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The War of the Worlds (Special Collector's Edition)
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Studio: Paramount Home Video Release Date: 08/22/2006
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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.
The 53 years that have passed since this film was made have not dulled the impact or enjoyment of this film. The acting by the entire cast, including Gene Barry (as Clay Forrester), Anne Robinson (as Sylvia Van Buren) , Lewis Martin (as Pastor Dr. Matthew Collins), and Les Tremayne (as Major General Mann) still holds up today. In fact, I liked Gene Barry's character a lot more than I did Tom Cruise's character in Spielberg's 2005 remake. Despite the passage of time, the SFX are still good, but not as spectacular the effects of, for instance, Independence Day (1996)(which I didn't like as much as this, as it's an obvious rip-off of this film). The scenes showing the reactions of the people as they as they try to escape before the aliens attack-- desperately trying to find modes of transportation to escape--still packs a punch today. I especially enjoyed the suspenseful scenes leading up to and including when the alien is revealed to the characters of Gene Barry and Anne Robinson (the alien itself looks like a 50's version of Spielberg's E.T).
This is the second DVD release of this famous film (the first was in 1999) and it's got more than just the theatrical trailer this time around. It has a stunning digitally remastered copy of the film. The image is absolutely free of defects and grain. In fact, the image is so clear that you can see things you never saw before (check out the invader's ships during the invasion, you'll see what I mean) . The sound, in Dolby Digital--English 2.Read more ›
I still love The Thing from Another World, with James Arness lumbering around as the seven-foot-tall carrot from outer space. One of the most terrifying movies as a kid, Invasion of the Body Snatchers just draws smiles. They are stylistic and fun. But few withstand the march of time. That why I was surprised by The War of the World. The special effects are not that shabby. Gene Barry alternates between laconic and hammy, and the tone of the movie is a little religious. Yet, all in all this is still a very entertaining film. Those Martians (hahahha!) pods coming down the street blasting away still has a high impact. Despite it's faults, I still enjoy this one, time after time.
Most recent customer reviews
Love this movie. very well done for its time. Especially the alien ships.Published 5 months ago by Dennis Cook
This film is a classic and the transfer to DVD was wonderful. The bonus features add quite a bit of insight and history to this iconic film.Published 6 months ago by Pine Wurbler