During a test of a new parachute three paratroopers jump from a plane. General Armstrong (George Sanders) and Jim Radford (Neil Connery), the inventor, watch in disbelief as the men disappear from the sky. Their parachutes slowly descend to the ground with no one harnessed to them.
At an air show a team of daredevil skydivers from the Royal Air Force jump from a plane in a freefall display of skill. Suddenly a red light surrounds each man and they disappear from the sky. Wing Commander Baldwin (Robert Flemyng) orders a search of the area for the skydivers. No one is found. The matter is taken to Hindesmith (Allan Cuthbertson). Hindesmith reports directly to the Prime Minister. He says that there were five other instances where the same thing happened. In all eleven men are missing. He instructs Commander Baldwin, General Armstrong and Radford to find out what happened and to keep the matter confidential.
To figure out what happened to the men they need someone with special training. Jim calls his friend Bob Megan (Patrick Allen). Bob is taken to the NATO Command Research Headquarters for briefing. He knows a couple of the men that are missing. Bob begins his investigation with the area the parachutes landed. He finds a buckle belonging to one of the chutes that was missed by the team that picked them up. Other than that, nothing. The research lab is run by Dr. Matthews (Maurice Evans). He and his assistant Julie Slade (Hilary Heath) are doing tests on the parachutes but so far haven’t found anything out of the ordinary.
Bob finds out that the eleven missing men were part of a special group of 50 men trained for space. Orders are given to halt all jumping missions. Then one of the missing jumpers is found. Barely alive he soon dies. The autopsy shows that his biochemistry has been altered as if to maintain him in a different atmosphere. He is also radioactive. Bob’s investigation gets stranger as he is drawn to a mysterious woman named Lorna and a race of aliens from a dying planet.
“The Body Stealers” AKA “Thin Air” AKA “Invasion of the Body Stealers” was released in 1969 and was directed by Gerry Levy. It is a British science fiction “B” film. The movie was your typical sixties style science fiction film. It was interesting for the most part but not wonderful. More for it being a period piece than as great science fiction. The best part is the opening of the film. It’s actually a great opening that draws you in and makes you watch the whole thing. After that the movie more or less plods along but it wasn’t horrible just average. There were a few plot holes that left me with questions at the end. Still I enjoyed most of it despite its shortcomings.
British magazine “Time Out” describes it as a "threadbare Anglo-American enterprise with too much vapid chat and too little action" that "[ends] very feebly (in a British sort of way)". The alien spacecraft is the Dalek space ship from the movie “Daleks Invasion Earth 2150 A.D.” 1966. Since the ship is only seen from a distance I assume that it’s actually a model. It’s also on screen for only a few seconds. I don’t know why they thought no one would recognize it since “Daleks” was released only three years before.
Neil Connery, who plays Jim Radford, is a Scottish actor and the brother of Sean Connery. Neil appeared in a few movies before retiring to run a business in Glasgow. Good idea since he’s not near as good as his brother in the acting department. Lantern jawed Patrick Allen plays the supposed hero of the film. He’s basically a womanizer who thinks nothing of invading their space and assaulting them. It’s supposed to look like he’s a romantic figure and it probably did in the late sixties but by today’s standards he’s just a sexist and an attempted rapist. The Prime Minister’s lackey Hindesmith is not far behind him in the sexist department.