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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.

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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:

Amazing! Astounding! Terrifying! 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:

 »
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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

Most of the soldiers in the movie aren't actors; they're actual National Guard troops going through real maneuvers. See more »

Goofs

A number of times the learned Dr. Forrester refers to the object that has landed as a "meteor". This is an appallingly egregious faux pas on his part, as he would surely know that once a meteor hits the ground it is called a "meteorite". Any professor who refers to the bell jar shaped shields that protect the invaders as "protective blisters" would never make so careless an error... 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

Referenced in The Simpsons: Treehouse of Horror XVI (2005) 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

 
Towers Over The Remake!
11 July 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Spoilers Ahead;

The acting is so superior to the original especially Dr. Forrester compared to Tom Cruise. Even Sylvia is a better actress than anyone in the remake. Many younger people may avoid this film because they are going to be afraid the effects will stink. No, believe it or not, this features the best effects of any movie before 1970. The effects are so excellent that the people who did Robinson Crusoe on Mars stole these space ships. They show little beams that hold the ships in the air magnetically, very well done. Watch this cast convey fear versus the newer bad actors. It contains one of the scariest scenes in any movie. I will not spoil it for you just get ready to see popcorn go flying all around your living room. The remake, wisely, did not even try to mimic it. It will seem a little corny and phony with the square dance, and the community activities but it really was like that. When I was growing up, it was a world of parks, activities and communities, just like it is depicted here. They wiped it all out before I could really be a part of it. Watch, compared to Independence Day, how no time is spent trying to communicate with them. In Independence Day, even after they wipe out half the country, the president is still trying to cut a deal. Like all science fictions from the 50s, with the exception of the Space Children, we lock and load.

Some people get offended at the priest getting burned up, hey, these are stand ins for the godless Commies. That scene was necessary to relay to the audience, that the enemy is always godless and ruthless. It will seem so odd, like Earth Versus The Flying Saucers, how we start firing with no attempt to negotiate. Find a movie of this genre in the 50s where we did. It has some really creepy parts in it. The movie is quite short which is a good thing. It gets going and never stops until the ending. There is a hiding out in the farmhouse scene but that is why the director put the scariest scene in there; you think it is boring then BAM!, he scares the crap out of you. Acting is important in horror or science fiction because the premise is so far fetched we need believability out of the actors. This cast will not let you down. I know, there is an intentionally funny part with the radio guy freaking everybody out about the invaders. Look, there are always parts like this in old movies, try not to notice. It is not as funny as Dr. Marvin putting that alien helmet on in Earth Versus The Flying Saucers. A Great Movie, the best the 50s had to offer with Forbidden Planet.


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