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15War of the Worlds

Tom Cruise War of the Worlds

Lesson Learned: Befriend Tom Cruise.

In 1938, the world was emotionally unprepared for an alien invasion. Orson Welles’ Halloween radio broadcast of War of the Worlds, the H.G. Wells sci-fi novel, caused chaos in the streets. Welles' theater company’s radio play induced widespread terror across America, inciting riots, panic and rumors of

suicide. The broadcast sounded so authentic in describing the invading alien force that one woman ran into an Indianapolis church, screaming, “New York has been destroyed! It’s the end of the world! Go home and prepare to die!”

Though modern audiences knew what they were watching, Steven Spielberg’s 2005 re-imagining of War of the Worlds still packed in a lot of scares. While diverging from Wells’ classic invasion story by having the tripods be previously planted beneath earth’s surface, Spielberg unflinchingly depicts the aliens' attempt at incinerating and harvesting mankind. These tripods are hunters and gatherers of the most devious kind, and unless your name is Tom Cruise or Dakota Fanning, they’ll have their way with you. How to survive? Get out of the streets, seek shelter and avoid shotgun-toting loonies like Harlan Ogilvy (Tim Robbins).

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