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The War of the Worlds (Special Edition) (1953) [DVD]

Gene Barry , Les Tremayne , Bryon Haskin    Parental Guidance   DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
Price: 11.65 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

The War of the Worlds (Special Edition) (1953) [DVD] + The Day the Earth Stood Still [DVD] [1951] + When Worlds Collide [DVD] [1951]
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Product details

  • Actors: Gene Barry, Les Tremayne, Henry Brandon, Jack Kruschen, Sandro Giglio
  • Directors: Bryon Haskin
  • Producers: George Pal
  • Format: Anamorphic, Collector's Edition, PAL, Full Screen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Arabic, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Icelandic, Norwegian, English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.37:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: 14 Nov 2005
  • Run Time: 82 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000AAF9V0
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 13,653 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



After the success of 1950's Destination Moon and 1951's When Worlds Collide, visionary producer George Pal brought the classic HG Wells story of a Martian invasion to the big screen, and it instantly became a science-fiction classic and winner of the 1953 Academy Award for Best Special Effects. It's a work of frightening imagination, with its manta-ray spaceships armed with cobra-like probes that shoot a white-hot disintegration ray. As formations of alien ships continue to wreak destruction around the globe, the military is helpless to stop this enemy while scientists race to find an effective weapon. Gene Barry and Ann Robinson play the hero and heroine roles that werede rigueur for movies like this in the 50s, and their encounter with one of the Martians is as creepy today as it was in 1953. It finally takes an unseen threat--simple Earth bacteria--to conquer the alien invaders, but not before War of the Worlds has provided a dazzling display of impressive visual and sound effects. This is a movie for the ages, the kind of spectacle that inspired little kids such as Steven Spielberg (not to mention Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin, whose Independence Day is a remake in all but name) and still packs a punch. --Jeff Shannon,

Product Description

H.G. Wells' chilling story of the invasion of the Earth by Martians and the resulting panic and destruction.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Earth versus the Enemy Unknown 3 Aug 2003
By No_Poet
Sensationally good, this is one of the all-time greatest sci-fi films. The visual effects are years ahead of their time; the battle sequences are nothing short of brilliant, and the first face-to-face contact with an alien is completely terrifying. The acting is convincing throughout - even the script is pretty good! Despite its age this film is far suprior to such modern "classics" as Starship Troopers or Independence Day, the latter of which was supposed to be a remake of War of the Worlds. Anyone who even vaguely enjoys sci-fi is going to have a fantastic time with this film.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Welcome Addition to DVD 12 Oct 2003
I first saw this film many years ago now. Its still quite an entertaining film based around H. G Wells classic novel which was written even before man learned to fly. Americanised of course, which doesnt distract from the original story which was set in Surrey and London. For a film made during the early 1950s, the effects are remarkably good for its time. The leads, Gene Barry and Ann Robinson, do the best they can with the wooden dialogue which was typical of films in those days. Technology which we take for granted nowadays didnt exist then. The sound and picture for DVD are rather good, and its still worth buying just to see the sort of film which packed cinemas upon its initial release, for it was a box office hit at the time. Give it a try.
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67 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seminal Sci Fi Classic 30 April 2006
By Amazon Customer TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Having been totally under whelmed by the new Tom Cruise version I came back to the original and everything fell into place again.

Unknown stars were deliberately chosen so the audience would concentrate on the drama. Gene Barry as the scientist Dr Clayton Forrester and Ann Robinson as Sylvia van Buren have the leading roles. They are low on chemistry but as there is no overt love interest this is not a problem

The 1953 special effects still stand up with the best. The best decision (although taken on financial grounds) was to eliminate the tripod legs of the Martian invaders and invent invisible force fields to hold the beautiful swan like monsters in the air enabling close ups as they methodically destroy everything in their path.

This is a film that deserves its' well loved classic status, does not date and will never disappoint however often it is viewed.

