In August we’re thrilled to be a part of ‘Check the Gate’, a new season dedicated to presenting films on film at The Prince Charles Cinema.
CtG is a collaborative celebration of the big screen celluloid experience with a touring programme produced by some of the nation’s finest independent programmers, journalists and film fans, who have scoured Park Circus Films‘ extensive collection of film prints to compile a diverse programme united by a common passion.
Original poster design: Rosie Ryott (www.rosieryott.co.uk)
Prints available to buy here
Scientist Clayton Forrester (Gene Barry) and Sylvia Van Buren (Ann Robinson) are the first to arrive at the site of a meteorite crash. Soon after, an alien war machine emerges and begins killing at random. The Marines are called in, but they’re no match for the aliens’ force field. Forrester and Van Buren, however, are able to wound one of the creatures and procure a sample of its blood. They take it to Los Angeles where they hope, through testing, to be able to discover the aliens’ weakness.
Byron Haskin, USA 1953, PG, 85mins
The screening will be preceded by a talk from Barry Forshaw, author of the BFI study of The War of the Worlds, who will discuss everything connected with H. G. Wells’ massively influential novel – Wells himself (particularly the many science fiction concepts he originated), the classic George Pal/Byron Haskin film (with its groundbreaking realisation of the collapse of civilisation), the Steven Spielberg remake, and the many alien invasion films from the 1950s to today’s major successes, including the Independence Day films and The Avengers.
“As the perfect crystallization of 50s ideology the film would be fascinating enough, but the special effects in this 1953 George Pal production also achieve a kind of dark, burnished apocalyptic beauty”
“War of the Worlds is a socko science fiction feature, as fearsome as a film as was the Orson Welles 1938 radio interpretation of the H. G. Wells novel”
–The New York Times