The War of the Worlds

The War of the Worlds

Byron Haskin (1953)

X Certificate


Our Score
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.


A meteor strike in southern California turns out to contain a deadly alien war machine that wipes out anything in its path. This machine is the vanguard of a mass invasion of aliens from Mars, who are intent on wiping out the human race and claiming Earth for themselves. Sci-fi drama, updating HG Wells' novel to a 20th-century setting, starring Gene Barry, Ann Robinson and Les Tremayne.

Cast & 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
Narrator Cedric Hardwicke
Sheriff Bogany Walter Sande
Director Byron Haskin
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourGuidance: Violence. Available on: video and DVD