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7. The War of The Worlds (1953)

War of The Worlds '53

This was supposed to be the first technicolor invasion, but got pipped to the post by Invaders From Mars (which used to give me nightmares on account of the balloon-headed, tentacled alien hovering in a bubble and his passive manner). Nonetheless, this George Pal produced epic was very much the Independence Day of the 1950s.

Many of the special effects have dated poorly (and none are quite as terrifying as Gene Barry’s extraordinarily high-waisted trousers), but it remains one of the most innovative and influential science fiction films ever made.

Relocating the events of H.G.Wells’s novel from Victorian England to contemporary California, this is big-budget destruction on a level that had never been seen before, a disaster movie twenty years before they started making disaster movies.

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If your pub team is short of an encyclopedic Bond or Hammer fan (the horror people, not the early-90s, billow-trousered rap icon) - then he's our man. Given that these are rather popular areas of critical expertise, he is happy to concentrate on the remaining cinematic subjects. He loves everything from Michael Powell to David Lean, via 70s New Hollywood up to David Fincher and Wes Anderson; from Bergman and Kubrick to Roger Corman and Herschell Gordon Lewis. If he could only take one DVD to the island it would be Jaws, but that's as specific as it gets. You have a lovely day now. Follow him at your own risk at https://mobile.twitter.com/CaiRoss21