Comparison and Contrast Between H.G. Wells’ Original Novel The War of the Worlds and Byron Haskins 1953 Film The War of the Worlds
Movies that are created based on novels usually have some parts that are different from the actual novel, or at least, do not reach the expectations of the reader. There are a lot of factors to this. For one, readers have different interpretations and depth of imaginations about the novel they have read. By the time they watch the movie, they are surprised with the differences they found.
Some say the movie is better, while others say the opposite. Another reason for these changes is time. Some fictional novels written a few years ago would have some of the parts already discovered and showing it may no longer be appropriate. Instead of following the novel, story writers of novel-based movies alter these parts. Still another reason is art itself. Directors usually alter some scenes so that it will create a much better effect to the audience or the people watching the movie.
This is the case with the novel-based movie, The War of The Worlds. The novel was written by H.G. Wells in 1898. The movie was created in 1953 under the direction of Byron Haskins. Three of the most enduring scenes occurred in Book One Chapters 3 and 16 and in Book Two Chapter 8. In Book One, Chapter 3, entitled “On Horsell Common,” the narrator talked about the arrival of the aliens (only one was depicted in this scene). The same had happened in the movie except that there were fewer people gathered around the “meteor.” Still, the important characters were there. Chapter 16 of Book One showed the flight from London. This time, the invasion already devastated many parts of the known land. In Book Two, Chapter 8, entitled “Dead London,” the main character had seen the aliens died. The same with the movie except that there was not much exposure of the alien as it had been in the novel.
I believe changes made to the original narrative did not hurt the story. Instead, it helped improve the story that was written half a century before the movie was created. One importance is that there seemed to be a connection between the ideas of the past (as written in the novel) and the present (as depicted in the movie). Also, the movie version would be predictable enough if it was entirely based to the novel. It suits the audience; both those who had read the novel and those who did not. I think the movie version was as great as the printed one.
Wells, H.G. The War of the Worlds. New York: NYRB Classics
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