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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The key to the success of this film is Pal's decision to use life-size models for some items (including the alien puppet) rather than miniatures or Harryhausen-style stop motion figurines. With the large size models he was able to get incredibly realistic, life-like movement that couldn't be achieved any other way, and up until this point, never had. This presented quite a bit of a challenge in getting the double exposure of the acetylene torches that he used as the cobra-head's ray to match the head's movement. Look carefully in scenes where the machines are shooting and moving at the same time. You will see one of the the cobra head pointed down while the ray is shooting straight ahead; in another shot, the ray shoots to the (screen's) right, but by the time the ray stops, the cobra head is already turned forward and dropped. In one shot the ray seems like it's coming not from the center of the red lens, but off to the side, possibly even from the edge of the head structure and not the lens. Despite these slight imperfections, this was considered a great achievement for SciFi in the 50s. See more »
When being interviewed by a radio newsman, Gene Barry (Dr. Forrester) pronounces "gyroscopic" with a hard "g" which no scientist of note would have done. See more »
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.
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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 »
HG Wells' futuristic novel responds well to the Technicolor splashed on it in this 50s B classic. Gene Barry over emotes in the lead now and then but the martian invasion is handled very well and the tension rises to the final scenes where the surviving populace huddle in the church as the buildings crash and burn around them.
'War of the Worlds' deserves its place as both a highly regarded novel and a well-remembered movie. Byron Haskin and George Pal did a great job in visualising the apocalyptic bits of Wells' text, while still making the end result enjoyable and interesting for the viewer.
Recommended for fans of intellectualised science fiction.
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