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War of the Worlds


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Product Details

  • Actors: Tom Cruise, Dakota Fanning, Tim Robbins, Miranda Otto, Justin Chatwin
  • Directors: Steven Spielberg
  • Writers: David Koepp, H.G. Wells, Josh Friedman
  • Producers: Colin Wilson, Damian Collier, Kathleen Kennedy, Paula Wagner
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (DTS ES), French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Dreamworks Video
  • DVD Release Date: November 22, 2005
  • Run Time: 116 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,177 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005JNTI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,589 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "War of the Worlds" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Featurette: Designing the Enemy - Tripods and Aliens

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Tom Cruise, Dakota Fanning. A phenemonal adaptation of H.G. Wells' sci-fi classic with Steven Spielberg at the helm! A disgruntled, divorced, failure-as-a-dad" guy desperately seeks to save his family from annihilation against an alien fleet of killer tripods. 2 DVDs. 2005/color/117 min/PG-13.

Amazon.com

Despite super effects, a huge budget, and the cinematic pedigree of alien-happy Steven Spielberg, this take on H.G. Wells's novel is basically a horror film packaged as a sci-fi thrill ride. Instead of a mad slasher, however, Spielberg (along with writers Josh Friedman & David Koepp) utilizes aliens hell-bent on quickly destroying humanity, and the terrifying results that prey upon adult fears, especially in the post-9/11 world. The realistic results could be a new genre, the grim popcorn thriller; often you feel like you're watching Schindler's List more than Spielberg's other thrill-machine movies (Jaws, Jurassic Park). The film centers on Ray Ferrier, a divorced father (Tom Cruise, oh so comfortable) who witnesses one giant craft destroy his New Jersey town and soon is on the road with his teen son (Justin Chatwin) and preteen daughter (Dakota Fanning) in tow, trying to keep ahead of the invasion. The film is, of course, impeccably designed and produced by Spielberg's usual crew of A-class talent. The aliens are genuinely scary, even when the film--like the novel--spends a good chunk of time in a basement. Readers of the book (or viewers of the deft 1953 adaptation) will note the variation of whom and how the aliens come to Earth, which poses some logistical problems. The film opens and closes with narration from the novel read by Morgan Freeman, but Spielberg could have adapted Orson Welles's words from the famous Halloween Eve 1938 radio broadcast: "We couldn't soap all your windows and steal all your garden gates by tomorrow night, so we did the best next thing: we annihilated the world." --Doug Thomas

War of the Worlds at Amazon.com


The Soundtrack

The War of the Worlds (1953)

War of the Worlds - The Complete First Season (TV series)

Classic Sci-Fi Movies and Their Remakes

Aliens Invade on DVD

The Prog-rock Opera (no kidding)

Customer Reviews

The movie just ends.
Alyssa A. Lappen
It's just that most of Spielberg's films deal with small groups of people dealing with tightly focused events.
Mark Hills
There are awesome special effects, there's suspense and there's a very good cast.
Sky

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 4, 2006
Format: DVD
This is a really, really good movie. No, it's not a literal depiction of the H.G. Wells novel, but they never said it was going to be. It's sort of an "Inspired by" version. The basic elements of Wells' tale are here, placed into our time and world. To do that there have to be some changes.

This has both advantges and disadvantages. The latter include that we know already how the story has to end (although apparently some reviewers have never read the book, judging by their comments), but if you're good enough, you can still create suspense and maintain interest throughout the whole picture. Spielberg and Cruise are good enough. To draw a parallel, in the TV show "Smallville", we Know he's going to grow up to be Superman. We Know he's not going to end up with Lana. We Knew the friendship with Luthor couldn't last. Still, they made the journey itself interesting. Same thing here, in spades.

People have to understand this in order to review the movie fairly. Certain things about anyone doing the War of the Worlds just have to be there. Aliens; We're losing; An everyman who doesn't solve the situation, just survives it; TRIPODS! The 1953 version (which I enjoyed) didn't have them because the FX technology of the time didn't permit them to make them realistically. With what we can do now, any version that didn't have them would be unacceptable; Germs. Accept it, folks. The Titanic sinks at the end. Like it or not, Custer dies. Bruce Wayne is Batman. No one recognizes it's Superman behind Clark Kent's glasses. In Wells' story, we are saved by germs. Spielberg doesn't get to change that and still call it War of the Worlds.

