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Sunday June 23rd 2024

The War of the Worlds | 1953

War Of The Worlds filming location: St Brendans, Third Street, Hollywood
War Of The Worlds location: Dr Forrester searches for Sylvia: St Brendan’s, Third Street, Hollywood

Byron Haskin’s cheerfully colourful adaptation transposes the HG Wells story from village England to California, and replaces the lumbering tripods of the book with sleek, copper-coloured flying machines.

The film focuses firmly on downtown Los Angeles, which means it shares locations with quite a few other films.

As the alien invasion hits the headlines, the military convoy speeds past the United States Government District Court Building, 312 North Spring Street at Aliso Street, toward City Hall, 200 North Spring Street, downtown LA.

City Hall itself (OK, a miniature), is later blown to smithereens during the Martian attack.

As LA is evacuated, Dr Forrester (Gene Barry) drives down a deserted Eighth Street (past the Olympic Theatre, 313 West 8th Street, featured in Daredevil and 1971 sci-fi The Omega Man, with Charlton Heston; and past the Clifton Cafeteria exterior from David Fincher’s Fight Club) before turning right into Hill Street.

The film makes the most of its downtown location: after escaping looters, Forrester runs past the Eighth Street-Hill Street intersection several times.

The church, where he searches for Sylvia (Ann Robinson) as time runs out for the human race, is St Brendan’s, Third Street at Van Ness Avenue, in Hollywood. And, yes, that’s another location from Fight Club.