad backstory.
Eli and Abel (breath) were the very best of friends, doing everything together. They did competitive biking and were extremely good, so good they had sponsors and everything. Eli was given a scholarship for it to the University and deferred to keep riding. Then one day they were coming back from a competition and the two were in an accident. A drunk driver went through a four way stop and Abel was killed.
After that Eli gave up everything and doesn’t do much as he is grieving.
Maggie takes Auden back to the shop, and Auden grabs a coffee before she decides to head out. But then she changes her mind as she sees a light on in the bike shop and takes a chance.
Eli is there and realizes they told her everything. He tells her he used to like hanging out with her because she never felt sorry for him or gave him a pity look.
Auden bypasses that and says she is angry because he left her alone to fight his ex. As Eli doesn’t like to sleep either, they end up spending the night together as they visit the laundromat/coffee shop, the Park Mart warehouse store, etc.
Eli discover that therre are a lot of of things she missed out on her childhood and decides they need to go on a quest to help her. Food fights, “high school” parties, delivering newspapers, going to a club, kickball, etc.
Auden finds herself finally allowing her to open up to another person, something she hasn’t been able to do since the dissolution of her parents’ marriage.
But will this work out or just be a summer romance? Will Auden finally let someone into her heart, or become too afraid she lets it go?
I loved this book so much!
First of all Maggie is such an amazing character. She shows how you don’t have to label yourself but be whatever you want. Sporty? Pretty? Intelligent? You can be it all.
She’s fun, sweet, and the best friend you could ever have.
And Eli. Eli has gone through so much and is such a strong character. He teaches Auden it is okay to grow up and still have childish parts to her, no matter how old you are.
He makes her Rice Krispie treats when she is sad and crying.
When she freaks out and tries to break it off, he just takes it and when she overcomes her commitment-phobia, he is there waiting.
He is smart, talented, compassionate, sweet, adorable- and I wish he was real as he is just perfect.
The only flaw I would say this book has is that Eli never really deals with his grief, but buries it in another relationship which is not the right way to do. After working with grieving people, Dessen didn’t quite handle that issue correctly.
But the rest of the book was fantastic and it is something I read over and over again.
Now each Sarah Dessen novel connects to all the others, and I’ve listed said connections with Along for the Ride, AFTR.
Haven’s family spends a whole summer at a beach just like Auden does.
Someone Like You:
In Someone Like You, Scarlett and Haley went to Jackson High. Auden went there for a while in AFTR.
Keeping the Moon
Auden goes to visit her Dad and Stepmom in Colby. In Keeping the Moon, Colby is where Colie visited for the entire summer.
Auden eats at Last Chance where Colie worked at in Keeping the Moon.
The cashier that takes Auden’s order at Last Chance is a dark haired girl with a lip ring. Colie is dark-haired girl with a lip ring.
Heidi, Auden’s stepmom, two best friends are Morgan and Isabelle. Morgan and Isabelle are Colie’s next door neighbors in Keeping the Moon.
Auden passes a women with long hair in an orange jumpsuit on a bicycle. This is Mira, Colie’s aunt.
Caitlin went to Jackson High. Auden goes to Jackson High for a bit in AFTR.
Rogerson Biscoe goes to Perkins Day. Auden goes to Perkins Day for a bit as well.
In Dreamland, Caitlan’s Dad,Boo, and Stewart teach at U. That is the same university where Auden mom teaches as well.
Cass starts reading about Buddhism. In AFTR, Auden is reading about it too.
Auden’s mom teaches at the U, the same university where Lissa is going to college.
The Truth About Forever:
Macy went to Jackson High. Auden went there for a while in AFTR.
Macy’s ex-boyfriend Jason Talbot was supposed to be Auden’s date for the prom, but he cancels last minute. He is also her date in the prom boardwalk party Heidi throws, but cancels last minute once again.
Macy and Wes are always going to World of Waffles. In AFTR, that is where Maggie, Leah, and Esther go when Esther’s car breaks down.
