In 1953, Earth experienced a War of the Worlds. Common bacteria stopped the aliens but it didn't kill them. Instead the aliens lapsed into a state of deep hibernation. Now the aliens have been ressurected, more terrifying than before. In 1953, aliens started taking over the world. Today, they're taking over our bodies.
Martians on motorcycles.
They're coming your way.
Back off, man. You're gettin' too close. You be cool and we'll be cool.
No one gets off their bikes in Grover's Mill.
Look, we're gonna go to the cemetary, bury our man on his home ground, and then we're out of here.
(Banner raised reading `50th ANNIVERSARY "WAR OF THE WORLDS" BROADCAST')
Here ya go, Tommy.
Oh, now what.
It's blasphemous, that's what it is. It makes me... sick. (Loudly:) It makes me sick, young man!
Pipe the hell down.
I will not! I will not! This is a joke! A travesty!
What's your problem, [Carter]? C'mon, spit it out.
--but many in New York and New Jersey were not amused. Near Grover's Mill, farmers blasted water towers with shotguns, taking them for giant, Martian assault craft. The next day, Orson Welles told newspapers he was "deeply shocked" this radio show had been taken seriously. Happy Halloween from Orson Welles.
People will believe anything.
It spawned decades of research into mass hysteria.
I know you didn't just show us this for your own amusement, Harrison.
Well, the good news is that, uh, we've been given a bonus for our special achievements. General Wilson has sent us all-expense-paid vacations.
And the bad news?
We're all going to the Grover's Mill's 50th Anniversary of Orson Welles' broadcast of "War of the Worlds". Kind of a county fair.
I think I'm going to pass. I'm up to my eyeballs in work.
I don't think so, Suzanne. I think General Wilson's onto paydirt. As you all know, he's been conducting an alien white paper. Now, it's taken him a little while, but he's managed to pluck a file out of the, uh, morass of red tape over at the Pentagon, and this file reveals the truth of the Orson Welles "War of the Worlds" radio broadcast in 1938. The truth is, there actually was an alien invasion in Grover's Mill.
Look, I don't care what those freaks do as long as they stay away from Grover's Mill.
Alright, c'mon, let's get the casket out.
Let's get it down and open it up.
We believe that our detection device has found the object of our search, Advocate.
"Believe"? Why are you not yet certain?
The object is still buried deep in the ground.
Where it does us no good. Why the delay, comrade?
Progress is slow, Advocates, as we need to move with extreme caution. I believe the decision to occupy the bodies of motorcycle enthusiasts has complicated this.
These bodies are attracting unwanted attention from other humans.
Use your best judgement, comrade.
And keep us advised of your progress at each stage.
Recovery of the machine will go a long way toward guaranteeing our victory.
True. Assuming the machine is still operational.
Is it just me, comrades, or do the complexities of our invasion grow more and more tangled at every step?
No one ever said war was easy.
Flying saucer racers age ten through twelve, report to the pitting area.
No wine before its time.
This place is great! They've got pony rides and everything!
Good news, Colonel.
Any more contestants for the Orson Welles Contest? Madam! you look like a likely contender! C'mon up here!
The management would like to assure patrons that, despite rumors to the contrary, there is nothing wrong with the blue ice cream.
Hee hee hee.
Look, Mom! Cotton candy! Can I go get some?
Ohh, come right back!
While I spend some much-needed quality time with my daughter, what kind of trouble are you two gonna get into?
Well, we're gonna see if we can find anyone who might remember the '38 invasion and get some new information on the aliens.
And pay a tribute to those brave but forgotten veterans who fought in that great, historic battle.
I'd like to find out why more people don't remember this, who does remember it, and why. The same thing happened in 1953. Most people can't seem to remember that invasion.
It just doesn't figure.
It could be selective amnesia. Memory blockage as a kind of defense mechanism.
Along with the very interesting possibility that the aliens may be able to inflict memory loss on human beings.
Orson Welles lookalike number 34, you forgot your beard in the mens room.
Grover's Mill is gonna be a living laboratory for us.
To those who fell in the battle of '38.
To those that fell.
One of the bravest chapters in American history.
