War of the Worlds

Trivia: Gene Barry and Ann Robinson, stars of the 1953 version of this movie, make a small cameo in this movie as Mary Ann's parents. You can see them at the end when the whole family is reunited.

Trivia: In an early scene in which Rachel is watching television, she's channel surfing. At one point, she hits briefly upon a shot of a car being demolished by a speeding locomotive. This is, in fact, a scene from "The Greatest Show on Earth," which Steven Spielberg has reported as the first movie he ever saw.

Trivia: When a group of aliens are exploring in the cellar, one of them spins the wheel of an overturned bicycle, and all are startled when the bicycle falls, making for a moment of comic relief. There's more to it, though. The H.G.Wells book mentions that the aliens probably had no concept of the wheel, as not a single rotating part was found inside the captured tripods. So an upside-down bicycle must have puzzled them a great deal.

Trivia: The sequence at the end, when the dying alien crawls out of the damaged machine, arm dangling, is taken directly from the 1953 original. This scene is not at all in either the book or the radio play.

Trivia: When Tom Cruise and Dakota Fanning are hiding out in a basement after the military attack, they meet a character called Oglivy. Oglivy was mentioned in both HG Wells' original book and the highly popular radio play, except then, he was a noted astronomer.

Trivia: Unlike other films where old tanks are 'built up' to look like the tanks they represent, this film is the first film to feature real M1 Abrams on camera.


Trivia: When Ray, Robbie and Rachel are walking to the ferry, you can see the director, Stephen Spielberg, walking somewhere behind them.

Trivia: The plane crash scene that was built for this film is now part of the back-lot tour at Universal Studios. Ironically, the plane had to be repainted after the movie, as it had the logo of a real airline company, and pilots flying overhead were calling in an airline crash for that airline.


Trivia: The top of the Tripods look like the spaceships from the 1953 version. The comic "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" also had Tripods that looked like this.

Trivia: When they get picked up by the tripod, Tom Cruise destroys it by blowing it up with grenades, he lets the other people know by spitting the pins out of his mouth.Tom Cruise does this again in a later film Edge of Tomorrow at the end only this time he opens his hand to reveal the grenade pins.

Trivia: The set used for the 747 crash cost 9 million dollars, and appears in the film for a total of 4 and 1/2 minutes. Five years after the film was made the set is still intact, and a part of the Universal Studios tour in California. There is a steep hill directly behind the "crash site" with a residential neighborhood on top. The tour guides joke that when the people living up there have something they can't get rid of in a garage sale they just toss it down the hill and it becomes part of the debris field.

BocaDavie Premium member

Other mistake: When Ray pulls up to Mary Ann's home, the front exterior layout and dimensions of the house are evident, from its near center front door to the two car garage, in front of Ray's van. The side exterior wall contains two large garage doors, which are about 35-40 ft from the location of the front door, with no small basement windows at ground level; inside, beside the front door, the stairs that lead to the basement run parallel just under the stairs in the foyer. In the basement, the small windows on the far end of the furnace room they run into are only about 20 ft from the basement stairs. Not only are the small windows non-existent in the exterior shot, but it's entirely impossible for two small windows to be where they are, considering the exterior footage of the house. (00:34:30 - 00:40:20)

Super Grover Premium member

More mistakes in War of the Worlds

Ray: They came from someplace else.
Robbie: What do you mean, like, Europe?
Ray: No, Robbie, not like Europe!

More quotes from War of the Worlds

Question: Is there any indication as to where the aliens come from and what exactly they want?


Chosen answer: In the original George Pal version they were Martians and the reasoning for what they were doing was never explained. In this version, it's never explained where they come from, but their mission is simple, to eradicate human life from Earth, and use our bodies to fertilise the planet, probably so that they can colonise the planet for themselves.


If it was to eradicate us they could have done that millions of years back, why now, so that doesn't add up.

You want to grow the substance (people) that grows your food source before using it. If they waited too much longer, they'd have a harder time because we'd have the technology to fight them back.

The reason which was apparently provided by Wells was that Mars was dying by lack of natural resources and that Martians needed a new home and food source.

They were waiting until the population grew large enough to sustain terraforming efforts. As they used our bodily fluids seemingly as a primary material for their terraforming.

They probably needed to wait for us to produce enough humans to use as fertilizer. Doesn't make sense to try to use several million bodies as fertilizer back then vs now with billions of people.

Answer: Maybe they were waiting for use to get up to very high number in population. Before we didn't have over 7 billion people in the world. More people more food.

Answer: All versions of "War of the Worlds" are based on the novel of the same name written by H.G. Wells and published in 1897. Wells explained that the aliens are from the planet Mars, and they came to Earth for the natural resources.

Charles Austin Miller

But that still doesn't answer why did they wait till then to attack when they could have done it years ago with less resistance. The natural resources were still here.

Perhaps the Martians considered the technological advances of Mankind as "resources," also. The prologue states that the Martians had been observing humanity on Earth for a long time before they chose to attack. Why? Possibly observing our advances in engineering (dam building, for one example, mining for another). It could be viewed that the Martians allowed us to perform the hard work of making natural resources more accessible and consolidating those resources. Personally, I always thought the Martians intended to come exploit the fruits of our labor, allowing us to advance as far as we could without becoming a physical threat to them. If the Martians had waited a few decades more, they could be dealing with a technologically-dangerous human species.

Charles Austin Miller

Answer: The alien homeland is never described in the film, but is described in the script as a lifeless, barren place, unfit for life.

More questions & answers from War of the Worlds

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