Jason’s parents are professors just like Auden’s parents.
Annabelle went to Jackson High. Auden went there for a while inAFTR.
Will Cash, Sophie’s boyfriend, the guy who rapes Annabelle goes to Perkins Day. Auden goes to Perkins Day for a bit in AFTR.
A girl named Esther emcees the poetry and other readings at the coffee shop, Jump Java. Whitney goes her to read her memoir. In Along for the Ride, Auden’s friend Esther, loves to go to coffee shops to hear readings.
Lock and Key:
Ruby dates Nate Cross. Auden talks about awkwardly flirting with him in AFTR
Ruby’s brother-in-law created the website Ume.com. In AFTR Auden goes on it.
Ruby went to Jackson High for a while. Auden went there for a while in AFTR
Ruby goes to Perkins Day. Auden goes to Perkins Day for a bit in AFTR.
Ruby wears a necklace with a key on it. Harriet makes a ton of these to sell at her kiosk in the mall. In AFTR, Heidi sells the necklaces at her shop Clementine’s.
Ruby, Gervais, and Nate attend U. Cora and Jamie used to go to U. Auden’s mom is a professor at U.
Ruby applies for Defriese but doesn’t get in. Auden and Maggie attend Defriese.
Whatever Happened to Goodbye:
McLean is named after a Defriese University coach; she used to live in Tyler, the town Defriese University is located; and her stepdad is the Defriese University basketball coach. Auden and Maggie go to Defriese University.
Auden and Eli shop at Park Mart. So does Mclean
Guy next door to McLean goes to U; McLean herself attends U. Auden’s mother is a professor at U.
McLean goes to Jackson High like Auden did before she transferred.
Peter bought McLean’s mom a house in Colby. Colby is where Auden spends the summer with her dad and stepmom.
Jason is the chef at Luna Blue. Jason is Jason Talbot, the guy who stood Auden up twice.
Heidi is friends with McLean’s mom. She comes by with Thisbe and a bathing suit from Clementine’s.
The Moon and More:
Auden’s friend Esther film’s Clyde, Ivy, & Emmaline’s party.
Emmaline goes to parties at the Tip. The Tip was were Auden had her embarrassing “hook up”.
Clyde hangs out with Emmaline. Clyde met Auden when she was on her “quest”. He made pie for her too in his laundromat.
Both stories take place in Colby.
Emmaline knows Wallace, who is friends with Auden.
Emmaline is a Gas/Gro fiend, just like Auden & friends.
Emmaline goes to Abe’s Bike, named for Eli’s friend and owned by Clyde.
They talk about Weymor college, where Auden’s dad teaches at.
Emmaline gets an ad for Tallyho, Luke cheats on her there, and they have the art show after party there. Tallyho was the club where Maggie, Esther, and Leah would go.
Emmaline knows Maggie and Auden.
Emmaline’s friend Daisy works for Heidi, Auden’s stepmother, at her shop, Clemetine’s.
Auden goes to visit her Dad and Stepmom in Colby. Emmaline lives in Colby.
Auden eats at Last Chance so does Emmaline.
Auden mom teaches at U. Emmaline will be attending in the fall.
Daisy & Emmaline win best dressed at the Beach Bash. Heidi throws the Beach Bash every year.
Heidi is friends with Emmaline’s mom, Emily.
Auden and Eli shop at Park Mart. So does Emmaline.
Adam and Wallace live down in the beach shacks. Wallace used to live in GULL’S CRY which is where Theo lives after he gets kicked out.
Let Me Call You Sweetheart is based on a book of the same name by Mary Higgins Clark. So first let me say that this is a made-for-Tv film. As you know those can go one of two ways, either they are pretty good:
Or they suck.
This film suck!
This movie is in between. It was pretty good and entertaining, but had a few sluggish and not as well done moments.
After I would watch one film I would look over the recommended list, and check one of those out too. One such film that I saw was this one. Its mystery was very intriguing that at times I had to stop my other work as I was too distracted.
