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The War of the Worlds
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The War of the Worlds (1953) More at IMDbPro »

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The War of the Worlds -- The film adaptation of the H.G.Wells story told on radio of the invasion of Earth by Martians.


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Popularity: ?
Up 46% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
H.G. Wells (novel)
Barré Lyndon (screenplay)
View company contact information for The War of the Worlds on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
26 August 1953 (USA) See more »
Amazing! terrifying! The most savage spectacle of all time! See more »
A small town in California is attacked by Martians. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Won Oscar. Another 4 wins & 2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
One word describes this classic - VIVID See more (224 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Gene Barry ... Dr. Clayton Forrester

Ann Robinson ... Sylvia Van Buren

Les Tremayne ... Maj. Gen. Mann

Robert Cornthwaite ... Dr. Pryor (as Bob Cornthwaite)
Sandro Giglio ... Dr. Bilderbeck
Lewis Martin ... Pastor Dr. Matthew Collins
Houseley Stevenson Jr. ... Gen. Mann's Aide (as Housely Stevenson Jr.)

Paul Frees ... Second Radio Reporter / Opening Announcer

William Phipps ... Wash Perry (as Bill Phipps)
Vernon Rich ... Col. Ralph Heffner

Henry Brandon ... Cop at Crash Site

Jack Kruschen ... Salvatore

Cedric Hardwicke ... Commentary (voice) (as Sir Cedric Hardwicke)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Cliff Clark ... Australian Policeman (scenes deleted)
Rudy Lee ... Boy (scenes deleted)
Peter Adams ... Pine Summit Fire Watcher (uncredited)

Eric Alden ... Man (uncredited)
Hugh Allen ... Brigadier General (uncredited)
Ruth Barnell ... Mother (uncredited)

Edgar Barrier ... Prof. McPherson (uncredited)
Russ Bender ... Dr. Carmichael (uncredited)

Paul Birch ... Alonzo Hogue (uncredited)
Oscar Blank ... Man in Church (uncredited)
Nick Borgani ... Man in Church (uncredited)
Hazel Boyne ... Screaming Woman (uncredited)

Chet Brandenburg ... Man in Church (uncredited)
Nora Bush ... Woman in Church (uncredited)
Tony Butala ... Boy in Final Church (uncredited)
Mushy Callahan ... Burning Soldier at Pit (uncredited)
Dick Cherney ... Looter (uncredited)

Ann Codee ... Dr. Duprey (uncredited)
Edward Colmans ... Spanish Priest (uncredited)
James Conaty ... Man at Pacific Institute of Science and Technology (uncredited)

Russ Conway ... Rev. Bethany (uncredited)
Martin Coulter ... Marine Sergeant (uncredited)
Vittorio Cramer ... First Radio Reporter (uncredited)
Pierre Cressoy ... Man (uncredited)
Oliver Cross ... Scientist (uncredited)
Jane Crowley ... Woman in Church (uncredited)
Jim Davies ... Marine Commanding Officer (uncredited)

Joe DeRita ... MP in jeep (uncredited)
Helen Dickson ... Woman in Church (uncredited)
Ralph Dumke ... Buck Monahan (uncredited)
Jimmie Dundee ... Civil Defense Official (uncredited)
Al Ferguson ... Police Chief (uncredited)
Dick Fortune ... Marine Captain (uncredited)
Alex Frazer ... Dr. James (uncredited)
Frank Freeman Jr. ... Bum #2 Listening to Radio (uncredited)
Slim Gaut ... Radio Listener (uncredited)
Charles Gemora ... Martian (uncredited)

Ned Glass ... Well-Dressed Looter (uncredited)
Jack Gordon ... Man in Church (uncredited)

Fred Graham ... Looter (uncredited)

Joe Gray ... Looter (uncredited)

Herman Hack ... Worker Listening to Radio (uncredited)
Nancy Hale ... Young Wife (uncredited)
Virginia Hall ... Girl (uncredited)
Ted Hecht ... KGEB Reporter (uncredited)
Douglas Henderson ... Staff Sergeant (uncredited)
Gertrude Hoffman ... Elderly News Vendor (uncredited)
Tex Holden ... Man in Church (uncredited)

Jimmie Horan ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Patricia Iannone ... Girl (uncredited)
Jerry James ... Reporter (uncredited)

