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Saturday, June 7, 2008

THE WAR OF THE WORLDS (1953)


George Pal ’s influential mid-‘50s version of the H G Wells classic (does anyone still read it?) looks uncomfortably like one of those stiff, color saturated, studio bound pics Cecil B De Mille was making in the 1940s. And with good reason as De Mille was an unofficial godfather to the production and his tech people are all over the credits. Still, if you hold your nose over the amateurish acting ensemble and concentrate on the painterly effects and the crazy art moderne alien mechanical designs ("pay no attention to all those strings on the spaceships") the film remains a fun watch. Did Spielberg use the briefly glimpsed aliens as a template for his own E.T.?

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