Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Dark Discussions Episode 052 - H. G. Wells' The War of the Worlds Part 2

While authors like Robert Heinlein and Arthur C. Clark brought to the page some of the greatest hard science fiction stories during the heyday of the genre in the 1950’s, movie producers like George Pal, Ray Harryhausen, and Howard Hawks were presenting films that would be remembered for years to come. The Forbidden Planet, Them!, and The Thing from Another World paved the way for others such as Stanley Kubrick, John Carpenter, and Stephen Spielberg.
In 1953, George Pal took H.G. Wells’ novel, The War of the Worlds, and brought it to film with spectacular vision. The movie became one of the towering points in genre cinema and today remains an all time classic. With a reimagining of the novel, the film brings the story to Los Angeles, California and the rural areas outside the city. The Martian invading tripods are presented as hovercraft saucers that turn out to be some of the most iconic “monsters” ever, both in shape and sound.
Dark Discussions discusses this achievement and why the film is one of the biggest movie extravaganzas of all time. Some little known facts are discussed as well. Prior to George Pal, others attached to the movie were film legends Orson Welles, Alfred Hitchcock, Ray Harryhausen, and Cecil B. DeMille. Also, in 1988 a two season television series continued the story where the movie left off. Lastly, cohosts Mike and Philip discuss how comic book great, Alan Moore, took the story and merged it with his graphic novel The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.
To wrap up the episode, Dark Discussions interviews Patrick Rae, director and co-screenwriter of the feature length horror film Nail Biter which is doing the festival circuits.


  1. The problem as a teacher when comes to actually teaching any popular H.G. Wells novel is taking away all of the kids' preconceived notions - movies and the original broadcast being the two big ones. I'm considering teaching next year so I'm looking up as many reviews as I can - I'm lucky that an AM radio show I follow here in Chicago on WIND560 on Saturday afternoons, The Book Report, is actually featuring a piece on this novel. The reviewer, Elaine Charles, is really just so knowledgeable and I'm anxious to hear what she thinks of this classic as well.

    1. Madame, check out part one of War of the Worlds located here: