The War of the Worlds

Kampf der Welten
When a fiery object hits the hills near a small California town, the residents first think it is a meteor. But scientist Clayton Forrester and the events that follow soon prove that the truth is much worse. In fact, the UFO was carrying Martians, who soon land their spaceships on all the Earth’s continents. Their goal is to destroy humankind and take over the planet. Their metal attack machines emit deadly rays that reduce entire cities to rubble ... This Technicolor film version of H.G. Wells’ novel, made in the middle of the Cold War, is a compelling expression of the fear of a nuclear apocalypse. The characterisation of the Martians as aggressive invaders dictated how extraterrestrial “strangers” were depicted in US films for decades. Equally impressive were the planetary paintings by “space artist” Chesley Bonestell (1888 – 1986) and the Oscar-winning special effects mounted under the supervision of Gordon Jennings (1896 – 1953), which had a marked influence on blockbusters from Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) to Roland Emmerich’s Independence Day (1996).
by Byron Haskin
with Gene Barry, Ann Robinson, Les Tremayne, Bob Cornthwaite, Sandro Giglio, Lewis Martin, Houseley Stevenson Jr.
USA 1953 English 85’ Colour Rating R16


  • Gene Barry
  • Ann Robinson
  • Les Tremayne
  • Bob Cornthwaite
  • Sandro Giglio
  • Lewis Martin
  • Houseley Stevenson Jr.


Director Byron Haskin
Screenplay Barré Lyndon adapted from the novel “The War of the Worlds” (1898) by H. G. Wells
Cinematography George Barnes
Editing Everett Douglas
Music Leith Stevens
Sound Loren L. Ryder
Special Effects Gordon Jennings, Wallace Kelley, Paul Lerpae, Ivyl Burks, Jan Domela, Irmin Roberts
Art Director Hal Pereira, Albert Nozaki
Costumes Edith Head
Make-Up Wally Westmore
Producer George Pal

Produced by

Paramount Pictures Corp.

Additional information

DCP: Park Circus, Glasgow