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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)
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)
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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:

The War of the Worlds 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 one of the montages of destruction in the film, Martian fighting machines were superimposed over black and white footage of a lava flow destroying buildings in and around Naples, Italy, during the 1944 eruption of Mt. Vesuvius. See more »

Goofs

When the atomic bomb mushroom cloud rises into the sky, at the bottom of the screen is a thick dark line which is the pyrotechnic platform used to generate the smoke for the rising cloud. 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 »

Alternate Versions

As of 2018, a 4K ultra high resolution edition has been made available on streaming services such as iTunes. This version features new replacements for many of the film's original sound effects, with the jarring result that the sound effects have fidelity far above that of surrounding dialogue in the film. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Craven Images: The Horror Hits of Michael Berryman (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Flop-Eared Mule (Without Calls)
(uncredited)
Written by Zip Wilson
Performed by Zip Wilson
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Still a classic after 50 years!
19 August 2003 | by moonbus69See 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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