One clever thing that was done here was that everything was seen from the Earthlings' point of view.
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256 of 332 people found the following review helpful By DAVID BRYSON VINE VOICE on July 25, 2005
The War of the Worlds is a great novel and Spielberg is a director of exceptional talent and accomplishment, so I had been hoping for a lot from this film. In the event, I have got part of what I was hoping for. Very occasionally, a novel can be 'walked' straight on to the screen (The Big Sleep, with a script by Faulkner, is a striking case), and I found myself wondering whether this novel might not have benefited from the same treatment. Some of Spielberg's changes are perfectly reasonable, others less so in my own opinion. It makes perfectly good sense to bring the action forward by a century into the present day, for instance. I suppose there's no harm either in changing the main actors from Wells's scientist with a wife and a brother to a dysfunctional American family, as this may provide enhanced 'human interest' or some such benefit for all I would know. Again, I have no real problem with the way the film combines the roles of the curate and the artilleryman in the book into the single persona of the former ambulance-driver, and I can well understand that Spielberg would have thought it prudent to tone down the socialistic elements in this aspect of the story in order to avoid setting off the wrong types of reaction in American audiences. What I do have a major problem with is the appearance of the Martians themselves. I'm sorry to report that these have far too much in common with a certain wretched TV series. The author's own description is one that stays in the memory, to say the very least, and Wells's Martians look the way they do for very clear reasons that he provides. What was gained by going downmarket in the way Spielberg chooses to do? Nothing that I can think of except perhaps better audience figures from harking back to that ghastly broadcast series.Read more ›
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256 of 341 people found the following review helpful By Reginald D. Garrard VINE VOICE on July 6, 2005
H. G. Wells wrote the novel over a century ago and Steven Spielberg has done a fantastic job of incorporating some of the literary tale's elements into his version: the tripods and their ear-shattering "ULLA!", the heat ray, the retaining baskets, the growth of the "red weed," the demented "Ogilvey" (Tim Robbins), the devastating onslaught from the invaders, man's futile efforts to defend himself, and the final "solution," among other parts familiar to fans of the book.

The director also paid tribute to producer George Pal's 1953 Technicolor classic by using a similar "probe" into the basement occupied by Cruise and daughter Fanning, the destruction of a church, an American setting, and a brief appearance by the earlier film's stars: Gene Barry and Ann Robinson.

There are many tense scenes, making this film not quite suitable for younger audiences. The sound is loud and abrasive, befitting the on-screen destruction. Surprisingly, John Williams's score is quite subtle and, on occasions, is barely audible.

Actingwise, Cruise, contrary to his behavior off-screen, asserts himself well as the estranged father of two kids who must now do all that he can to save his children, as well as himself. Fanning's strong performance shows why she is one of most popular child performers today. And Robbins is appropriately creepy as the man with the plan to bring down the invaders.

While megahit "Independence Day" toured similar ground, "War of the Worlds" is more the work of a master storyteller and his name is Steven Spielberg.

That alone makes it a film not to be missed!
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There is another version of WAR OF THE WORLDS set in the correct period.
Best dramatic pretension of WOTW is Jeff Wayne's musical version. Not only is it very well done it's faithful to HG Wells, AND it's got Richard Burton.

http://www.amazon.com/Jeff-Waynes-Musical-Version-Worlds/dp/B0009MAPUO
Dec 26, 2012 by Amazon Customer |  See all 5 posts
What were the red weeds for?
They were growing the red plants, fertilized with human blood, as the first step in their environmental takeover of the Earth....Marsiforming versus Terraforming. Once enough of the Martian weeds were grown they could then introduce more complex alien flora and maybe even fauna; eventually... Read More
Dec 7, 2011 by War-Rocket Ajax |  See all 4 posts
Is the two disc version worth it?
Widescreen version is definitely worth it. The features on the bonus disc were surprisingly light in my opinion (think it's less than hour of material- don't know why they didn't just put it on one disc). Interesting to see the design ideas behind the tripods, other than that I wouldn't... Read More
Sep 22, 2008 by Robert S. |  See all 3 posts
These negative reviews are hilarious!!!
Agreed. This is a great science fiction film. I love the 1953 version of the story, too, but they cannot be compared. I dislike Cruise as an actor, but I like this film despite that fact. To me, that says a lot.
Mar 24, 2007 by Richard Daystrom |  See all 21 posts
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