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A Comparison of “the War of the Worlds” Book (1898) and Modern Film

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    Although it is the same story, the war of the world’s book (1898) and film (modern) have their differences and similarities.


    A major difference between them is when it is set and the location. The difference between 1898 and 2005 really changes the story. In 1898 people are fleeing from the tripods in horse-drawn carriages and on foot. In 2005 people are fleeing in cars, trucks, boats. The character of the novel has an unknown identity.

    The only main (with names) characters mentioned in the novel are Ogilvy his meteorologist/scientist friend. There are many other characters mentioned, but they are just named (for example) ‘the Curate’ and ‘the Artillery Man’. The main character in the film is the famous Hollywood actor Tom Cruise. He is a divorced crane driver who has to look after his children for the weekend, Robbie a teenage boy and Rachel a 10-year-old who likes to scream a lot. The Tripods One of the main things that keeps the book and the film similar is The tripods.

    They are mostly the same apart from a few subtle differences, like in the book it is a heat ray, whereas the film the ray destroys organic matter. They still look fairly similar, and they both have the baskets on the back for taking human samples. In the film, the tripods have a force field around them which missiles and tanks cannot penetrate. The film’s aliens do not land on Earth in giant cylinders before releasing their war machines. Instead, the machines have already been buried underground, and the aliens arrive in capsules transported through lightning bolts.

    The details of how they do this are never really explained, but it is clear that they had been planning this invasion along time before human civilization.


    The aliens are defeated by microorganisms in both the book and film. The fighting machines are tripods, with a ray of some kind, metal construction, and three legs. The ray. I feel there is a bit of a flaw with the ray in the film. It disintegrates humans but leaves there clothes behind. So you would think that its an organic destroying ray, so how does it destroy tanks, cars, buildings?

    There is a scene in the movie where the main character and his daughter witness a mass of floating bodies going down a river, just like the narrator witnessed in the novel. Tripods are equipped with long tentacles that grab humans and put them into metal carriers or cages, just as in the book, where eventually these human prisoners will be drained of their blood for the use of food for the invaders. The red weed is spread everywhere. There is a scene where the characters are trapped in a farmhouse because of the invaders being outside.

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