H.G. Wells' The War of the Worlds

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" Sherman, seeing his father disappear into the house [to fetch his shotgun], realized that as the temporary male leader on the premises, it was up to him to find a way of preventing disaster. Having read up on human behavior when confronted by space creatures, he was not sanguine about being able to deal with the alien, either via force or kindness. In the comics and movies, neither seemed to pay off very well. He remembered most poignantly the scene in War of the Worlds when the clergyman walked gently toward the Martian space vehicle, only to be zapped into nothingness for his troubles. / Nevertheless, a quick evaluation of the situation suggested strongly that the humane approach rather than the belligerent one would be better. He possessed no weapon with which to threaten or attack the alien; fear probably showed in his eyes, if not on his entire face. Thus it seemed preferable to throw himself onto the creature's mercy. / He extended his hand gingerly. / “Peace,” he murmured. "
—From Back to the Future by George Gipe (quote, page 73)

H.G. Wells' The War of the Worlds, also referred to as The War of the Worlds and War of the Worlds, was a 1953 science-fiction movie starring Gene Barry and Ann Robinson, which was based on the 1898 novel of the same name by H.G. Wells.

Sherman Peabody had seen the movie at some point, presumably at either the Town Theater or the Essex Theater in Hill Valley.

On the morning of November 5, 1955, when what appeared to be a craft from outer space arrived at Twin Pines Ranch, Sherman recalled the scene in the movie where the clergyman attempted to make peace with the Martians only to be killed. Even though Sherman was unarmed, he decided nevertheless that it would be best to make a peaceful approach towards the yellow-suited alien figure rather than a hostile one.

Behind the scenes

  • Although referred to as War of the Worlds in the novelization (see Quote above) and as The War of the Worlds on Wikipedia and on IMDb, the movie title is given as H.G. Wells' The War of the Worlds on theatrical release posters and other existing promotional material. The latter title has therefore been adopted here.
  • Gene Barry and Ann Robinson, who played the lead roles of Dr. Clayton Forrester and Sylvia van Buren in the 1953 movie, made cameo appearances as the parents-in-law of Ray Ferrier, as played by Tom Cruise, in Steven Spielberg's adaptation, War of the Worlds (2005).


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