Afterwards I found the book in a library book sale and took it home to read.
Clark’s book is way better than the film as they cut out key characters and even creepier moments, but if you haven’t read the story then the film is good. It only pales when you have the full version. But let’s get on to the review.
So the film starts with Kerry McGrath, assistant attorney general, running late to an appointment at the plastic surgeon. Her daughter, Robin, was recently injured in a car crash when she was visiting her father and he forgot to check her seat belt. Kerry has disliked her ex-husband, Bob Kinellen, ever since he decided to trade in his wife and daughter for the the boss’s daughter (a much younger model); and this little accident has helped heal that.
Robin’s face was badly scratched, but they’ve been seeing a genius doctor, Dr. Charles Smith, who is phenomenal at plastic surgery.
While waiting for her daughter, as Dr. Smith always makes them wait and then goes over the appointment time, Kerry sees a familiar face.
But she can’t figure out where she saw this face.
She checks the sign-in list and spots the name Barbara Tompkins. Unfortunately, it doesn’t ring any bells.
Kerry goes over that evening to spend time with her “adopted parents”, state senator Jonathan Hoover and his wife Grace, that is a couple she befriended in college when she was away from her family. They having no children, adopted her right back.
Jonathan has used his influence to get Kerry an appointment for judgeship and all she has to do is await until the decision is made.
The face is still bothering Kerry, and the next time she takes Robin to her doctor she sees her again. But this time the woman is a Pamela Worth.
What is going on? This is getting stranger and stranger. Why would the doctor give two people the exact same face?
Later at work she is focused on another case, when one of her coworkers get roses delivered. Then it hits her…
The Sweetheart case was why the woman looked so familiar. She looks just like Susan Reardon.
Susan Reardon was a beautiful woman who had men fawning over her everywhere she goes. Everyone loved her and how she looked, well except for one person.
Ten years ago Susan Reardon was found murdered in her home, a bunch of sweetheart roses scattered about giving the case the name. Her father was a key witness, giving information about the fights Susan had with her husband Skip, and painting him as evil, controlling, and abusive.
Susan was known to be dating other men, which upset Skip. It was an easy open and shut case.
Done and done.
Kerry can’t get over the fact that Susan’s father created two women to be in her mirror image. She starts wondering if there is more to this case.
However, most people are not very happy with Kerry’s involvement. The attorney general Frank Green, Kerry’s boss, used that case to lock him in his job and now he is trying to move up to mayor. If it turns out he imprisoned the wrong person he can kiss that good-bye.
This is bad
Bob, Kerry’s ex, is currently defending James “Jimmy” Weeks. He is a dangerous man known to deal with mobsters. He doesn’t like Kerry investigating as he had a relationship with Susan. He tells Bob that Kerry needs to stop or else she and Robin might have injuries no doctor can fix.
As Kerry starts investigating, she finds one person who is happy to see her on his side, Geoff Dorso, Skip Reardon’s lawyer.
Geoff came on the case after the trial as he thought everything was done completely wrong. First there were a lot of inconsistencies in the story. Dr. Smith painted Skip as a horribly violent man but no one else ever saw or could confirm it.
Something is not right!
Skip said that he left a message on the machine, being his alibi, but when the police checked the house the message was stolen. There was also a frame with Susan’s picture in it and a piece of jewelry; both never recovered.
Skip also shares the relationship between Susan and her father. He was controlling, and obsessed with her and her beauty.
Kerry is unsure if she wants to pursue the case as it is sure to kiss her appointment as a judge good-bye, but then something happens that changes everything. She discovers that Susan didn’t look that beautiful all her life. She was average and not very attractive. It wasn’t until after she left her mom and stepdads for her dad that she “became” this beautiful swan. The fact that her father operated on her is weird, but add that to the fact that he has been stalking his patients that he recreated to look like his dead daughter.
That is not right!
Then Kerry is sent threatening notes and Robin is almost attacked, just managing to get away in time.