A lovely DVD preserving the original superb highly saturated Technicolor, with a good selection of extras.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dated but fun film 17 Dec 2002
By A Customer
When this film first came out it was considered so terrifying that it was given an x cirtificate. Now it's shown at tea time and is given a PG. How things change.
There are some changes to the book by changing the setting to America and changing some details in the middle. The walking machines are changed to flying machines for the sake of filming. Walking machines would be near impossible to film when this film was made. Walking machines would be laughably bad to watch. It was difficult enough to film walking machines (especially with three legs) in the 1980's for the Tripods TV series.
The powerful ending is still more or less the same. Like all sci fi films seen many years later it's almost cute because it's so dated. However it's not too bad and it's still a fun film to watch. It keeps it's pace throughout.
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Special Edition that's well worth a purchase 29 Mar 2007
War of the Worlds, the good version. Lovely deep colours, unique designs, terrifying sounds (I still get goose-bumps from the hiss the martian heat ray makes as it surveys its surroundings) and inspired effects add up to a terrific movie.

It has a terrific package to go with it -- two commentaries by people who really know their stuff, a couple of neat documentaries (what a shame about the original models!) and a clear, sharp picture. So sharp, in fact, that the support cables are all too visible, unfortunately.

Still the best film of Wells' novel. Steven Spielberg, eat your heart out.

As I write this, it's only 6. You'd be a fool not to.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A class Act 2 Mar 2007
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Wow, what a surprise this film is. Done way back before I was born. And I am old by today's standards.Suspense, ahead of their time special effects, a nifty alien and superb spacecraft with an invincible feel to the invaders. Talking of which, if you've seen "the invaders" you know where the dying alien effects come from. A real surprise package with interviews and behind the scenes discussions that further enhance the magic of this movie. A true classic.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The original and still the best 31 Mar 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
To the modern eye, the 1954 original of War of the Worlds must conjure up ideas of shaky not-so-special effects and creaking dialogue. Well thankfully, that's simply not the case here.

Without researching the background of the movie further, I suspect the creators of the movie understood the limitations of the special effects and instead produced something that is truly remarkable.

To the modern eye, between the excellent, purposeful and judicious use of special effects and the dialogue, War of the Worlds holds its own, and then some.

Emerging on the back of Cold War tensions of the era, this film was probably much more "real" in its depiction of abandoned city streets and the wavering hand over the button to deploy the atom bomb.

War of the Worlds is a thought experiment of how we humans would deal with an aggressive, hostile alien species, and not some slam, bang, crash cinema seat filling science fiction action thriller.

Yes, they took liberties with the original designs for the alien vessels, but even that was a very clever idea -- using some kind of anti-gravity beam as the three "legs" instead of the tendril-like limbs we're more familiar with.

Spielberg came close in 2005 with hi version, but the view point was more personal and less cerebral, and it's this latter perspective, which for me at least, is what makes the 1954 original so remarkable.

All in all, the original War of the Worlds is a blazing, shining example of how excellent films older than your parents can be.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The "Original".
Forget yer Independence Day and the remake,this is the original and maybe over 60 years old now,watching this at night with the lights off will take you to another planet?. Read more
Published 4 days ago by Malcolm McDonald
5.0 out of 5 stars memories
Came in good time. Love this film can't beat the original versions.
Quite funny with bigger screens you can see the wires holding the space ships up, but who cares great film.
Published 17 days ago by dilly
5.0 out of 5 stars Sci-fi rules OK
This updated, digitally re-mastered masterpiece brought back memories of the first time I saw this film, as a youngster! Good...
Published 3 months ago by roadie33
5.0 out of 5 stars One Of The Best
One of my favorite sci fi classics and my favorite adaptations of an amazing book!
I just love this movie!!!
Published 4 months ago by Hengst
5.0 out of 5 stars War
This version of war of the worlds is the best, tom cruise film was rubbish completely changed the whole storyline. Oldies but goodies
Published 5 months ago by Pat Arpino
5.0 out of 5 stars War of the worlds
What can anyone say about this film. It is a classic, it's dated, but it still manages to keep you on the edge of your seat - even though you know what the outcome is because you... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Kath
4.0 out of 5 stars The begining
Have been a fan of the book for many years. Got the latest version of the film and seen the stage musical show several times. Read more
Published 5 months ago by scrubby
5.0 out of 5 stars thrilled 13 year olds.
I showed this to a group of 13 year olds as part of a project on Sci Fi. They loved it despite it being dated when compared with modern films.
Published 8 months ago by Lucy Grimme
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film and shouldn't be missed!!!!
WOW!!! great price for this product! and the specially effects and storyline still holds up today! This is well better that the 2003 picture of War of The World! Read more
Published 8 months ago by andyxxx
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun
I saw this movie as a kid in a movie house when it was first released. I loved it then and I love it now.
Published 8 months ago by john paiva
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