Welcome back to LEADING LADIES, that column where we look at the careers of lead actresses in the movies, especially horror movies.
Up today it’s Brooke Adams, who, if you’ve seen the outstanding 1978 version of INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS, you’ll definitely remember her performance as one of the contributing factors to it being such a great movie.
The Philip Kaufman directed INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (1978) is one of those rare instances where the remake is as good or arguably better than the original. There are many reasons for this. Among them, Kaufman’s direction, a truly unforgettable chilling ending, and a fine ensemble of actors, including Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams, Jeff Goldblum, Veronica Cartwright, and Leonard Nimoy. I saw this at the movies when I was just 14, and it instantly became a favorite. I also immediately became a fan of Brooke Adams.
Here now is a partial look at Adams’ career, focusing mostly on her genre credits:
MURDERS IN THE RUE MORGUE (1971) – Nurse (uncredited) – Adams’ first appearance on the big screen, an uncredited bit as a nurse, in this tepid horror movie by director Gordon Hessler, featuring Herbert Lom and Jason Robards. Based on the Edgar Allan Poe story.
THE GREAT GATSBY (1974) – Party Guest (uncredited) – another uncredited bit in the Robert Redford version of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel.
SONG OF THE SUCCUBUS (1975) – Olive Deems/Gloria Chambers – plays the lead in this TV movie about a modern-day rock star haunted by the ghost of a Victorian era musician.
MURDER ON FLIGHT 502 (1975) -Vera Franklin – part of an all-star cast in this TV movie about a series of murders on a jumbo jet, featuring Robert Stack, Ralph Bellamy, Sonny Bono, Fernando Lamas, Hugh O’Brian, Walter Pidgeon, and receiving most of the hype at the time, Farrah Fawcett.
SHOCK WAVES (1977) – Rose – stars alongside Peter Cushing and John Carradine in this low-budget thriller about Nazi zombies.
INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (1978) – Elizabeth Driscoll – my favorite Brooke Adams role. Stars alongside Donald Sutherland, Jeff Goldblum, Veronica Cartwright, and Leonard Nimoy in this superior retelling of the classic Jack Finney story. The best part of Adam’s performance here is that she does fear very well and captures how unsettling it would be to be caught up in such a dire situation as the imminent invasion of the pod people.
CUBA (1979) – Alexandra Lopez de Pulido- co-stars with Sean Connery in this romantic adventure by director Richard Lester.
THE DEAD ZONE (1983) – Sarah Bracknell – David Cronenberg’s effective adaptation of Stephen King’s novel stars Christopher Walken, Brooke Adams, Tom Skerritt, Herbert Lom, Anthony Zerbe, and Martin Sheen. A good role for Adams, as she plays Sarah, the former girlfriend of Walken’s Johnny Smith. When Johnny awakes from a coma, five years have passed, and Sarah is now married to someone else. Jonny also finds that he now possesses an unusual power. Excellent horror flick!
THE STUFF (1985) – Special Guest Star in Stuff Commercial – appearance in Larry Cohen’s campy horror comedy, starring Michael Moriarty.
SNAPSHOTS (2018) – Patty – Adams’ most recent screen credit, in this drama co-starring Piper Laurie.
All told, Brook Adams has 66 screen credits. A lot of these have been on television.
Born on February 8, 1949, Adams is still actively acting. She has been performing on both the big and small screen since 1963, with her first big screen performance happening in 1971. For me, I’ll always remember Adams for her riveting performance as the very frightened Elizabeth Driscoll in the 1978 version of INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS.
Well, that’s it for now. I hope you enjoyed this edition of LEADING LADIES and join me again next time when we look at the career of another lead actress in horror movies.
As always, thanks for reading!