And nobody knows about it. It's like spittin' in the wind. We're out there alone, all alone. No one gives us any parade.
It took the whole militia to bring down those flyin' saucers.
But we did it.
Yes, we did it. Where's Flannery? He never misses an occasion to wheel out that "Hero of the Day" story of his.
Which one? He's told fifty different versions of that story.
I've heard 'em so many times, I'm beginning to believe them. All of them.
Look at that. Still at my fighting weight. Hm hm hmm.
Now, wait just a minute! Tho-, those are my prize roses. Wha-, what do you people think you're doin'?
The, uh, New Jersey Militia records here indicate that there were 38 men in the Grover's Mill unit in 1938.
Only four of them left. You've got three of them right here.
With your permission, we'd like to find out as much as we can about what happened on Halloween night, 1938.
Are you boys from the government?
Yes sir, we are. It's our hope to be able to learn, first hand, from your experience fighting the alien invaders.
We've been waiting 50 years to tell our story. The real story.
Bill, you'll never believe what I saw. They're back. Those damn Martians are back.
Our warship is in surprisingly good condition.
I've ordered them to check out all the weapons and flight systems, and report back to us before they start their return flight.
I wish we had decided to go with them. I'm worried they will not do all that is necessary.
They'll do exactly what we ask of them. They know nothing else.
In a matter of hours the most powerful weapon this planet has ever seen will be again in our hands, and functional.
Those who come will be pleased.
Oh, they're back, are they?
It's just like it was 50 years ago.
Here we go again.
Flannery has somewhat of a vivid imagination.
Not today! It's as clear as a bell! I was in my bedroom putting on my uniform and I see this motorcycle gang in front of my house. What do I see? They're eating my prize-winning rosebuds.
They're eating your prize-winning rosebuds.
Well, last time that happened was in 1938. I'd, I'd woke up, and they'd eaten the roses down to the roots. I'm telling you: the Martians are back!
Well, didn't you say it was a couple of space monsters that--
Sam! I'm telling you, the Martians are back, only this time, they've got disguises.
Flan, c'mon. Martians on motorcycles?
Harv, you dimwitted jackass, I know what I saw! It was them alright! I'll stake my reputation on that!
Well, it's impressive.
Oh, you damn fools.
Hey, Flannery, these men are interviewing us about the Battle of '38.
Okay. You'll see. You'll see.
Will the person who left the alien at the hot dog stand please pick him up? His diaper needs changing.
<laughing> I'm sitting up here nice and pretty, nice and dry...
(throws ball short of target)
...and that's the way I'm gonna stay. You're wasting your money and my time. <laughing, yawning>
(Puts some spin on her last ball and hits the target.)
You're great at this.
Well, I used to be a pretty fair softball player.
Mm hmm. I was a pitcher and I was darn good.
Orson Welles lookalike number 34, you forgot your beard in the mens room.
Mom, do you believe in aliens and all that stuff?
Yes, yes I do. See there's so many planets and stars in the universe, it only makes sense that there would be life out there somewhere.
Do you think they're green?
<laughing> You're funny. I love spending time with you.
The management would like to put a stop to all the rumors: New Jersey's favorite performer, Bruce Springsteen, will not be performing here today.
I wish Dad were here.
Well, you'll have a chance to spend time with him at Christmas.
That's not what I mean.
You know Daddy and I are much happier now that we're not living together.
I liked it better when you were together.
I know. I know.
The management would like to put a stop--
We must hurry before the ship is seen by the primitives.
It's not working.
That is evident.
We have a communique from the field. They've experienced prob-
lems and await further guidance.
Why is it the lower classes cannot think for themselves?
Our job is to think. Their job is to do. We must never confuse the two.
What is the nature of their problem?
There's been extensive damage. So far they haven't been able to make the warship function.
A situation we anticipated with dread, but without clear solutions.
They must continue trying to fix the warship.
As well as test all the weapons systems. We must make sure they understand the importance of this.
They understand. But I fear understanding alone will not be enough.
Should we remind them of the punishment that comes with failure?
I lost my brother in the battle.
How did that happen, sir?
Zapper thing that shot out of their flying saucers. It vaporized him, along with his car, and his dog.
