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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:

A mighty panorama of earth-shaking fury! 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

Fifty actors were actually filmed for the scene on the hill, then their images were copied and pasted to create hundreds. See more »

Goofs

The Martians are seen using their defense screens just before the atomic bomb is deployed against them. When viewed through the forward observers' binoculars, however, the machines are clearly passing through the dust and gas clouds thrown up by the bomb. The defense screens are nowhere in sight. 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

Referenced in Arthur: D.W. Aims High/Flaw & Order (2006) 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 of the top 25 SF films ever made!
24 March 2002 | by ZMBKLRSee all my reviews

Vastly superior to ID4,which was a tired rip off of most of these ideas, WOTW is a great film because as we watch it, we believe. From the moments the first Martian pod lands and the three poor guys get toasted by the infamous heat ray, to the final thirty seconds where it looks like it's all over for humanity, this is how to do an Alien Invasion film! The scenes of destruction as well as the scenes of the panicking humans are extremely well done and beliveable. The film just works on so many different levels it's hard not to watch it every single time it's on. At least I do. One great addition to the pantheon of SF films and another winner by George Pal!


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