This has really opened a can of worms and cemented for Kerry that Skip isn’t the killer. But if he isn’t, who is?
Now it would be wrong for me to reveal the end if you haven’t read book or seen the film. I figured it out, but even so I thought it was extremely well written and that the final reveal was a true pleasure. You should definitely check this one out for yourself.
They’re here already! You’re next! You’re next, You’re next…!
One day my family and I were driving home from somewhere, and my mom pointed to a house on our street and said how much she hated going by it. I asked her why, and she said the big pods on their tree made her think of the film, Invasion of the Body Snatchers and how the pod people came for everyone.
I had no idea what she was talking about as I had never seen the film before.
A couple of years later, I was at a yard sale (the same one where I found The Stepford Wives (1975), and I spotted this film. The whole conversation about the pod people and our neighbor’s tree came rushing back to me and I knew I needed to buy this film and watch it.
So first let me say, with a name like Invasion of the Body Snatchers how can you go wrong? I mean seriously, I love this movie. I watch it every year around this particular holiday. It is an amazing cinematic piece.
There are also numerous studies into it’s portrayal of women’s and men’s roles in the 1950s (of which I am going to ignore because I think a lot of what people write about on this is stupid) and the prevalent McCarthyism. Yes, it is time for a little history.
So two years ago when I reviewed The Crucible, I discussed a little bit on how Rather Miller took a historical subject and tried to show the negative effects McCarthyism had. How it created witch hunts and caused people to turn in friends to save themselves from losing everything; causing us to side and relate more to the accused witches then those who were “righteous” (the ministers and good townsfolk/Joe McCarthy). Invasion of the Body Snatchers is the flip side of that. In this it show how something can sneak into a town (Communism) and destroy everything we hold dear with its atheism, value of group over individual, etc.
Now enough with that, let’s watch the film!
I love the opening creepy music with the credits. I know I have said it in nearly every post, but truth is, I just can’t say that enough. These old movies really knew how to set atmosphere.
So we open with cars speeding all over and a man screaming.
We hear a siren as the cops pick up a man they believe to be a real loon. , a siren call the doctor as they believe they’ve found a real looney. The man says he is Dr. Miles J. Bennell,Kevin McCarthy, a doctor from Santa Mira, CA.
Dr. Miles J. Bennell: I AM NOT INSANE!
[guards grab him]
Dr. Hill: Let him go!
Dr. Miles J. Bennell: Listen, Doctor, now you must listen to me, you must understand me, I’m a doctor too, I am not insane! I am NOT insane!
We then have a flashback as Dr. Miles is prepared to share his story.
Dr. Miles J. Bennell: Well, it started, for me it started last Thursday, in response to an urgent message from my nurse I’d hurried home from a medical convention I’d been attending. At first glance, everything lookedthe same, it wasn’t, something evil had taken possession of the town.
His nurse Sally picks him up at the station and relays to him how so many patients have been coming in, they won’t say what is bothering them, but were all willing to forgo seeing another doctor, instead waiting on him to return.
Becky Driscoll, Dr. Miles old high school and college sweetheart is one of the people who came to see him. Miles is surprised she is here as she married five years ago and moved to England with her husband, never visiting. He is also pleased as he still is interested in her. what she doing back?
As they are driving to the office, they almost hit a little boy. It is Jimmy Grimaldi, who would rather risk getting hit by a car than face whatever he is running from. When they stop him, his mom says it is because he is afraid of school. He must really be afraid if he’s running in traffic to get away.
Dr. Miles doesn’t think much of it. He heads on to his office and when he gets there he and Nurse Sally discover that there are six canceled appointments. Nurse Sally finds this so strange as they were begging to be seen.
Nurse Sally feel bad for calling him when it seems he is no longer needed. Dr. Miles looks outside the window and sees Santa Mira the same as usual.
Becky Driscoll, Dr. Miles’ old sweetheart, comes to see him. She is calling on him for help with her cousin Wilma. She doesn’t believe her uncle is really her uncle. Becky visited him and sees no difference, but Wilma insists he is not the same man.
