Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!
The War of the Worlds
Amazing! terrifying! The most savage spectacle of all time!
H.G. Well's classic novel is brought to life is this tale of alien invasion. The residents of a small town are excited when a flaming meteor lands in the hills. Their joy is tempered some what when they discover it has passengers who are not very friendly. The movie itself is understood better when you consider it was made at the height of the Cold War - just replace Martian with Russian.
Hokey wisdoms. Tourism shifts to war and desolation. Every seam is visible but all of it tells a story. A delirious mix of craft and horror, viewing the alien truth alongside a gee-whiz mentality. Don't raise and wave your white flag. It won't work. Run instead.
There is a remarkable streak of bleakness running through Byron Haskin's "The War of the Worlds." Beginning with news reel footage of past wars before showcasing the invasion of Earth by extraterrestrial forces, the film heaps destruction upon humankind with little rest until the film's climax. It is a downcast war film, as serious as any that might portray nonfiction conflicts, that offers a gripping story of a world with little hope for survival.
Based on H.G. Wells' novel, "The War of the Worlds" follows the characters involved with the struggle against the invaders on the ground. There is little character-based drama, the film, instead, focusing almost solely on the effects of the Martian invasion. The story offers destruction, failed…
Performances : 3/10
Story : 3/10
Production : 4/10
Overall : 3.33/10
You know, everyone crawls up Hollywood's ass when they make an unnecessary reboot or sequel of a film. Nobody says anything though when they get it right. They got it right when they did the Tom Cruise remake of this, because this version was painful to watch.
At one point in the film, while the main characters prepare to launch an attack on their unsuspecting foe, a voice comes over the loudspeaker giving the following official fucking warning :
"Attention please. Four minutes 'til bomb time"
Fucking really!? It's moments like that, along with horrible dialogue and honestly atrocious lighting that make The War of the Worlds come off as a film that has no idea, thematically, where it wants to go.
It hurts me to say this but skip this garbage and go see the remake. At least Tim Robbins is in it.
I just want to play Simon with their faces
Most of the sci-fi film from the early and mid 1950’s have a Cold War subtext to them. I found WAR OF THE WORLDS surprisingly void of this metaphorical complexity.
The film opens with a voice over describing the first and second world wars, and how the entire planet was occupied in the war efforts. We then move on to a quite California town. The residence see what they believe is a meteor crash landing in the hills. We soon find out it is one of a planet wide alien space craft invasion. These aliens seem to only have destruction on their minds. Despite the U.S. and other countries military best efforts they are unable to even put a dent…
George Pal's lavish Technicolor rendering of the HG Wells story is one of the earliest examples of big-budget sci-fi cinema, a landmark film that was instrumental in helping the genre escape from the cheap Saturday matinee form.
The story begins with a distinctly comic tone as it establishes characters and setting, then gets serious and downright scary in a hurry ... even today, the depiction of the Martian machines laying waste to the planet still packs quite a punch. The main attraction is the briskly-moving story with its edge-of-the-seat tension and exciting action, all of which was supported by beautiful special effects. Some liberties were taken with the story (in spite of the modern setting, the 2005 remake is closer…
George Pal made Science Fiction that was acceptable as big ticket action drama, and his Technicolor adaptation of Wells' _War of the Worlds_ is a great exemple of it. The drama is melo, but it's more of a tale of war, destruction, and faith as the ultimate source of salvation from the evils of this world, than any actual personal story. (Pal famously cast relative unknowns in most of the roles, in order to make the Martians the stars and focus.)
The SFX are state of the art for the era, and if the gorgeous Martian War Machines -- cobra-necked and manta-bodied -- show a few more strings than one might hope, they're still beautiful in their deadly menace.
My podcast analysis comparing this with the Spielberg remake:
This was my oldest son's favourite film when he was three. However, the first time he saw it, when the U.S. army sent their first barrage of shells and gunfire against the alien ships, he burst into tears - recovering when the Martian crafts emerged from the dust: I don't know if he continued to identify with the Martians and their destruction of humankind when he repeatedly watched and re-watched the film. I remember telling someone this around that time and he said the Martians represented Communism and therefore my son was going to become a Communist...a prediction that has not become true. I probably first saw The War of the Worlds early in my teenage years: old enough to…
This has got to be one of my favorite Scifi movies. It is hard to beat.
Interesting to see how much this movie informed not only the Spielberg remake but a lot of major Hollywood alien invasion films, like SIGNS and INDEPENDENCE DAY. Not exactly thrilling stuff, and the godly message seems antiquated today, although it didn't surprise me. A curious movie with some nice effects and passable performances.
Brings back a lot of childhood memories watching this. This was another staple as a child, watching it every time we saw that it was on TV. Still holds up.
Wholly different from the Spielberg in intent (science's brave new world, terrorism), yet succeeds and falters in the same way. I find both disquieting and nightmarish (all the more impressive here when set against a 50s sci-fi aesthetic), faltering during the dull quotidian moments. (A paradoxical problem that neither solves. Earth's plight needs to be given a human face for us to care, but what we're given - a square dance, Tom Cruise's deadbeat dad - is boring and disposable.) The power in the film (both takes) is that it offers a popcorn take on the teleological argument: maybe there is something watching across the gulf of space....
There is a "holy trinity" of fifties sci fi films, The Forbidden Planet, The Day the Earth Stood Still and War of the Worlds. The technical and artistry level in this film is astounding. It features some breathtaking mat painting, and miniature work during the opening narration. The alien ship design is awesome, There is a treasure trove of character actors of the forties and fifties appearing throughout. As a fan of fifties sci fi films, I can say that The War of the Worlds is a must see. Cheers until my next Hoop-tober 3.0 review.
films i used to think were part of the same cinematic universe because they began with the word "the"
for whatever reason i have a very vivid memory of being like 8 years old and thinking that all movie…
This list is the Letterboxd version of The Oxford History of World Cinema.
The book celebrates and chronicles over one…