They have this gooseneck thing. They'd shoot it off and things would just vanish from the face of this earth.
Every report we have from the '53 invasion says that they were unstoppable. This appears to be the same weaponry.
It just keeps sounding to me that in '38 it, it was just a, a mission, a scout group ahead of the main alien invasion.
I think you're right. How close to the real thing was that Orson Welles radio show?
Nowhere near. He trivialized one of the great moments of our life. No one really remembered what happened; all they remembered was the damn radio show.
That's the fascinating aspect to all this. You know, when you think about it, Welles was a genius. He had people believing there was an invasion, then he turned around and told them that it was all a joke. I think people were afraid to admit that they'd been taken. That's what all this silence is about. Dr. McCullough says that those that can't remember the invasion can't remember it because it was just too frightening for them to deal with.
Sure, there were people who were tricked. People who don't remember. But then there's us, who really remember.
I wish to hell I didn't.
Flannery, are you alright?
I'm doin' great. Now some people think I'm runnin' on empty, but I know what I saw. Damn Martians, Harv. I'd bet my life on it if I were you.
What are you gonna do?
Find me some proof.
This I gotta see.
The machine still won't fly but the beam works.
We must get the beam back here as quickly as possible. Nothing is more important than for us to retrieve the weapon.
They understand this, but they're unsure how to accomplish getting it here.
Must we tell them everything? If the ship won't fly, we have no choice but to transport the weapon over land.
And if our comrades meet resistance?
Then we will remind the puny Earthlings how our death ray works.
Nothing can be allowed to delay their return. Our very future rests in their hands.
A concept, I remind you, that we should only accept with great trepidation.
I don't think I can eat this slop.
You're lookin' at it.
I think the Colonel, in his amusing way, is referring to one of the more obscure definitions of the word "slop" which means badly cooked and unappetizing food. Debi, other definitions would include--
Harrison, she's only eleven.
Never too young to learn. Never too old either. Listen, I've got good news: Norton is on his way here and he and the van are being airlifted courtesy of Delta Force.
On who's authority?
Why, yours, Colonel.
Mine? Now wait a minute, what--
Ah, talk to Norton.
Mom, can I go outside?
Yes, honey. Don't go too far.
Now this data that we've collected from the veterans of the Invasion of '38 is absolutely fascinating. They are convinced that nobody takes them seriously because of that Orson Welles broadcast.
That's an intriguing connection.
Excuse me, I've got to go find out about this airlift.
Forgot the check.
I want to talk to you, mister. How the hell did you wheedle this?
Well, I told 'em it was a national security item, presidential priority. I brought all the data.
You told them "presidential priority" and used my name?
Worked like a charm. I'm lost without my sounds, huh? Oh, I brought Dr. McCullough's microscope and laser spectrascope, and I brought your picture of John Wayne.
That's not funny, mister. You're just damn lucky I'm not your C.O.
(leaves, revealing HARRISON and SUZANNE behind him)
Glad you could join us.
Norton, while you get set up, I'm gonna do some more interviewing and Suzanne and the Colonel are gonna check out the site of the battle of '38.
As per job description, I'm going to be collecting biological specimens for comparative tests.
Hey, you don't have to explain yourself to me.
They said those motorcycle people will be camping at Thompson Meadow.
What do you expect to see there?
I know what I'm gonna see.
I'll catch up. I've got a nature call.
Martians. They didn't listen to me. Harv. Harv! Harv?
That night, my mother and I went for a walk. We saw streaks across the sky. It wasn't at all like the radio show. It was real, Dr. Blackwood. Terrifyingly real. I told Mr. Welles what happened that Halloween night, but for whatever reasons of his own, he did it differently.
You spoke with Orson Welles?
Yes, I spent a lot of time with him. Orson was the most beautiful man I'd ever seen. Slender as a reed. I was working on the note paper--in those days--and he, and the two other men, came out here to do research for the radio program.
Excuse me, did you say, "two other men"?
From the government.
What were they doing with him?
Uh, from what Mr. Welles told me, the government hired him to do this program to divert attention from what really happened.
Do you mean the whole War of the Worlds radio broadcast was a government coverup?