Dr. Miles finds it odd, but is actually more interested in Becky and what has been going on in her life. Becky has recently returned home after a stint in Reno. Surprisingly, Miles was there not to long ago himself. And back then, Reno was code for D-I-V-O-R-C-E. Becky left her husband, for reasons unexplained. Miles lost his wife due to him being a very busy, doctor.
Miles runs into little Jimmy as he is walking home. This time he is with his grandma who reveals that Jimmy’s mother was lying earlier. Jimmy isn’t afraid of school, but his mom. He says she isn’t the same person.
Grandma Grimaldi: School isn’t what upsets him, it’s my daughter-in-law. He’s got the craziest idea she isn’t his mother.
Jimmy Grimaldi: [in hysterics] She isn’t! She isn’t! Don’t let her get me!
Dr. Miles doesn’t think much of it. Kids always have stages where they are running from home or hate their parents. He gives a sedative, and tells the grandma to keep him for the night.
Yes, present day Dr. Miles is mentally kicking himself for not realizing the sings and seeing that things were not right.
While he doesn’t think it is too serious, Dr. Miles decides to investigate Wilma’s case, He sees and speaks to Ira, completely certain that it is Ira. But Wilma still isn’t convinced it is him. He acts like Ira, looks like Ira, knows everything about Ira and her, but there is something missing. Almost like the love between them is gone.
Wilma is afraid she is going crazy, but Dr. Miles calms her down. He wants her to see a psychiatrist, not because she is insane, but because there might be a deeper issue here. you aren’t.
When he leaves, Dr. Miles finds everything very odd. Sick people wanting to see me, suddenly “well” , little boy saying his mom isn’t his mom; and a niece saying her uncle not uncle.
That night Becky and Miles make plans for dinner. When walking into the restaurant, they bump into two other doctors in the parking lot. One a psychiatrist, Dr. Dan ‘Danny’ Kauffman. He shares what is going on, and Dr. Danny says that the whole town is experiencing the same type of “mass hysteria”. Miles finds this strange, what could be causing a whole town to act that way?
They go in for dinner, but there is no one in the restaurant. It used to be packed out everyday, but now no one is going out. Strange. Before they can eat, Jack Belicec calls saying it is an emergency.
When he gets there, Jack and wife Teddy aren’t sick. Why would they call?
Jack Belicec: Will you be able to quit being a doctor for a while?
Dr. Miles J. Bennell: Why?
Jack Belicec: I don’t want you to call the police right away.
They go in side. I love this scene. The way it is shot, the way it is set up in lighting, the actors, oooh it is a favorite of mine.
Miles looks on the table Pulls sheet off dun dun dun aaaaaaaaahhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
He studies the body on the table.
Dr. Miles J. Bennell: Who is he?
Jack Belicec: I have no idea.
There is no face really, it’s as if they have all the parts but no details, no lines, no character, bland, no fingerprints, as if he is not completed. Like a dummy or a mannequin.
Jack Belicec: Like it is waiting for the final face to be stamped on
Teddy Belicec: But who’s face?! Who’s Face?!!! [After she’s had a drink] Who’s face Miles?
Dr. Miles J. Bennell: I don’t know.
Teddy Belicec: How tall would you say he is?
Dr. Miles J. Bennell: About 5’10.
Teddy Belicec: And how much does he weigh?
Dr. Miles J. Bennell: 140 lbs
Teddy Belicec: Jack’s 5’10 and weighs 140 lbs.
Jack is startled by this and cuts his hand on a glass. Jack thinks it is nonsense to believe that thing wants to be him, but Teddy is freaked out and scared.
Becky wants to call the police, but Miles doesn’t as he doesn’t know what to say. He wonders if it is connected to everything else weird that has been going on, what the psychologist called mass hysteria.
Jack stays up to watch what this guy will do, deciding to call the police if nothing happens, and if something does, call Miles.
