H.G. Well's classic novel is brought to life is 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 <email@example.com>
Ann Robinson hated the wig that she was required to wear for her role as Sylvia. When she finally saw the completed film at a theater, however, she claimed that no one recognized her without the wig. See more »
Modern viewers often complain that the wires used to suspend the Martian war machines are plainly visible throughout the film. The film was originally shot in three strip Technicolor, with prints made using a dye transfer process that resulted in very saturated colors but a slight reduction in overall resolution. This reduction in resolution "fuzzed out" the wires in original prints, making them effectively invisible. Later prints were made in Eastman Color, which uses a photographic process and yields sharper prints, but here had the side effect of making the support and electric wires plainly visible. (The models had electrical wires as the side pods of the machines really lit up green and the "cobra heads" lit up as well.) It is common practice in the film industry to take into account what details will be visible when a print is projected so as not to waste production time and money on details that will never actually be visible to a viewing audience, especially in the areas of effects and matte paintings. Thus the filmmakers never thought the wires would be visible and in fact they weren't until the first Eastman Color prints of the film were struck in the late 1960s, and they have become even more visible on modern video releases as there is no dye sublimation resolution loss when making video masters from the original negatives. See more »
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 »
To be an effective thriller, a sci-fi film absolutely must impart to the viewer a sense of --- coldness, either the physical coldness of outer space or other worlds, or the emotional coldness of science.
Cedric Hardwicke's opening narrative in "The War Of The Worlds" is brutally cold, and the added images uninviting. The martian machines, vaguely resembling "legless swans", are both beautiful and terrifying. They move slowly, in a graceful but calculating manner. They warn of their approach with an eerie, unearthly "pinging" sound.
In the scene where the priest walks toward one of the "swans", the aliens do not impulsively open fire. Instead, they wait. The cruel "eye" peers down on the priest, studying him, in a foreboding prelude to his inevitable annihilation.
Other scenes in the first half also convey this needed sense of alien coldness. We can, therefore, forgive the film for its somewhat corny plot.
The film's second half is weaker because the aliens have to compete for screen time with Los Angeles mob scenes, a showy and irksome display of American military hardware, and dry narration of military war tactics. But even in this second half, suspense filters through, as we watch the heartless "swans" eject their heat rays on a helpless Los Angeles.
For sci-fi films made before "2001: A Space Odyssey", "The War Of The Worlds" is one of my three favorites, along with "Robinson Crusoe On Mars" and "Forbidden Planet".
75 of 82 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?