Movie Poster Blog


War of the Worlds

If there is one director that needs no trickery to entice audiences it would be Steven Spielberg. This summers release of the War of the Worlds will make Independance Day look like Marry Poppins. Further advancements in digital technology, provided by long time friend and peer George Lucas's ILM industries, will shock and awe movie goers to new heights. Each trailer released brings us one exciting step closer until we can witness the 2005 adaptation of H. G. Wells original masterpiece. In 1938 Orson Wells successfully shocked the nation with an interruption radio broadcast a day before Halloween, claiming that "huge flaming objects" had landed on a farm. People believed that this innocent radio broadcast of a play was actually happening live and it's no surprise that a film was made almost a decade later. The George Pal produced film set the bar quite high for subsequent science fiction films to follow.

The original 1953 one sheet features an ominous hand not of this world venturing from beyond the heavens to terrorize the humans down below. Red flames shoot towards space giving the impression that all has been lost to an invading force. It is apparent that certain psychological methods were used to add to the already frightening image. I admire the subconscious tie between the issues that were affecting the nation and the imagery used in the print. The idea that someone was watching or spying on you, and the use of the red colored flames seemed to suggest a connection with the communist threat Americans felt. If you saw the poster for the first time and never heard of the play or radio broadcast you might not have known who the hand belonged to. Was it an alien? Was it the hand of god? The French and Italian one sheets portray the true nature of the film with images of space ships shooting rays into cities and crowds of people. Any piece would be a collectors dream to own.

If you're looking for a poster that spells "TEASER" in an image, look no further, the marketing teams at Paramount made sure add that element of anticipation when they designed the advanced style posters for the 2005 release. The first resembles the logo for the film Ben Hur, and then the second, which combined with the regular style foreshadows how the film will play out. The advertising staff was sure to remind viewers that this movie will indeed be a summer blockbuster by choosing the right visual effects to give the poster a 3-D feel. They've also used the 1953 poster as inspiration, with the gnarled alien hand very prominant on the poster.


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