Miles takes Becky home. He hides it from her as doesn’t want to worry her, but he is scared.
Mass hysteria does not explain that body.
He drops Becky off and goes in for the kiss, when Becky’s dad comes up the stairs. Why is he in the basement so late at night? He says doing things in his shop, but that’s kind of unusual.
Jack falls asleep when keeping vigil and Teddy goes over to look at the body. It now looks just like Jack, even down to the scratch. It starts to move and she freaks out, both running out to see Miles.
They then call Dr. Danny. When he answers the phone he seems really reluctant to come. It’s so weird as if the doctor was calling in the night, for something, you know it has to be serious. Miles is about to make coffee when Jack asks if Becky is okay.
Miles passes his open basement and knows. He doesn’t know how or why, but he knows something was going on in Becky’s basement, her dad is somehow involved, and he must save her!
Miles rushes over and breaks into the house. He goes around the basement, and finds a body that looks like Becky!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
He creeps upstairs, searching for her room. He tries to wake her up, but she is in too deep of sleep so he carries her out the door.
At Miles’ house they talk to Dr. Danny, but he doesn’t believe them. He needs to see one of the “bodies”. They go back to Jack’s house, but find nothing. Only a blood spot. Danny keeps going on about how rational everything could be. A person killed, no fingerprints because took them off with acid, etc. Miles angry that he is not listening! IT IS NOT A REGULAR BODY!!!!!
They all head over to Becky’s house, and sneak down in the basement, but there is nothing there. Dr. Danny thinks it is all in their minds
The cops come, as Becky’s dad called them. He yells at them for not reporting a body. They try to to tell him it was a different body, but he shuts them up saying he’s just seen it. And then goes on to describe the body, using everything that Dr. Danny said.
Now that is really odd. How did he know that was the body they found? And how did he know exactly what the psychologist said to explain the strangeness of the body. It is as if the two are connected or reading from the same script. Very odd, very, very, very odd indeed.
They all go home convinced that it is nothing after all. The next day, Becky is making breakfast when they hear a big thumping in the basement. It is the gas man.
Becky and Miles are growing closer together, but interrupted by Jack and Teddy who had also stayed the night. Jack and Teddy ask to stay for a few more days as they are both still a bit freaked.
Miles is walking to his office when he is stopped by Wilma. She says not to worry as she is completely recovered from whatever she thought was going on with her uncle Ira. She woke up this morning completely fine. He tells her to call Becky at his house and relay the good news.
When he gets to his office he has another surprise, in the reception room little Jimmy is with his mother, happy and well.
Dr. Miles J. Bennell: [voice-over narration] But driving home I had a lot of questions and no answers. How could Jimmy and Wilma be so normal now. Surely I had done nothing to cure them. Maybe they wanted me to feel secure but why?
Miles comes home to a BBQ. They are trying to grill steaks but the grill won’t light right so Miles goes into the greenhouse to get something. There we see the pods!!!!!!!!! They are cracking open and reveal bodies inside!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
He goes back to put the gas lighter away and sees them!!!!!!!! He starts creaming for Jack, and all come over. They start looking at them when Miles, being a doctor he has an analytical mind, starts theorizing that they must be from another place, another planet. They copy people and then terminate the original.
Jack want to destroy them all but Miles stops him, as there is no danger right away. Teddy points out, the body didn’t change until Jack fell asleep.
That’s right, the original Nightmare on Elm Street, warning you don’t fall asleep.
Are alien pod people scarier then him? I’d have to say yes.
Teddy asks if there is any difference between orginal and copy. There is as the emotions aren’t quite right. Jimmy’s mother, Wilma’s Uncle, Becky’s dad….
Miles believes they can stop it. They just need to make some calls and them check every building and person in Santa Mira. But that’s when Miles realizes, it is too late for Santa Mira. He thinks about the way the police acted, Danny the psychologist….they are all a part of it.
