The War of the Worlds (1953) / Sci Fi-Thriller
MPAA Rated: G, suitable for all audiences
Running Time: 85 min.
Cast: Gene Barry, Ann Robinson, Les Tremayne, Lewis Martin, Robert Cornthwaite
Director: Byron Haskin
Screenplay: Barre Lyndon (Based on the novel by H.G. Wells)
Review published November 21, 1996
Martians invade Earth for a better place to live, and seemingly no weapon the military can hurl at them can stop the UFOs.
Impressive visuals are the real draw of this adaptation of the classic H.G. Wells novel, but even so, The War of the Worlds is terribly dated, rendered virtually obsolete for today's audiences by the similar, though not necessarily better, Independence Day. Some viewers might find enjoyment in the campy 1950s style of acting and dialogue, but outside of the inventive special effects for its time, there isn't a whole lot to offer to anyone who isn't a nostalgic sci-fi fan. Groundbreaking special effects notwithstanding, the movie still suffers from weak acting, uninspired direction and a hokey plot, all of which add little to the sense of awe stimulated by Wells' novel. One of those films that are classic for its time, but doesn't stand up nearly as well today.
-- Remade by Steven Spielberg in the 2005 version, War of the Worlds.
©1996 Vince Leo