Monday, July 21, 2014

War Of The Worlds



It's the movies that have really been running things in America ever since they were invented. They show you what to do, how to do it, when to do it, how to feel about it, and how to look how you feel about it.
--Andy Warhol

Saturday afternoon I tuned in to the vintage movie channel and watched The War Of The Worlds. 

It was advertised to be a gripping 1953 thriller about a devastating attack on Earth by Mars, starring Gene Barry, Ann Robinson, and Les Tremayne. It was supposed to have superb special effects. and was based on the novel by H.G. Wells.

Below is a published one-paragraph review:

A key sci-fi film of the 1950s, George Pal's THE WAR OF THE WORLDS is a vividly realized adaptation of the classic H.G. Wells novel, updated from 19th century London to 20th century California. Though it's bogged down by a stiff cast, a yawn-inspiring conventional romance, and a sappy religiosity, it remains a landmark in the history of special effects. The lumbersome triopods of the Wells novel are jettisoned in favor of cool, green, slickly contoured flying saucers that fire death rays accompanied by one of the most fondly remembered sound effects in screen history. Filmed on a relatively modest budget of $2 million ($1.3 million went to special effects), 

But in my estimation, unless it's viewed as old-fashionedly comedic and strictly campy, the film stinks. Of course, it was filmed in 1953, when I was 14 years old, and it was perfectly believable back then that all these meteor-like spaceships could speed in from Mars and crash into the ground in rural areas without any government's knowledge and  so the whole operation at first is run by the local sheriff, directing a crowd of local yokels, and of course it makes sense that a famous scientist (Gene Barry) would be on a fishing trip in the area when the first Mars spaceship crashed, and a beautiful Masters Degree holder happened to be a Red Cross volunteer who served everyone sandwiches and coffee at the crash site before falling for the Famous Scientist.


I don't know why, but I continued to watch the thing... until I finally fell asleep in my chair.


Did You Know . . .?

Every day your heart creates enough energy to drive a truck twenty miles or to the moon and back throughout a lifetime.



On this day in 1862, former President Martin Van Buren, who served as the nation's eighth president between 1837 and 1841, slipped into a coma. Van Buren, who developed asthma in 1860, had a history of heavy drinking as well as, later in life, cardiac problems. The drinking, for which he had earned a reputation as early as age 25, may have contributed to a host of illnesses he experienced in his lifetime. Eventually his circulatory system began to fail, causing the coma. Three days later, he passed away. Some historians claim that a possible case of sleep apnea, caused by disruptive snoring, may have contributed to Van Buren's declining health and his ultimate death.



opinion  [uh-PIN-yuhn]
1. a belief or judgment that rests on grounds insufficient to produce complete certainty.
2. a personal view, attitude, or appraisal.
3. the formal expression of a professional judgment: to ask for a second medical opinion.

I never make the mistake of arguing with people for whose opinions I have no respect.
--Edward Gibbon



(July 21, 1899 - July 2, 1961)
Ernest Hemingway was an American author and journalist. His economical and understated style had a strong influence on 20th-century fiction, while his life of adventure and his public image influenced later generations. Hemingway produced most of his work between the mid-1920s and the mid-1950s, and won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954. He published seven novels, six short story collections, and two non-fiction works. Additional works, including three novels, four short story collections, and three non-fiction works, were published posthumously. Many of his works are considered classics of American literature.

(born July 21, 1951)
Robin Williams is an American actor and stand-up comedian. Rising to fame with his role as the alien Mork in the TV series Mork & Mindy, Williams went on to establish a successful career, including such acclaimed films as Good Morning, Vietnam, Dead Poets Society, Awakenings, The Fisher King, and Good Will Hunting, as well as financial successes such as Popeye, Hook, Aladdin, Mrs. Doubtfire, Jumanji, The Birdcage, Night at the Museum, and Happy Feet.

(July 21, 1924 - Feb 24, 2006)
Don Knotts was an American comedic actor best known for his portrayal of Barney Fife on the 1960s television sitcom The Andy Griffith Show, a role which earned him five Emmy Awards. He also played landlord Ralph Furley on the 1970s and 1980s television sitcom Three's Company.

(born July 21, 1957)
Jon Lovitz is an American comedian, actor, and singer. He is best known as a cast member of the NBC sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live from 1985 to 1990.


Why should people go out and pay money to see bad films when they can stay at home and see bad television for nothing?
--Samuel Goldwyn



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