Dr Miles Bennell returns his small town practice to find several of his patients suffering the paranoid delusion that their friends or relatives are impostors. He is initially skeptical, especially when the alleged dopplegängers are able to answer detailed questions about their victim’s lives, but he is eventually persuaded that something odd has happened and determines to find out what is causing this phenomenon. This film can be seen as a paranoid 1950s warning against those Damn Commies or, conversely, as a metaphor for the tyranny of McCarthyism (or the totalitarian system of Your Choice) and has a pro- and epilogue that was forced upon Siegel by the studio to lighten the tone. —IMDb
Donald Siegel (October 26, 1912 – April 20, 1991) was an influential American film director and producer. His name appeared in the credits of his films as both Don Siegel and Donald Siegel.
Born in Chicago, he graduated from Jesus College, Cambridge in England, and found work in Warner Bros. film library, rising to become head of the Montage Department, where he directed thousands of montages, including the opening montage for Casablanca. In 1945 two shorts he directed, Hitler Lives? and A Star in the Night, won Academy Awards, which launched his career as a feature director.
He directed whatever material came his way, often transcending the limitations of budget and script to produce interesting and adept works. He directed two episodes of The Twilight Zone, “The Self-Improvement of Salvadore Ross” and “Uncle Simon”. He worked with Elvis Presley and Dolores del Río in Flaming Star (1960), and with Steve McQueen in Hell… read more
Terse, unadulterated allegory by way of inverse body horror. Siegel's familiarity with film noir signatures is apparent and powerfully appropriated for the context of sci-fi and horror. Slick and quietly unsettling.
Even as the wires and the waves buzz with anticipation for Quentin Tarantino's next project, Django Unchained, which, as the Guardian's Ben
(Sorry about the ad at the end here, but the picture quality on this one beats all the other versions I could find.)"Kevin McCarthy
This is a film about the complete destruction of the American dream buried in Cold War paranoia and 50’s Americana that is typically seen as referring to the Red Scare. Did I mention it’s a low budget… read review