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The War Of The Worlds [1954]

The War Of The Worlds [1954] DVD Notes on The War Of The Worlds

What a dramatic beginning, with Cedric Hardwicke's booming narration!

Three men go looking for a meteor that's just landed, but part of it reveals a lid which starts to unscrew, and an unearthly sight and sound. "We welcome you! We're friends!" is greeted with a deadly heat ray, which incinerates the hapless trio.

Soon the electricity is cut, the phone lines are down, and even watches don't work. They're all over the world, and as the taciturn scientist Dr. Clayton Forrester (Gene Barry) and his hysterical girlfriend Sylvia (Ann Robinson) seek sanctuary in the country, a Martian meteor cum ship crashes into it! Sylvia had already seen her uncle, a priest, make the foolish mistake of thinking the aliens would dig religion.

Even nuclear bombs can't stop 'em! So they march on to Los Angeles, entering the city theys hoot it up. Forrester finds rioting mobs abound, and he's beaten up by a mob, and dragged out of his truck. Looking for his girl, he finds her in a church, amidst a congregation singing 'Abide With Me' as death rays are zapping everything, including a stained glass window in the church, but for the ending there's a sudden, dramatic and unexpected twist, with sympathetic music.

One of the best of all sci-fi films. A not very accurate representation of the classic H.G. Wells novel, but absolutely stunning special effects, and imaginative aliens. The scenes of the aliens dying is stunning and dramatic cinema. This movie still seems fresh, and must have stunned audiences in the '50s.

- Paul Rance.

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The War Of The Worlds Synopsis
H.G. Wells' chilling novel of the invasion of the Earth by Martians becomes even more sinister when translated to the cinema.



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