The War of the Worlds

  • Film
  • Science fiction
0 Love It

Updated from London 1890 to contemporary California, George Pal's version of the HG Wells novel still works pretty well, thanks to its attractive special effects. You can on occasion see the wires manipulating the Martian ships, but their graceful sting-ray design (replacing Wells' tripod conception) is sleekly sinister; the wholesale destruction of (miniature) cities is surprisingly convincing; and the one-eyed humanoid/octopoid alien with the sucker fingers is an engaging creation. Too bad about the wooden cast, the tackily conventional romance, and a draggy religious message; but at least, given the time it was made, it isn't imbued with Cold War hysteria.

Release details

Duration: 85 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Byron Haskin
Screenwriter: Barré Lyndon
Cast: Gene Barry
Ann Robinson
Les Tremayne
Henry Brandon
Robert Cornthwaite
Jack Kruschen

Average User Rating

3.8 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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Christopher Brown

This is a very good film, and the Special Collector's Edition is wonderful. Great hearing Gene and Ann talk about the movie -- though not too much detail as can be understood 50 years later. Bonus material is very good. The trailer looks really good, and has at least one outtake. Near the end of the film when Gene is trying to get the truck back with important instruments that's just been taken from him, he's hit in the face with a fist and falls to the ground -- in the trailer, he's hit over the head with a box. Lastly, the alien machine crashing into the building was obviously (and as noted in the commentary) filmed from two sides. Each side shown as two different crashes. Very well done, and still very good. Much better than the remake (but aren't they usually).