Alien nation movie moments #4

With “District 9” having made a pleasantly surprising $37 million, it seems fitting to wrap this theme up with a couple of trailers from the grand-daddy of all alien invasion stories with a political subtext. H.G. Wells’ “The War of the Worlds,” was pretty clearly intended as a metaphor about British colonialism. Certainly, any decent version of the story gives us an idea of what it must be like to have a vastly powerful nation suddenly invade for some reason of their own (not that that ever happens anymore).

We’re going to travel backwards in time with trailers for both the 2005 Steven Spielberg and the 1951 George Pal film versions.

“The Tasmanians, in spite of their human likeness, were entirely swept out of existence in a war of extermination waged by European immigrants, in the space of fifty years. Are we such apostles of mercy as to complain if the Martians warred in the same spirit?” — H.G. Wells, The War of the Worlds, 1898

Below the flip, I’ve got a special audio bonus.

My personal favorite version of “The War of the Worlds” by far is Orson Welles’ still controversial broadcast of October 30, 1938. Below is something I’d never heard before today, a radio conversation from 1941 between the young Orson Welles and the still very much alive H.G. Wells. The closest thing to a real invasion that America had ever suffered at the time was just a few months away, and a strange little movie by the 25 year-old theatrical/radio bad boy, Orson Welles, was going to be out pretty soon.


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