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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:

Amazing! terrifying! The most savage spectacle of all time! 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

Art director Albert Nozaki modeled the Martian periscope after a cobra's head. He also based the shape of the war machines on a manta ray. See more »

Goofs

During the street-panic scene in downtown Los Angeles, as Dr. Forrester frantically inquires about the Pacific Tech trucks, his face is bleeding and bruised. After running across some deserted streets, another close-up shows his face is clear. Later on, he's shown with bruises on his face that aren't bleeding. 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 Arena: The Orson Welles Story - Part 1 (1982) 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

 
One word: CLASSIC!
4 April 2004 | by Lang-JohnSee all my reviews

George Pal redeems himself after the appalling special effects from "When Worlds Collide" by giving us one of the best science fiction movies from the 1950's. Without the use of Industrial Light & Magic or THX, George Pal created the near-perfect illusion of flying swan-like Martian machines attacking the Earth. (Near-perfect because you can faintly see the wires) Ann Robinson gives a BRILLIANT performance as "The damsel in distress". Sandro Giglio (from "When Worlds Collide") returns as one of the scientists. Also Leith Stevens returns from "When Worlds Collide" to provide the music. You'll notice too that some of the footage from this movie comes from "When Worlds Collide". I must add...look for George Pal & Byron Haskins as the hobos listening to the radio.


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