Byron Haskin

The War of the Worlds

The War of the Worlds

A mysterious, meteorlike object has landed in a small California town. All clocks have stopped. A fleet of glowing green UFOs hovers menacingly over the entire globe. The Martian invasion of Earth has begun, and it seems that nothing—neither military might nor the scientific know-how of nuclear physicist Dr. Clayton Forrester (Gene Barry)—can stop it. In the expert hands of genre specialists George Pal and Byron Haskin, H. G. Wells’s end-of-civilization classic receives a chilling Cold War–era update, complete with hallucinatory Technicolor and visionary, Oscar-winning special effects. Emblazoned with iconographic images of 1950s science fiction, The War of the Worlds is both an influential triumph of visual imagination and a still-disquieting document of the wonder and terror of the atomic age.

Film Info

  • Byron Haskin
  • United States
  • 1953
  • 85 minutes
  • Color
  • 1.37:1
  • English
  • Spine #1037

Special Features

  • New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New alternate 5.1 surround soundtrack, created by sound designer Ben Burtt and presented in DTS-HD Master Audio on the Blu-ray
  • Audio commentary from 2005 featuring filmmaker Joe Dante, film historian Bob Burns, and author Bill Warren
  • Movie Archaeologists, a new program on the visual and sound effects in the film featuring Burtt and film historian Craig Barron
  • From the Archive, a new program about the film’s restoration featuring Barron, Burtt, and Paramount Pictures archivist Andrea Kalas
  • Audio interview with producer George Pal from 1970
  • The Sky Is Falling, a 2005 documentary about the making of the film
  • The Mercury Theatre on the Air radio adaptation of The War of the Worlds from 1938, directed and narrated by Orson Welles
  • Radio program from 1940 featuring a discussion between Welles and H. G. Wells, author of the 1897 novel The War of the Worlds
  • Trailer
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • PLUS: An essay by film critic J. Hoberman

New cover by Patrick Leger

Purchase Options

Released Jul 7, 2020

Special Features

  • New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New alternate 5.1 surround soundtrack, created by sound designer Ben Burtt and presented in DTS-HD Master Audio on the Blu-ray
  • Audio commentary from 2005 featuring filmmaker Joe Dante, film historian Bob Burns, and author Bill Warren
  • Movie Archaeologists, a new program on the visual and sound effects in the film featuring Burtt and film historian Craig Barron
  • From the Archive, a new program about the film’s restoration featuring Barron, Burtt, and Paramount Pictures archivist Andrea Kalas
  • Audio interview with producer George Pal from 1970
  • The Sky Is Falling, a 2005 documentary about the making of the film
  • The Mercury Theatre on the Air radio adaptation of The War of the Worlds from 1938, directed and narrated by Orson Welles
  • Radio program from 1940 featuring a discussion between Welles and H. G. Wells, author of the 1897 novel The War of the Worlds
  • Trailer
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • PLUS: An essay by film critic J. Hoberman

New cover by Patrick Leger

The War of the Worlds
Cast
Gene Barry
Dr. Clayton Forrester
Ann Robinson
Sylvia Van Buren
Les Tremayne
General Mann
Robert Cornthwaite
Dr. Pryor
Sandro Giglio
Dr. Bilderbeck
Lewis Martin
Pastor Collins
Cedrick Hardwicke
Narrator
Credits
Director
Byron Haskin
Produced by
George Pal
Screenplay by
Barré Lyndon
Based on the novel by
H. G. Wells
Cinematographer
George Barnes
Music score by
Leith Stevens
Art direction
Hal Pereira
Art direction
Albert Nozaki
Edited by
Everett Douglas
Costumes
Edith Head

From The Current

The War of the Worlds: Sky on Fire
The War of the Worlds: Sky on Fire

The first and most influential film adaptation of H. G. Wells’s sci-fi classic, this brilliantly imagined vision of apocalypse captured American anxieties at the height of the Cold War.

By J. Hoberman

10 Things I Learned: The War of the Worlds
10 Things I Learned: The War of the Worlds

As Criterion producer Karen Stetler learned while working on our new edition, this adaptation of H. G. Wells’s sci-fi novel was a career milestone for a wide range of talent, from director Byron Haskin to feline performer Orangey.

By Karen Stetler