"The format is standard instead of widescreen...," says an Amazon reviewer of War Of The Worlds, one "lotus_scrum" of Phoenix, AZ. She also later adds, "Not the WORST looking dvd but the full screen format hurts it badly for me. If it gets a new release with widescreen, remastered sound and picture I'll give it a 5." None of which makes much sense, since the DVD has fine sound, and was NEVER shot in widescreen, since widescreen didn't exist back then!
And as President of the Widescreen Watchers Association, I should know. Here is the release date of the first movie shot in widescreen, which happened to star Marilyn Monroe: How To Marry A Millionaire - November 5, 1953.
And here is the release date of the standard movie in question starring Gene Barry: War Of The Worlds - August 26, 1953.
As you can see, War Of The Worlds could hardly have been presented in late August - almost 3 months before the process was first tried in early November! In addition, although many films started being shot in widescreen in 1954, several studios were slow on the uptake and did not make their films mainly in widescreen until late 1955 or early 1956. From Here To Eternity (1955), shot in standard screen, is a prime example of that.
What all of the above means in regard to this particular film is that nothing was cut off of the picture, so to paraphrase Flip Wilson, "what you get is all there was to see."
It's a beautiful film (although perhaps corny by today's computerized Matrix standards) and the use of color is rich and vibrant. Once you've seen it you'll never forget it. It's Pal and Haskin at their best.
I also recommend other such color sci-fi classics as Forbidden Planet, When Worlds Collide, and The Time Machine.