No, no. The government wanted to protect the people. Mr. Welles was a patriot.
I hope Debi is gonna be alright on her own for awhile.
It's just a few hours. She'll be fine.
She is growing up. (spotting blockade) Hello.
Afternoon folks. Sorry, you'll have to turn around. The road's blocked up ahead. Mudslide. Road's gonna be closed for six hours.
Thank you very much, Officer.
(Officer walks back to barricade.)
Mudslide and no rain. Let's go.
(They get back in car.)
There's something strange going on here.
Hmm, but what.
I don't know, but I think we'd better get back to Grover's Mill.
So everything points to another government whitewash. Kinda makes you proud to be an American.
You really believe that this woman is reliable?
Yes, I do.
I spoke with the local sheriff. He wasn't informed of any roadblock.
I knew something was wrong.
Uh, Doctor. Thank God I... I found you. I saw it. Those bike riders got one of them spaceships. Uh, they dug it up from the ground. They're, they're Martians, and they must have left it here.
Mr. Flannery, this isn't the first time you've seen Martians, is it?
Oh, I I I know all of the things that you heard about me, uh, telling "stories" all the time and exaggerating. The point is that it, it, it's gotten so that people expect it from me. For 50 years I've been telling everyone about how I saved all those people in '38, and, you see, when I saw this space thing come over the hill and over the treetops, um, I, mm, got in my car and I went off. I'm not proud of that. But, it's true, and I'm telling you the truth now. I think, nu, they have my friend Harv too. You see, he, he just, uh, vanished, uh....
I believe you.
Oh, th-thank God!
Blackwood, you know what they said about this man. He sees Martians behind every tree.
And if he's right?
At best it is a long shot.
And if he's right?
Better get the hell out there and see what we're up against.
Oh, I never thought I'd be so glad to see your face. Oh, I was worried sick, Harv. I thought they'd got you.
Who the hell are "they"? I turn my back for a minute and you drive off with the damn truck. I had to hitch a ride all the way back here. I'm too old for this stuff.
Oh, button up, Harv. Leave poor Flannery alone.
Did you see anything?
Plenty. Mr. Flannery was right. It is an alien warship, and those lowlife bikers are scurrying around it like worker ants. They've taken the beam arm off of the ship and they're trying to mount it onto the hearse.
Then it still must work!
I'm going to need some backup on this one. (Goes to telephone.)
What could the alien mission be? Are they going to risk battle with just one war machine?
This is Lieutenant Colonel Ironhorse. I need to speak to General Wilson immediately. It's a matter of national security.
Are they going to attack Grover's Mill? And why?
Harrison, I have to get Debi someplace where she'll be safe.
Yes, sir. Thank you, sir. (hangs up)
Did you reach the General?
Yes. He's authorized air support but all the birds are grounded. Ground support is at least four hours away.
Not much help.
It looked like that death ray they were setting up was just about ready to go.
We've got to stop whatever it is they are planning to do. New York City lies about 40 miles in that direction.
Well, we're gonna have to set up a staging area between them and the city.
If you don't mind my suggesting it, uh, my farm would be perfect.
Excellent! I'm going to need some supplies.
I've got a plan.
We'll meet you at your farm, Mr. Flannery.
You hear that boys? My place is gonna be a staging area. If those aliens wanna try us again, we're ready for them, right Har--. Wh-where's Harv?
The primitives know of our existence. They've alerted others. They're planning to resist.
Do you know where they are?
I know where they are.
We are about to receive another report from the field.
Certainly they haven't encountered any new problems.
Can you hear me, Advocate?
We still have to remove the main controls from the ship. It will take us a number of hours.
You are bound to be discovered.
We have been discovered. Several of the Earthlings know we're here and what we're doing.
If they interfere, eliminate them.
You are to take no prisoners.
Do what you must under the cover of darkness, comrade. You can't afford to risk further interference.
We are nothing without the beam. Do not fail us.
Okay. We'll use the barn. It's a large, empty space. Flannery's barn. Norton! Do you have a parabola program?
I can create one. Takes about a week.
