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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:

Amazing! Astounding! Terrifying! 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

In the farmhouse, when the Martian fled from Clayton and Sylvia, Charles Gemora, who had to control the Martian by kneeling in the costume, almost fell out of the back of the suit when one of the workers pulled the platform on which the Martian was kneeling out of the shot, too fast. If you look closely at the scene, you can see the Martian is tipping over slightly. See more »

Goofs

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 »

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 Nostalgia Critic: The King and I (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Paramount on Parade
(uncredited)
Written by Elsie Janis and Jack King
Played over the opening logo
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
One word describes this classic - VIVID
2 May 2000 | by matt-96See all my reviews

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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