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The War of the Worlds (1953)

Approved | | Action, Horror, Sci-Fi | 26 August 1953 (USA)
A small town in California is attacked by Martians.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
Dr. Pryor (as Bob Cornthwaite)
Sandro Giglio ...
Lewis Martin ...
Houseley Stevenson Jr. ...
Gen. Mann's Aide (as Housely Stevenson Jr.)
Paul Frees ...
Second Radio Reporter / Opening Announcer
...
Wash Perry (as Bill Phipps)
Vernon Rich ...
...
Cop at Crash Site
...
...
Commentary (voice) (as Sir Cedric Hardwicke)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Cliff Clark ...
Australian Policeman (scenes deleted)
Rudy Lee ...
Boy (scenes deleted)
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Storyline

H.G. Well's classic novel is brought to life in this tale of alien invasion. The residents of a small town in California are excited when a flaming meteor lands in the hills. Their joy is tempered somewhat when they discover that it has passengers who are not very friendly. The movie itself is understood better when you consider that it was made at the height of the Cold War--just replace Martian with Russian.... Written by KC Hunt <khunt@eng.morgan.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A mighty panorama of earth-shaking fury! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

26 August 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Kampf der Welten  »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording) (5.0) (L-R)

Color:

(Technicolor)| (newsreel archive footage before opening credits)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The prologue of the film shows paintings of the other planets in the Solar System, which the Martians examined and rejected as being unfit for habitation, finally selecting the Earth. The planet Venus, however, is neither shown nor mentioned (it would not be suitable either, as its surface is excessively hot due to an extreme greenhouse effect, is highly volcanic, and plagued by sulfuric acid rains). The paintings were made by Chesley Bonestell, as famous astronomical painter whose works were often published in books on astronomy and space travel in the 1950s. See more »

Goofs

During the street-panic scene in downtown Los Angeles, as Dr. Forrester frantically inquires about the Pacific Tech trucks, his face is bleeding and bruised. After running across some deserted streets, another close-up shows his face is clear. Later on, he's shown with bruises on his face that aren't bleeding. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Radio Reporter: [voiceover] In the First World War, and for the first time in the history of man, nations combined to fight against nations using the crude weapons of those days. The Second World War involved every continent on the globe, and men turned to science for new devices of warfare, which reached an unparalleled peak in their capacity for destruction. And now, fought with the terrible weapons of super-science, menacing all mankind and every creature on the Earth comes the War of the Worlds.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Boom! Hollywood's Greatest Disaster Movies (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Flop-Eared Mule (Without Calls)
(uncredited)
Written by Zip Wilson
Performed by Zip Wilson
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Still a classic after 50 years!
19 August 2003 | by (Mouse Town, USA) – See all my reviews

This film is easily one of the Top Ten of the Sci-Fi genre. Producer George Pal and director Byron Haskin certainly reached a creative plateau back in 1953 that is seldom attained even now in the current age of CGI effects and ear-splitting soundtracks.

I was lucky to attend the 50th anniversary screening in Hollywood recently, with Gene Barry, Ann Robinson, other actors and production people from the film, and 'Mr. Sci-Fi' Forrest J. Ackerman, all in attendance. To see it on a full size theater screen for the first time, and with these people there, was the thrill of a lifetime, for sure!

The Martians and their war machines in this movie are still some of the best and most memorable designs in the history of science fiction films. The color cinematography and musical score also hold up very well. And any film that starts off with the beautiful space art paintings of Chesley Bonestell has my vote of approval. Also, Jack Northrup's Flying Wing bomber puts in a splendid cameo appearance.

Simply the best 'alien invasion' type film ever made - bar none!


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