On September 27, a collector’s edition bundle of 1953 classic The War of the Worlds and the 1951 sequel When Worlds Collide will be released. With the invasion of The War of the Worlds in 4K Ultra HD and the arrival of When Worlds Collide on Blu-ray, fans will be able to experience both films in ways they never have before. Who among us could ever forget the film that followed the infamous broadcast that drove the nation into a tizzy? Inspiring from the works of H.G. Wells, a 1953 science fiction film directed by Byron Haskin and about an extraterrestrial invasion in modern-day southern California.
Only one guy, a scientist called Clayton Forrester, stands a chance against the Martians when they finally touch down (Gene Barry). Forrester is racing against the clock and will do all it takes to stop the Martians from taking over. Additionally starring Ann Robinson and Paul Frees, the film received three nominations for an Academy Award that year, ultimately taking home the statue for Best Special Effects. When Worlds Collide, which came out two years before The War of the Worlds, paved the way for what might be accomplished in science fiction cinema and fan culture.
The show, directed by Rudolph Maté, took place in the closing days of Earth’s existence. Terror and terror sweep the planet as news spreads that a star named Bellus is headed straight for Earth. The end of the world is near, but scientists are formulating a plan to send a spacecraft to the star’s only planet, Zyra, in the hopes of establishing a new human home. The novel When Worlds Collide was written by Edwin Balmer and Philip Wylie in 1933 and the film adaptation was based on that work. Once again, the picture featured an impressive cast that included Richard Derr, Barbara Rush (It Came from Outer Space), Peter Hansen, and John Hoyt (to name a few).
The film was nominated for two Academy Awards, and it ended up taking home one of them for Best Special Effects. The War of the Worlds, for example, features a remastered version in addition to commentary from Robinson, Barry, and others, as well as a reproduction of Orson Welles’s original broadcast reading. The Blu-ray of When Worlds Collide will come with a digital copy and a trailer from the theatre release.
Extras from “War of the Worlds”
Robinson and Barry, the actors, provide their thoughts.
Filmmaker Joe Dante, film critic Bob Burns, and author Bill Warren of Keep Watching the Skies! provide their thoughts.
The Sky Is Falling: The War of the Worlds in Production is a special featurette.
The Father of Science Fiction: H.G. Wells, a Featurette
The War of the Worlds is presented on the radio by Mercury Theatre On The Air.
Teaser for the Original Film