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FreeClassicMovies wrote:Released on October 30, 1961:
A giant asteroid carrying flying saucers manned by beings from another galaxy orbits the earth and plans its attack.
Directed by Antonio Margheriti
Written by Ennio De Concini
The Actors: Claude Rains (Professor Benson), Bill Carter (Commander Bob Cole), Umberto Orsini (Doctor Fred Steele), Maya Brent (Eve Barnett), Jacqueline Derval (Mrs. Collins), Renzo Palmer (Barrington), Carlo D'Angelo (General Varreck), Carol Danell (Cathy Cole), Jim Dolen (Boyd), Joe Pollini (Pat), John Stacy (Doctor Cornfield)
Antonio "Anthony Dawson" Margheriti helped write, produce, or direct dozens of fun Italian genre films in the 1960s and later. Battle of the Worlds is his first good one. Its main appeal is the 71-year-old Claude Rains as Professor Benson, who emerges as the film 's main character by the halfway point. Benson lives only for knowledge and science; he holds mankind in general disdain. Yet his quirks make him likeable from the start : caring for his dog, pruning his lush greenhouse, smoking his cigars, rocking in his hammock as he ponders ways to save the Earth. An old-fashioned anachronism in his spaceship -laden age, Benson insists his cigars be lit only with matches, never with lighters. His colleagues hate him, but they must respect him.Besides enjoying Rains, viewers must be in the mood for the film 's slow, dreamy, and vaguely surreal atmosphere. Continuously, spacey sound effects blend with a jazzy, percussive score. Everything happens slowly, and many scenes depict characters talking about actions instead of performing them. Even Rains's fiery lines are muted by an invisible blanket of trippy early 60s atmospheric haze. It's the same feeling as in David L. Hewitt pictures like Horrors of the Red Planet, only it's much more serious here, not to mention more intelligent.
Goldweber, David Elroy (2012-06-14). Claws & Saucers: Science Fiction, Horror, and Fantasy Film: A Complete Guide: 1902-1982 (Kindle Locations 5024-5041). David E. Goldweber. Kindle Edition.
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