Michael Jeffers ... Woker Listening to Radio (uncredited)
Dick Johnstone ... Man in Church (uncredited)

Carolyn Jones ... Blonde Party Guest (uncredited)
Don Kohler ... Colonel (uncredited)
Frank Kreig ... Fiddler Hawkins (uncredited)

Ivan Lebedeff ... Dr. Gratzman (uncredited)
Freeman Lusk ... Secretary of Defense (uncredited)

Herbert Lytton ... Chief of Staff (uncredited)

George Magrill ... Traffic Cop (uncredited)
Mike Mahoney ... Young Man (uncredited)
John Mansfield ... Man (uncredited)
Joel Marston ... MP in Jeep (uncredited)
Sydney Mason ... Fire Chief, Crew #3 (uncredited)

John Maxwell ... Doctor (uncredited)

Mathew McCue ... Man in Church (uncredited)

David McMahon ... Minister, First Church (uncredited)
William Meader ... P.E. Official (uncredited)
Lee Miller ... Reporter (uncredited)
Ralph Montgomery ... Los Angeles Red Cross Official (uncredited)

Alvy Moore ... Zippy (uncredited)
Bob Morgan ... Injured Civil Defense Worker (uncredited)

Charles Morton ... Worker Listening to Radio (uncredited)
George Nardelli ... Military Officer (uncredited)
Stanley Orr ... Marine Major (uncredited)
George Pal ... Bum #1 Listening to Radio (uncredited)
Walter Richards ... Reporter (uncredited)

Robert Rockwell ... Forest Ranger at Crash Site (uncredited)

Walter Sande ... Sheriff Bogany (uncredited)

James Seay ... Air Force Bomber Pilot (uncredited)
Allen D. Sewall ... Man in Church (uncredited)
Lucile Sewall ... Woman in Church (uncredited)
Cora Shannon ... Old Woman (uncredited)

David Sharpe ... Looter (uncredited)
Teru Shimada ... Japanese Diplomat (uncredited)
Reginald Lal Singh ... Military Officer (uncredited)

Bobby Somers ... Deputy at Crash Site (uncredited)

Bert Stevens ... Man in Church (uncredited)
Charles Stewart ... Marine Captain (uncredited)

Jack Stoney ... Looter (uncredited)
Gus Taillon ... Elderly Man (uncredited)
Morton C. Thompson ... Reporter (uncredited)
Arthur Tovey ... Party Guest (uncredited)

Dale Van Sickel ... Looter (uncredited)

Dorothy Vernon ... Elderly Woman (uncredited)
Edward Wahrman ... Cameraman (uncredited)

Anthony Warde ... Military Police Driver (uncredited)
Bob Whitney ... Military Officer (uncredited)
Chalky Williams ... Worker Listening to Radio (uncredited)
Waldon Williams ... Boy (uncredited)
Bud Wolfe ... Rescuing Civil Defense Worker (uncredited)
Fred Zendar ... Marine Lieutenant (uncredited)

Directed by
Byron Haskin 
Writing credits
H.G. Wells (novel)

Barré Lyndon (screenplay)

