The War of the Worlds

  • PG
  • Byron Haskin (1953)
  • US
  • 81 min
The War of the Worlds
Film Review
Reviewed By
4 out of 5

Although it never comes close to reproducing the panic generated by Orson Welles's famous 1938 radio broadcast, this is a splendid version of HG Wells's sci-fi classic. When the "meteor" that lands in southern California turns out to be the mothership of a Martian invasion, the governments of the world unleash their most potent weapons in a counterproductive attempt to stem the tide of destruction. The miraculous deliverance is clumsily staged, but it scarcely matters. Director Byron Haskin enhances the impact of Gordon Jennings's Oscar-winning special effects by ensuring that his extras convey a genuine sense of terror as civilisation collapses around them.

Plot Summary

Science-fiction adventure, starring Gene Barry and Ann Robinson. With their civilisation on the verge of extinction, the Martians scan the solar system and conclude that only the Earth is fit for colonisation. The human race faces its greatest challenge as a Martian invasion force is launched.

Cast and crew


Dr Clayton Forrester
Gene Barry
Sylvia Van Buren
Ann Robinson
General Mann
Les Tremayne
Doctor Pryor
Robert Cornthwaite
Doctor Bilderbeck
Sandro Giglio
Pastor Collins
Lewis Martin
Wash Perry
William Phipps
Alonzo Hogue
Paul Birch
Cedric Hardwicke
Sheriff Bogany
Walter Sande


Byron Haskin

Other Information

Available on video and DVD
Certificate PG