He goes to the operator and tries to call the FBI in Los Angeles, but the switchboard tells him they are not answering. In fact, all Los Angeles circuits are dead. They try Sacramento, but all are busy. They will call him back.
They got to the telephone operators!!!
Miles makes a new plan. He wants Jack and Teddy to head out of town and get help. He has to stay because they will call back, and if he isn’t there, they will end up blocking the roads. Jack doesn’t want to leave, but Miles urges him on, that he is their only hope.
Becky stay with Miles, waiting by the phone as Miles destroys the pods. After that, Miles realizing they can’t wait around, they need to get out of there too. He stops to get gas, and tries to call on a pay phone, when he sees the gas operator putting something in his trunk!
Pods! He’s in on it too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
They drive a little, stop, and then toss them out, Miles lighting them up with a flare. He continues to see his Nurse Sally. But it is too late, she has been turned. The police chief is also there, waiting.
Miles and Becky take off, with a APB put out on them and everyone on the look out for Miles and Becky. They are the only normal ones left in the whole town!!!!!!
Miles and Becky drop the car off in a used car lot, and run to his office.
There they take some drugs to stay awake as they wait for Jack and Teddy to save them all. The phone keeps ringing in his office, as the two are waiting. But they don’t answer as they know it is the town looking for them.
The next morning they see everyone out in about in the town, being “normal”, but it is 7:30 in the morning. Way too much activity for this early. They see that the cops have been waiting for the bus to arrive, taking any newcomers away to pod them up.
Trucks come in, all farm family trucks, the ones who closed down their stalls and such. They stopped growing real food and are growing pods, preparing to take them to the surrounding towns. An INVASION!!!!
Miles, I cant wait any longer preparing to help. Becky doesn’t want him to go, and as two are arguing, the door handle is twisting!!!!
They hear Jack, and open it to let him in, he being followed by the psychologist. Too late, as he was captured and has been turned too. Everyone has been except Miles & Becky. They tell him not to fight it but, join them.
Dr. Dan ‘Danny’ Kauffman: Love, desire, ambition, faith – without them, life’s so simple, believe me.
Dr. Miles J. Bennell: I don’t want any part of it.
Dr. Dan ‘Danny’ Kauffman: You’re forgetting something, Miles.
Dr. Miles J. Bennell: What’s that?
Dr. Dan ‘Danny’ Kauffman: You have no choice.
They lock them up in a room with the pods in the others, waiting until they finally fall asleep. Miles grabs a knife, but quickly throws that idea away as he is not enough to go against three. Becky is prepared to help, two against three; but Miles has come up with a new plan. He locks one door, and then goes around, surprising them and stabbing them with needles full of drugs. When the third one comes in, the cop, Becky takes him down.
They try to sneak out the back door, but it padlocked. They go out the front, pretending to be emotionless zombies.
However, Becky ends up giving it away, when she sees a dog almost get hit by a car.
So a lot of people go on about how this film is supposedly saying that because Becky is a woman she isn’t capable of being able to pull of this emotionless act and ruins their cover, unlike Miles because he is a “man.” Well I don’t think that is true at all. These people are forgetting Miles is a Doctor. He is someone who has to deal with death a lot, so he has the ability to compartmentalize, and withhold his feelings. Becky is unable to, not because she is “the weaker sex” or because she is “how a woman is supposed to be in the ’50s”; but because she hasn’t had that training. She hasn’t had to face death or stressful situations like Dr. Miles, so she doesn’t have that cuplability to push down everything.
The police officer is suspicious of Becky’s behavior and investigate’s Miles office. When he finds the men there, he turns on the alarm. And the whole town chases after Miles and Becky.
Miles and Becky are trying to run to the highway, having to hike to it. Poor Becky, she’s wearing heels. That has got to be so tough, and it;s not like you can take them off, being shoeless would be way worse.
Becky is so tired, that Miles has to carry her to a mine shaft, where they will wait a bit. They find some loose floorboards, and hide underneath them until the townsfolk have passed over.
