In a quiet, sunny California town, some of the folks are behaving…a little off. That’s what their concerned relatives tell Dr. Miles Bennell. Sea pods from outer space, replacing the real townspeople as they sleep with alien simulacra, is the film’s official explanation (from the Jack Finney novel). But Body Snatchers is more plausible as a supple metaphor for 50s alienation, conformity and political hysteria. The pods could be Russian or right-wing — we said it was supple — but either way it’s scary: the people you love have ceased to be themselves, because they no longer can love. Officially remade three times, this Don Siegel version is the simplest, sleekest and best. It’s also the only movie that made 50’s kids, after they saw it, go to bed with the light on. Actually, we didn’t need a night light, because we were afraid that if we fell asleep, we’d wake up as pods.