You've got an hour. Okay, here we go. We need a hardware store. We need glass, lumber, black spray paint, hammer, nail, rope, bungee cord, we need some clay, silicone, tin foil, foam rubber and a tarpaulin. Are you ready?
I'm waiting for you, Doctor.
This place is icky. I hate it out here.
Oh, honey, it'll be fun. Like being on safari.
Why can't we just drive?
We can shine our flashlights into the jungle and, ooh look! It's an elephant.
We can pretend to find treasure.
Buried treasure with credit cards!
But the natives are restless, so why don't we go this way.
See if you can rustle up a truck.
How are things gonna work?
I'm gonna work as a decoy and bring them back here, you and Harrison will be in the barn.
Little Big Horn.
It worked once; it can work again.
Kind of a high risk plan.
Kind of a high risk situation.
Well, how much time do you figure I got to work this baby out?
Okay, let's talk parabolic parameters.
Ten-shun! Grover's Mill Militia, minus one, reporting for duty, sir. One of our men presently is scouting the enemy.
Gentlemen, I think maybe you should just clear the area. It's gonna get a little dangerous around here.
N-no, w-we, we want to serve, sir.
Gentlemen, with all due respect, I'd--
Well, we beat them once before, Colonel. We can beat them again.
They're... moving. They're making for the... highway.
I'm gonna need something to attact their attention. All I could find in the hardware store was some flares.
Well, I, I got some dynamite in that shed over there.
That'll attract their attention. Well, I thought you said you wanted to beat them again! Fall in, men!
C'mon, let's go.
Okay men. This is the plan. I'm gonna go out and decoy them back in here.
And when they're here?
Once in the barn, you'll also have to protect Dr. Blackwood and Norton and cover my flank. You're going to have to be alert, men. Very alert.
You can depend on us, sir.
Get your weapons!
You have enough dynamite?
Enough to blow your head off. How did you like my roses...
What are you talking about?
Are you out of your mind? That's Harv.
Let's go, Martian! Walk!
You've finally rounded the bend.
I think it's time you two better start believing me. Let's go!
Just about got it?
How long, Norton?
Did anyone ask Einstein how long it would take him to finish his Theory of Relativity? It doesn't work that way, Harrison.
Great. I'll tell the aliens. They're on their way.
I've got one for you. We found him eating my roses.
You gonna believe him?
He's been right on so far. I've got the geiger counter here.
(uses geiger counter, which clicks rapidly, needle pegging into the red)
(drops geiger counter)
You've taken possession of that body, God, it's incredible. Why are you doing this? What do you... people want? Where do you come from? Why this planet? That you came here from across the universe, you're so different, we've got so much to learn from each other. There's enough universe for both of us to live in peace.
Let's kill him.
No, having an alien in captivity is too good of an opportunity to miss. Do you have some place we could keep him?
We could throw him into our meat locker. He'll never get out of that.
You can never win.
You were beaten in Grover's Mill once. It'll happen again.
You are fu-, fungus before us.
If we could just open a dialogue--
There can be no dialogue with fungus. Only death.
Take him out of here! And keep him under guard!
He's getting away.
Sorry Harv! (fires gun, exploding HARV)
Move the left three-quarter panel to 34 degrees. Harrison, what happens if the energy beam zaps the gizmo?
Let's try and be positive, Norton.
I hate those kind of answers, Harrison.
(lights another stick and throws it, felling two more bikers)
C'mon Come on.
There he goes.
What about our orders?
Move the one next to it 16 degrees and the one above that to 34 degrees.
Bring 'em on!
I'll think of my friend Harv when I wear this. I want you to know that what happened to Harv could have just as easily happened to me. It was the luck of the draw. Thank you, Colonel.
I understand what you're saying, sir. For both your sakes I wish we'd given this to you 50 years ago.
Harrison? Oh, thank God you're all okay. We had to drive back this morning. Are you sure it's over?
It's over. For now.
Brawwol! Trick or treat!
|MARY BETH RUBENS||as||Marla|
|LINDA SINGER||as||Biker Chick|
(ADVOCACY footage was recycled, but dialogue was new, and footage showing suited COMMANDER was also used.)
War of the Worlds and related imagery are Copyright by Paramount.
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