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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r


 

directed by Byron Haskin
USA 19
53

 

The daring grandfather of more modern day alien attack films such as Independence Day and still giving a mutated birth to, most recently, Mr. Spielberg's imprint of the same name (well minus the "The"). The mere existence of this classic just goes to prove that there is very little from the past that won't be absconded and re-shaped with a current twist - or that there are very few new idea ventures in the cultural void of Hollywood.

Producer George Pal was already onto a good thing with past success of 1950's Destination Moon and 1951's When Worlds Collide. But the real glory came with this more subtle Martian invasion where the imagery of the villains is as frighteningly commonplace as a 1952 vacuum cleaner. Gene Barry and Ann Robinson do a grand job of as our hero's - staying alive and narrating the global events of destruction. The relentless aliens and their deadly manta-rays were immensely chilling and unforgettable to a child's mind. Aside from the occasional weak effects and an acceptable continuity error... or two, this has all the fun and charismatic charm of other 50's quintessential sci-fi gems like This Island Earth (although nothing is in that class) and Invaders From Mars! Don't deny yourself the ultimate pleasure of a mixture of pure cinema innocence, magical screeching alien sounds, and a haunting cosmic attack that will stay with you well past puberty. It is certainly one of the better of its niche-genre and well worth checking out on a rainy Sunday afternoon.

Gary Tooze


Posters

Theatrical Release: August 13th, 1953

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DVD Comparison:

Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Paramount (Special Collector's Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC

(Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT vs. Paramount (Special Collector's Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC RIGHT)

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Distribution

Paramount

Region 1  - NTSC

Paramount

Region 1  - NTSC

Runtime 1:25:18 1:25:18
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.6 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 8.60 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Paramount

Bitrate:

 

Paramount (SCE)

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0), DUB: French (Dolby Digital 2.0)

English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), DUB: French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)

Subtitles None English, and none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Paramount

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Theatrical trailer
• Widescreen anamorphic format

DVD Release Date: April 20th, 1999
Keep Case

Chapters 13

Release Information:
Studio: Paramount

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• Commentary by: by actors Ann Robinson and Gene Barry

• Commentary by film director Joe Dante, film historian Bob Burns and Bill Warren, author of Keep Watching the Skies!: American Science Fiction Movies of the Fifties 
• The Original Mercury Theatre Radio Broadcast of The War of the Worlds
• The Sky is Falling: The Making of The War of the Worlds
• H.G. Wells: The Father of Science Fiction
• Original Theatrical Trailer

DVD Release Date: November 1st, 2005

Double-Lock Keep Case
Chapters: 13

 

Comments

The original release was quite fraught with errors - lots of artifacts, boosted brightness affecting the colors, fairly sharp and grainy at times - hazy at others, and sporting a blemish or two in the wear-and-tear department. Certainly quite tube-acceptable but far from what it could have been. Now this new issue may be better, especially in the area of light scratches, but I would say it is again, far from perfect. There are instances in the new release where digitalization and softness have taken over. Colors look very similar most of the time but an overall improvement is noted especially in skin tones with exceptions (see last capture).

 

 

There is minor cropping on various edges but mostly noted on the sides of the new release. Obviously the best attribute of the new edition are the extensive extras and commentaries with my preference for the Joe Dante one - especially the input from Bill Warren author of Keep Watching the Skies!: American Science Fiction Movies of the Fifties. Audio has also had a boost with an optional 2.0 surround track added that, in my opinion, really exemplified the alien shrieks... and made them even scarier! With all that is included in this release, $10 is a true bargain... and a great film to watch on Halloween night (or just listen to the included 'Original Mercury Theatre Radio Broadcast of The War of the Worlds')!  out of    

 - Henrik Sylow

 



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(Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Paramount (Special Collector's Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC BOTTOM)


 


(Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Paramount (Special Collector's Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC BOTTOM)

 


 

(Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Paramount (Special Collector's Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC BOTTOM)

 

 


(Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Paramount (Special Collector's Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC BOTTOM)

 


 

(Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Paramount (Special Collector's Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC BOTTOM)

 

 


(Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Paramount (Special Collector's Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC BOTTOM)

 


 

(Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC TOP vs. Paramount (Special Collector's Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC BOTTOM)

 

 

DVD Box Covers

Distribution

Paramount

Region 1  - NTSC

Paramount

Region 1  - NTSC


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Region 1 - NTSC

Sound:

Special Collector's Edition

Extras: Special Collector's Edition
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Gary Tooze

Many Thanks...