By People Staff
January 08, 1979 12:00 PM

Now there are two classic versions of Jack Finney’s classic sci-fi story. While the 1956 original was spare, in black and white and nightmarish, this one is extravagant, in color and nightmarish. The plot is the same—seed pods from outer space turn people into emotionless vegetables—with a couple of exceptions. One is to transplant the nasty weeds’ attack from a small town to San Francisco, and it was a mistake; the siege atmosphere and the aliens’ takeover seemed more plausible in a limited area. But the new script is wittier, the effects bloodier (and more interesting), and Denny Zeitlin’s score a goose-bump breeder. The enthusiastic, ironically inclined cast includes, most notably, Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams, Jeff Goldblum and Leonard Nimoy. (The 1956 film’s star and director. Kevin McCarthy and Don Siegel, do cameos.) Remakes of grand old films are to be discouraged, but director Philip Kaufman (he did The Great Northfield, Minnesota Raid) gets away with this one on style and verve. (PG)