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The War of the Worlds (1953)

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A small town in California is attacked by Martians, beginning a worldwide invasion.

Director:

Byron Haskin

Writers:

H.G. Wells (novel), Barré Lyndon (screenplay)
Reviews
Won 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Gene Barry ... Dr. Clayton Forrester
Ann Robinson ... Sylvia Van Buren
Les Tremayne ... Maj. Gen. Mann
Robert Cornthwaite ... Dr. Pryor (as Bob Cornthwaite)
Sandro Giglio Sandro Giglio ... Dr. Bilderbeck
Lewis Martin Lewis Martin ... Pastor Dr. Matthew Collins
Houseley Stevenson Jr. 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 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 Rudy Lee ... Boy (scenes deleted)
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Storyline

H.G. Wells' 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. Written by KC Hunt <khunt@eng.morgan.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Don't Tell How It Ends! See more »


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

26 August 1953 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Kampf der Welten See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$4,360,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

3 Channel Stereo (Western Electric Recording) (5.0) (L-R)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)| Black and White (newsreel archive footage before opening credits)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Two of the sound effects in this film eventually became iconic sounds in Star Trek (1966). The sound of the war machines hovering went on to be the sound of a hand phaser.. The sound of the "skeleton ray" as Dr. Forrester called it became the sound of a photon torpedo. See more »

Goofs

During the riot scenes, Dr. Forester's comments when he's pulled from the truck are dubbed over. 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

References Tulips Shall Grow (1942) 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

A Classic!
23 November 2004 | by BaronBl00dSee all my reviews

Somewhere out in the American West, a huge meteor-like projectile crashes in the soil. Everyone initially believes it to be nothing more than a meteor, but soon all learn it is really an investigative ship from the planet Mars out to destroy anything and everything in its path. This film directed by Byron Haskin, based on a script by Barre Lyndon, and produced by George Pal is one of the quintessential science fiction films of the 50's, otherwise known as the Golden Age of Science Fiction. Based on the novel of the same name by H. G. Wells, this film keeps the spirit of the book intact while changing some things like the setting. The book takes place primarily in and around London. All of the talents in this film help make The War of the Worlds an innovative, intelligent, and evocative film that tries to get one thinking about alien invaders and their intentions. The earthlings in this film are the good ones...trying to be friendly, yet, treated as nothing more than impediments in the Martians' way. So many scenes in this film are strong: the army fighting the Martian space ship while a man of God tries to make peace with the strangers, the old farmhouse, and the ending as the aliens attack Los Angelos. Acting is strong too as leads Gene Barry - doing a very good job as a scientist who just happens to be nearby - and Ann Robinson convincingly portray what life might be like in a world with such horrific news. But despite a first-rate script, solid direction from Haskin, and good acting, The War of the Worlds owes its greatest debt to producer George Pal. Pal knew how to put films like this together and was a driving force in the film's innovative and unique special effects. Who could forget those bright green Martian ships or that figure of a Martian?


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