The War of the Worlds
The War of the Worlds (1953)

Earth is under attack in the chilling Cold War classic "The War of the Worlds" (1953). In one of the greatest science fiction films of all time, invaders from another world target a small California town with autonomous probes and… More

Directed By:
Rated: G
Running Time:
Release Date: August 1, 1953
DVD Release Date: April 20, 1999
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Critic Score: 85% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Though it's dated in spots, The War of the Worlds retains an unnerving power, updating H.G. Wells' classic sci-fi tale to the Cold War era and featuring some of the best special effects of any 1950s film.

Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader

As the perfect crystallization of 50s ideology the film would be fascinating enough, but the special effects in this 1953 George Pal production also achieve a kind of dark, burnished apocalyptic beauty.

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Time Out

Too bad about the wooden cast, the tackily conventional romance, and a draggy religious message; but at least, given the time it was made, it isn't imbued with Cold War hysteria.

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Carly Kocurek
Common Sense Media

Some grisly and scary parts. Not for young 'uns.

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Variety Staff

War of the Worlds is a socko science-fiction feature, as fearsome as a film as was the Orson Welles 1938 radio interpretation of the H.G. Wells novel.

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Douglas Pratt
Hollywood Reporter

A half-century after its creation, the film's best moments are still so enjoyably unnerving that they easily carry a viewer through the necessary but inevitably dated exposition.

Stefan Birgir Stefansson


A.H. Weiler
New York Times

Mind those heat rays!

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Rob Humanick

Understandably well-remembered, but its status as a high classic seems more incidental than earned.

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Steve Crum

Definitely a sci-fi classic from the 1950s...great George Pal effects.

More reviews for The War of the Worlds

Flixster Audience Score: 71% Flixster User Reviews
Phil Hubbs
H. G. Wells The War of the Worlds is probably one of the most famous and influential science fiction stories in literature. The story has spawned films, radio… More
Daniel Mumby
It's a common complaint that American adaptations of British novels lose the quintessential nature of their source in favour of something more glossy and… More
Christopher Heim
Extremely dated with mind-numbingly wooden acting. Some of the special effects are kinda nice to look at but their is not enough set pieces to hide the thin… More
Aj V
The classic fifties version of the book. If you love fifties sci-fi movies, you should see this movie. It's not fantastic, but it is interesting and cool… More
Spencer S.
Could not help but contrast the original to the Spielberg/Cruise version. Besides the difference that fifty years make, the original film focuses more on the… More
Red Lats
I guess better late than never. Saw this for the first time 57 years after it was released. It was pretty amazing considering it was filmed in 1953. It is… More