Invasion of the Body Snatchers is notable for being a film that tapped into the general paranoia beneath the surface of America during the 1950s. With the fear of communism high, many saw this film as depicting the invisible spread of communism. Indeed, the depiction of pod people being put to work in greenhouses and the authorities tracking down humans resembles how many Americans viewed the Soviet Union; as an Agrarian society composed of emotionless people and secret police to track down non-conformists.
Others argue that this film could just as easily be seen as an allegory of the McCarthy era. During the 1950s, any ideas left of center were considered potentially subversive -- and people holding them were labeled as communists or "communist sympathizers." There was never an explanation of why any American would not be free to hold a particular political view. However, there was never an effort to explain what a communist sympathizer was or what risk such a person would pose in a democratic society.
In Invasion of the Body Snatchers, the way the police track down uninfected and free thinking people with the help of the pod people resembles the way McCarthy's Senate Committee and the House Un-American Activities Committee required witnesses to provide the names of other communists or communist sympathizers, and how ordinary Americans were encouraged to report people they suspected of leftist leanings.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers is an allegory story about people who allow themselves to be taken over by political or religious ideology. Accepting any dogma without question causes one to lose individuality and the ability for critical thinking. Every time this happens, people become part of an unthinking mob looking for leadership. This theme could apply to any belief or political ideology to the extent that one or the other tends to dehumanize the individual.
In Invasion of the Body Snatchers, the pod peo