‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers’
The late Leonard Nimoy’s run as “Star Trek”’s unfailingly cool-tempered Spock was one of those performances that so defines an actor it’s impossible imagining them as anyone else. Some actors (Anthony Perkins, say) find this restricting; Nimoy embraced it, while still doing other things. There are few characters as un-Spock-like as the one he plays in Philip Kaufman’s 1978 version of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” — apart, that is, from evil, goateed Spock in the episode “Mirror, Mirror.” Clad in a ’70s sweater that screams false reassurance, he’s one of the secret pod people taking over liberal San Francisco, and Nimoy uses his calming persona to throw you off — to feel extra violated when the truth is finally revealed. You’d never assume Mr. Spock to be corrupted. In a film full of personable actors you don’t want to see go to the dark side — Donald Sutherland, Veronica Cartright, Jeff Goldblum — his turn is arguably the most devastating.