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The War of the Worlds (1953)

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2:20 | Trailer

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

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
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4,328 ( 1,199)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
... Dr. Clayton Forrester
... Sylvia Van Buren
... Maj. Gen. Mann
... 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.)
... Second Radio Reporter / Opening Announcer
... Wash Perry (as Bill Phipps)
Vernon Rich ... Col. Ralph Heffner
... Cop at Crash Site
... Salvatore
... Commentary (voice) (as Sir Cedric Hardwicke)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
... Australian Policeman (scenes deleted)
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:

The original invasion! See more »


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

26 August 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Kampf der Welten  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$4,360,000
See more on IMDbPro »

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

Cecil B. DeMille's personal choice to produce the film after Alfred Hitchcock declined to direct the film was George Pal, who was renowned for his Puppetoon animation technique and two earlier live-action sci-fi films: Destination Moon (1950) and When Worlds Collide (1951). However, DeMille gave complete control to Pal over the production, and Byron Haskin was ultimately chosen to direct the film, a decision with which DeMille was pleased. See more »

Goofs

When Dr. Forrester and Sylvia and are trapped in the farmhouse, he uses an ax to chop off the electronic eye, and the eye falls apart. However, a few seconds later, when Dr. Forrester lifts the eye, it's intact and clean again. 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

Spoofed in The Chubbchubbs! (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Paramount on Parade
(uncredited)
Written by Elsie Janis and Jack King
Played over the opening logo
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Still a classic after 50 years!
19 August 2003 | by See all my reviews

This film is easily one of the Top Ten of the Sci-Fi genre. Producer George Pal and director Byron Haskin certainly reached a creative plateau back in 1953 that is seldom attained even now in the current age of CGI effects and ear-splitting soundtracks.

I was lucky to attend the 50th anniversary screening in Hollywood recently, with Gene Barry, Ann Robinson, other actors and production people from the film, and 'Mr. Sci-Fi' Forrest J. Ackerman, all in attendance. To see it on a full size theater screen for the first time, and with these people there, was the thrill of a lifetime, for sure!

The Martians and their war machines in this movie are still some of the best and most memorable designs in the history of science fiction films. The color cinematography and musical score also hold up very well. And any film that starts off with the beautiful space art paintings of Chesley Bonestell has my vote of approval. Also, Jack Northrup's Flying Wing bomber puts in a splendid cameo appearance.

Simply the best 'alien invasion' type film ever made - bar none!


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