The original THE WAR OF THE WORLDS from 1953 had to be one of the very best science fiction movies ever made. For it’s time, producer George Pal incorporated excellent special effects into the film, along with a terrific update of the original 1898 book by H.G. Wells. Interestingly, the original book was split into two parts, the first being the coming of the Martians to Earth, and the second life under the Martians.
At the time, various critics picked apart the original book as a commentary on evolution, British global imperialism and social Darwinism. However, the 1953 film managed to skirt these issues with a heavy reliance on Christian religious overtones. A minister raised the main female lead star in the 1953 film, and attempted unsuccessfully to make peaceful contact with the Martians. Churches figured prominently in the film as well, where both prayer and faith in God were important themes. For any science fiction film, it had to have one of the most faith affirming scripts.
The 1953 film was such a landmark achievement among science fiction films that several model kits are available from the film and offered for sale on Ebay. One of the best is a fully assembled and painted Martian war machine. Other kits feature the awesome looking Martian along with the cut down camera unit. Strangely, the Martian’s three lense appearance was inspired by the early three lense color TV systems.
The works by H.G. Wells made for great films, as THE TIME MACHINE(1960) also was a great film, as was THE FIRST MEN IN THE MOON(1964).