Produced by
Frank Freeman Jr. .... associate producer
George Pal .... producer
Cecil B. DeMille .... executive producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
Leith Stevens (music score)
Cinematography by
George Barnes (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Everett Douglas 
Art Direction by
Albert Nozaki 
Hal Pereira 
Set Decoration by
Sam Comer 
Emile Kuri 
Costume Design by
Edith Head (costumes)
Makeup Department
Wally Westmore .... makeup supervisor
Production Management
Frank Caffey .... production manager (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Michael D. Moore .... assistant director
Art Department
Chesley Bonestell .... astronomical art
Romaine Birkmeyer .... props (uncredited)
Ivyl Burks .... props (uncredited)
Gordon Cole .... property master (uncredited)
Charles Davies .... props (uncredited)
Gene Lauritzen .... construction coordinator (uncredited)
Milt Olson .... props (uncredited)
Lee Vasque .... props (uncredited)
Sound Department
Gene Garvin .... sound recordist
Harry Lindgren .... sound recordist
William M. Andrews .... sound editor (uncredited)
Howard Beals .... sound effects (uncredited)
Dan Johnson .... sound effects (uncredited)
Tommy Middleton .... sound effects (uncredited)
Lovell Norman .... sound editor (uncredited)
Walter Oberst .... sound effects (uncredited)
Loren L. Ryder .... sound director (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Chester Pate .... special effects (uncredited)
Bob Springfield .... special effects (uncredited)
A. Edward Sutherland .... special effects (uncredited)
Barney Wolff .... special effects (uncredited)
Visual Effects by
Ivyl Burks .... special photographic effects
Jan Domela .... special photographic effects
Gordon Jennings .... special photographic effects
W. Wallace Kelley .... special photographic effects (as Wallace Kelley)
Paul K. Lerpae .... special photographic effects (as Paul Lerpae)
Irmin Roberts .... special photographic effects
Jack Caldwell .... special optical effects (uncredited)
Marcel Delgado .... miniatures (uncredited)
Jan Domela .... matte artist (uncredited)
Farciot Edouart .... process photography (uncredited)
Walter Hoffman .... special visual effects: a-bomb sequence (uncredited)
Aubrey Law .... special optical effects (uncredited)
Cliff Shirpser .... visual effects camera operator: Technicolor (uncredited)
Mushy Callahan .... stunts (uncredited)
Jimmie Dundee .... stunts (uncredited)
Fred Graham .... stunts (uncredited)
Joe Gray .... stunts (uncredited)
George Magrill .... stunts (uncredited)
Bob Morgan .... stunts (uncredited)
David Sharpe .... stunts (uncredited)
Bobby Somers .... stunts (uncredited)
Jack Stoney .... stunts (uncredited)
Dale Van Sickel .... stunts (uncredited)
Bud Wolfe .... stunts (uncredited)
Fred Zendar .... stunts (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Soldier Graham .... chief gaffer (uncredited)
Murray Young .... key grip (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Charles Gemora .... costume maker: Martian costumes (uncredited)
Diana Gemora .... costume maker: Martian costume (uncredited)
Music Department
George Parrish .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Other crew
Monroe W. Burbank .... Technicolor color consultant
Chesley Bonestell .... technical advisor (uncredited)
Gae Griffith .... assistant to producer (uncredited)
Robert S. Richardson .... technical advisor (uncredited)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
85 min
Color (Technicolor) | Black and White (newsreel archive footage before opening credits)
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
3 Channel Stereo (Western Electric Recording) (5.0) (L-R)
Argentina:13 | Australia:PG | Australia:G (original rating) | Canada:G | Canada:PG (Ontario) | Finland:K-16 | Germany:16 | Iceland:12 | Netherlands:12 | Norway:16 (1954) | Spain:T | Sweden:15 (cut) | UK:X (original rating) | UK:PG (tv rating) | UK:PG (video rating: additional material) (2005) | UK:PG (video rating: audio commentary) (2005) | UK:PG (video rating) (1986) (2005) | USA:TV-PG | USA:Approved (MPAA rating: certificate #16011) (original rating) | USA:G (MPAA rating: certificate #16011) (re-rating) (1977) | West Germany:16 (nf)

Did You Know?

In the theatrical trailer, when the first Martian meteor hits the Earth, there is a large explosion and a cloud of smoke. In the film itself, the same shot contains only a flash when the meteor hits.See more »
Factual errors: When Dr. Forrester and Sylvia meet and talk for the first time, he is wearing red glasses. During the over the shoulder shot in Sylvia's direction it is obvious that there is plain glass in Forrester's frames, as the background and people passing behind the glasses are not distorted as they would have by an optical lens.See more »
[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 »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in 9 (2009/I)See more »
Flop-Eared Mule (Without Calls)See more »


Where (according to the movie) did the Martians first land?
See more »
56 out of 73 people found the following review useful.
One word describes this classic - VIVID, 2 May 2000
Author: matt-96 from indianapolis, IN

For it's day; and, even this day, this is classic, almost perfect, masterpiece. Brilliant design work on the alien ships, incredible sound effects, and sharp, vivid colors. Pacing in this film is tight, and Barry's performance as a scientist in giddy awe of the alien's capabilities is masterful. Finally, the realism of the story telling is unrivalled in most modern science fiction films. All right, it's not true to Wells' original, but what's wrong with updating the story, especially when it is this effective.

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