These two are dirty, sweaty, stinky, and look crazy. Becky and Miles are so tired, using water to stay awake. Then they hear something outside.
The town is playing a soft, beautiful lullaby, trying to get them to fall asleep.
Miles leaves Becky to investigate the song. NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!! Don’t leave her!!!!!!!
Becky is so tired, trying not to fall asleep. Miles spots the music coming from a truck carrying pods. He goes back to Becky.
He finds Becky tired, eyes closed!!! He tries carryoing her, but falls. They are on the ground, he kisses her when…dun dun dun….
Dr. Miles J. Bennell: I’ve been afraid a lot of times in my life, but I didn’t know the real meaning of fear until… until I had kissed Becky.
I love that line so much. It makes me laugh, while the same time making me very afraid.
Becky is a pod person and screams out to all the others to come.
So I’m going to stop for a second and go off on two separate thoughts.
How Did Becky Become a Pod Person if She Wasn’t Near a Pod?
This has always bothered me. I have thought on it, and thought on it, and thought on it, and I finally think I have figured it all out. So Becky has had four attempted pod people forms made of her. The first we see was in the basement of her house when Miles comes over to investigate. When he calls the psychologist, and they realize he is on to them, they destroy it. Better to destroy it then have Miles find it and leave or do something else that poses a threat to them. The second time is when they put the pods in Miles’ greenhouse. But that form didn’t last as Miles destroyed it with the pitchfork. The third attempted form was the ones they put in Miles’ trunk but he destroyed those with the flare. Now the fourth was when they caught the two in Miles’ office. When Becky and Miles are taking out the three guards they don’t destroy the pods. That means there are a Miles and Becky form just waiting for the two to fall asleep and take their brain. So when Becky falls asleep in the cave, the Becky pod is created.
Now the pod body form doesn’t come to life and kill the original like we’ve been imagining. It is much scarier, as it is transferred over into that body, leaving everything the same but the mind. Almost like a parasite taking over the host.
Now to the second thing, people always say that because Becky is a woman she of course is the weaker one that gives in to sleep. I of course want to bring everyone back to the fact that Miles is a doctor! Why do you think Jack was unable to overcome it? Because he is writer and isn’t used to the stressful scenes that Miles has had to deal with. He is the only doctor for a small town, so you know there has to be days he doesn’t sleep, when he is called all over. He is just better trained becuse of his occupation. It isn’t because he is a “man”.
Anyways, back to the film. Miles keeps running, as fast as he can to warn others. He finally reaches the highway. The pod people stopping as they know no one will believe him.
Miles runs around trying to warn everyone about what is happening, and of course no one stops.
Dr. Miles J. Bennell: They’re here already! You’re next! You’re next, You’re next…!
And as he sounds crazy, he gets carted off to the police where the psychiatrist is trying to figure out whether he should take him to the insane asylum or not.
Now THIS IS THE SCARIEST THING about this film. I mean take a minute and stop and think about this. Imagine if your school was taken over and filled with pod people, your work, you home, your street, your town, your suburb, your city, etc. And YOU KNEW IT and YOU were the ONLY ONE LEFT. Where could you go that someone wold believe you? Nowhere. Everyone would think you are crazy, and of course it is only a matter of time until you crash, fall asleep, and become a pod person yourself. That is if they don’t inject you with a sedative first.
This was were the director originally wanted to end the film. The studio didn’t like it though. Now I love the film how it is but I do think it would have been pretty cool to end it here.
So they think they Miles is crazy and are preparing to lock him up. Just before they do that, a man comes in who was injured in a car accident. He might not make it as it took forever to get him out from under some weird seed pods. Dr. Hill comes running out, where was the truck coming from? Santa Mira. Dr. Hill realizes that Miles is telling the truth and gets the police and the FBI after it. The credits end on Miles who is thinking, hoping it might be over and he can go to sleep.
I love that movie. It is so awesome. If you haven’t watched it, do so. The cinematography and story is just amazing.