Cheap The War of the Worlds (DVD) (Gene Barry, Ann Robinson, Les Tremayne) (Byron Haskin) Price
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After the success of 1950's Destination Moon and 1951's When Worlds Collide, visionary producer George Pal brought the classic H.G. Wells story of a Martian invasion to the big screen, and it instantly became a science fiction classic and winner of the 1953 Academy Award for Best Special Effects. It's a work of frightening imagination, with its manta-ray spaceships armed with cobra-like probes that shoot a white-hot disintegration ray. As formations of alien ships continue to wreak destruction around the globe, the military is helpless to stop this enemy while scientists race to find an effective weapon. Gene Barry and Ann Robinson play the hero and heroine roles that were de rigueur for movies like this in the '50s, and their encounter with one of the Martians is as creepy today as it was in '53. It finally takes an unseen threat--simple Earth bacteria--to conquer the alien invaders, but not before War of the Worlds has provided a dazzling display of impressive special effects. As memorable for its sound effects as for its spectacular visions of destruction, this is a movie for the ages--the kind of spectacular that inspired little kids such as Steven Spielberg (not to mention Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin, whose Independence Day cribs liberally from the plot) and still packs a punch. --Jeff Shannon
| ACTORS: || Gene Barry, Ann Robinson, Les Tremayne |
| CATEGORY: || DVD |
| DIRECTOR: || Byron Haskin |
| THEATRICAL RELEASE DATE: || 26 August, 1953 |
| MANUFACTURER: || Paramount Studio |
| MPAA RATING: || G (General Audience) |
| FEATURES: || Color, Closed-captioned, Dolby |
| TYPE: || Science Fiction |
| MEDIA: || DVD |
| # OF MEDIA: || 1 |
| UPC: || 097360530377 |
Customer Review of The War of the Worlds
DVD Does Justice to a SF Classic
Based on H.G. Wells' classic novel, George Pal's The War Of The Worlds is a classic in its own right. The movie transfers the story from England and the turn of the century to California and the 1950's. Some people see the paranoia of the '50s in the movie but the novel also had a strong theme of fear of things beyond our ken. Pal often included a religious theme in his movies and this film would have been better without it, but it does not detract from the movie enough to keep it from being a classic. The story is that of an invasion of Earth by coldly intelligent Martians. Told in clear, bold strokes with exceptional special effects (for the time) and fine performances by the two leads, Gene Barry and Ann Robinson, The War Of The Worlds should be in every collection of science fiction movies.
The DVD transfer is excellent. The picture is sharp and clear. The color is strong and rich, as Technicolor should be. Like most people, I had only seen this movie on television and it never looked as good as it does on DVD. The picture resolution is so good that you can easily see the wires supporting the Martian war machines. The sound does not measure up to the standard of the video. It is mono and there are cracks and pops on the sound track during the early part of the movie, though I didn't notice them as much in the later scenes (but that may simply be because I was caught up in the excitement of the story). The disk provides only a trailer as supplemental material (I don't consider scene selection to be a special feature, it should be standard on any DVD). The disk is formatted in TV standard but that is not significantly different from the movie's original ratio, since it was not shot in what we now call widescreen.
Although I would have liked to see more supplemental material, this is still a fine DVD of a nearly fifty year old movie that has not received the special treatment of movies like The Wizard Of Oz.
Something Wicked This Way Comes...
George Pal's WAR OF THE WORLDS remains,in my estimate,THE definitive INVASION from Space movie. The Cobra-like Martian War Machines....throbbing with deadly menace; spitting wicked, banshee wail pulses of green-hued Laser ray Death...are archetypal Engines of Fear. Gene Barry and Ann Robinson are "Earth's Everymen" subjected to War of Extermination by unstoppable ALIEN POWER.
Sir Cedric Harwicke's introductory monologue describing the coldly apprising Martian Intellects who choose Earth for annihilation & colonization is chilling. WAR OF THE WORLDS is among sci-fi film's few incontestable classics. The Japanese will offer THE MYSTERIANS. Numerous remakes through "V" and INDEPENDENCE DAY will follow. But this presentation of H.G.Wells' epic remains unique as excellent story and technological wonder. ((The glimpse of Martian ET's, and their final destruction at the hands of "the humblest creatures God in His Wisdom placed on this earth" is movie Myth in its own right.)) WAR OF THE WORLDS is a must for genre collectors and an enduring thriller for fans of great fantasy film...
When worlds collide
I am by no means a fan of science fiction movies but of the few that I do enjoy, "The War of the Worlds" is my favorite sci-fi flick. Devlin Emmerich's 'Independence Day" has nothing on this film despite having the state of the art special effects. "The War of the Worlds" was based on a radio program that legendary actor Orson Welles read one Halloween night and caused a lot of people to freak out because they thought what they were hearing were true. Dr. Clayton Forrester played by the handsome Gene Barry comes across a small town in California. He was called by the townsfolk to investigate the meteor that crash landed in their town. What Forrester soons discovers is that the meteor that crashed was no meteor. Chaos ensues when the aliens reveal themselves and their deadly intentions. For its time, "The War of the Worlds" had quite the special effects. It may not be as dazzling as that modern rip-off "Independence Day" and even the '80s tv series of the same namesake but it certainly had heart and was more entertaining. I remember first seeing the film in high school and enjoying every second of it, and ten years later I still enjoy watching "The War of the Worlds". Too bad Devlin Emmerich didn't have a backbone and had to ape the concept of this film for his atrocious "Independence Day". That just lacked originality. Nothing beats the original concept of aliens invading earth than "The War of the Worlds" in my book.
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