The War of the Worlds (1952)

35mm film, “color by Technicolor”, 1.37:1
mono (Western Electric Recording), English

An American science fiction film directed by Byron Haskin.

Plot Summary

A meteor crashes to Earth outside a small town in the USA. It turns out to be one of a whole fleet of Martian ships that have come to this planet with conquest in mind. Before long, the are attacking everything in sight aboard their force-field protected flying machines and even are useless against them. Will anything be able to stop them?


* = uncredited

Directed by: Byron Haskin
Copyright MCMLII [1952] by Paramount Pictures Corporation
A Paramount picture
Produced by: George Pal
Associate Producer: Frank Freeman Jr
Screenplay by: Barré Lyndon
Based on the novel by: H.G. Wells
Director of Photography: George Barnes
Edited by: Everett Douglas
Music Score by: Leith Stevens
Sound Recording by: Harry Lindgren and Gene Garvin
Costumes: Edith Head
Makeup Supervisor: Wally Westmore
Special Photographic Effects: Gordon Jennings, Wallace Kelley, Paul Lerpae, Ivyl Burks, Jan Domela, Irmin Roberts
Special Visual Effects (A-Bomb Sequence): Walter Hoffman *
Special Effects: Paul Lerpae *, Chester Pate *, Bob Springfield *, A. Edward Sutherland *
Astronomical Art: Chesley Bonestell
Art Direction: Hal Pereira and Albert Nozaki

Gene Barry (Dr Clayton Forrester)
Ann Robinson (Sylvia Van Buren)
Les Tremayne (Major General Mann USA)
Bob Cornthwaite (Dr Pryor)
Sandro Giglio (Dr Bilderbeck)
Lewis Martin (Pastor Dr Matthew Collins)
Houseley Stevenson Jr (aide to General Mann)
Paul Frees (radio reporter)
Bill Phipps (Wash Perry)
Vernon Rich (Colonel Ralph Heffner USMC)
Henry Brandon (cop at crash site with spot light)
Jack Kruschen (Salvatore)
Commentary by Cedric Hardwicke

Alternative Titles

Kampf der Welten – German title

See also
Independence Day (1996)
Attacks! (1996)

Extracts included in
A Century of Science Fiction (1996)
Explorers (1985)
The Fantasy Film World of George Pal (1985)
The Giant Claw (1957)
Invasion Earth: The Are Here (1987)
It Came from Hollywood (1982)
My Science Fiction Life (2006)
Special Effects: Anything Can Happen (1996)
Tomorrow's Worlds: The Unearthly History of Science Fiction: Space (2014)



  • Cinefantastique vol.5 no.4 (1977) pp.4-16, 34-47 – illustrated production notes (by Steve Rubin)
  • Cinefantastique vol. 37 no.4 July 2005 p.72 – illustrated article
  • Cinefantastique vol. 37 no.9 Yearbook 2005 pp.32-33 – illustrated DVD review
  • Empire no.189 March 2005 pp.119-128 – illustrated article
  • Empire no.191 May 2005 pp.70-71 – illustrated article
  • Empire no.198 December 2005 p.160 – illustrated DVD review
  • Film Daily vol.103 no.45 9 March 1953 p.7 – review
  • Film Review no.664 December 2005 pp.120-121 – illustrated article, DVD review
  • Filmfax no.50 May/June 1995 pp.45-49 – illustrated interview
  • Filmfax no.74 (August/September 1999) pp.28, 30 – illustrated article
  • Halls of Horror no.27 p.29 – note
  • Journal of Popular Film & Television vol.18 no.3 pp.103-111 (Autumn 1990) – article
  • Kine Weekly no.2387 (26 March 1953) p.22 – review
  • Making Better Movies March 1985 pp.32-33, 63 – illustrated article (Fantasy facts 1: by Roy Spence
  • Monthly Film Bulletin vol.20 no.232 (May 1953) p.70 – credits, synopsis, review
  • Motion Picture Herald vol.186 no.4 (26 January 1952) – note
  • Motion Picture Herald vol.190 no.2 (10 January 1953) p.1679 – review
  • Motion Picture Herald vol.190 no.9 (28 February 1953) p.1741 – review
  • New Statesman and Nation 11 April 1953 – review (by William Whitebait)
  • Outré no.22 (Winter 2000) pp.51, 80-82 – illustrated article (Leith Stevens: Earth vs. Mars – The man who kept the score by Mark Hasan)
  • Radio Times vol.271 no.3541 (2 November 1991) p.54 – illustrated article
  • Saturday Review of the Arts 12 September 1953 – review
  • Shivers no.39 p.19 – review
  • Shivers no.50 p.57 – review
  • Starburst vol.1 no.4 (November 1978) p.22-27 – illustrated credits, article
  • Starburst no.307 (February 2004) pp.18-30 – illustrated article
  • Starburst no.330 (November 2005) pp.44, 46 – illustrated article
  • Starburst Special no.72 Yearbook pp.46-48, 50 – illustrated interview
  • Starlog no.195 (October 1993) – illustrated interview with Ann Robinson (In Martian combat by Tom Weaver)
  • Time and Tide 11 April 1953 – review (by Fred Majdalany)
  • Today's Cinema vol.79 no.6621 (29 October 1952) p.14 – review
  • Today's Cinema vol.80 no.6721 20 March 1953 p.14 – review
  • Today's Cinema vol.81 no.6792 (3 July 1953) p.8 – review
  • Variety 4 March 1953 – credits, review
  • Views & Reviews vol.6 no.1 (Autumn 1974) pp.2-7 – review


  • Daily Mail 4 April 1953 – review (The day the Martians fell on Hollywood by Fred Majdalany)
  • Daily Telegraph 4 April 1953 – review (by Campbell Dixon)


  • Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Science Fiction by Phil Hardy (ed) p.143
  • BFI Screen Guides: 100 Science Fiction Films by Barry Keith Grant pp.195-196
  • Earth vs the Sci-fi Filmmakers: Twenty Interviews by Tom Weaver pp.3-12 – illustrated interview with Gene Barry
  • Elliott's Guide to Films on Video (4th Edition) p.874 – credits, review
  • The Encyclopedia of Novels Into Films second edition by John C. Tibbetts and James M. Welsh pp.490-491 – illustrated credits, review (by D.B. [David Blakesley])
  • Escape Velocity by Bradley Schauer pp.47, 56-58, 62, 66-68, 79, 137
  • Horror and Science Fiction Films IV by Donald C. Willis p.548 – credits
  • Nuclear Movies: A Filmography by Mick Broderick p.45
  • by Walt Lee p.530 – credits
  • Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Film Sequels, Series, and Remakes Volume 2 by Kim R. Holston and Tom Winchester p.325-327
  • Trick Cinematography by R.M. Hayes pp.125-126
  • The Vampire in Science Fiction Film and Literature by Paul Meehan p.39