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Without Warning
Without Warning
Actors: Sander Vanocur, Jane Kaczmarek, Bree Walker, Dwier Brown, Brian McNamara
Director: Robert Iscove
Genres: Action & Adventure, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Television, Mystery & Suspense
G     2003     1hr 40min


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Movie Details

Actors: Sander Vanocur, Jane Kaczmarek, Bree Walker, Dwier Brown, Brian McNamara
Director: Robert Iscove
Creators: David L. Wolper, Jeremy Thorn, Kim Rozenfeld, Mark Wolper, Peter Lance, Walon Green
Genres: Action & Adventure, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Television, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Action & Adventure, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Television, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Madacy Records
Format: DVD - Color,Full Screen
DVD Release Date: 07/08/2003
Original Release Date: 10/30/1994
Theatrical Release Date: 10/30/1994
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 1hr 40min
Screens: Color,Full Screen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 8
MPAA Rating: G (General Audience)
Languages: English
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Movie Reviews

It's the "War of the Worlds" as presented on TV...
Commander Adama | USA | 11/09/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"As the reviewer below mentioned, this made-for-TV movie is loosely based on Orson Welles's famous radio broadcast in 1938. The broadcast was based on the classic 1898 novel "War of the Worlds" in which seemingly-invincible, octopus-like Martians invade and lay waste to England before suddenly dying from a simple Earth virus. Welles took this sci-fi story and turned it into a disturbingly realistic, minute-by-minute radio news broadcast of Martians landing in the New Jersey countryside and then moving towards New York while destroying everything in their path. Welles intended for the broadcast to be a ratings-boosting Halloween "trick", but many people thought that it was a real news story and panicked, packed up their cars and families and headed for the hills to escape the Martian "invaders". In "Without Warning", CBS-TV attempted to do what Welles did on CBS radio decades earlier: present a frighteningly realistic TV News broadcast of an alien invasion of the Earth. The two-hour movie is presented as a genuine news broadcast - there's the typical TV newsroom you see on CNN or Fox News; there's the team of anchorpeople giving updates (to add to the realism Sander Vanocur, a real reporter who's covered Washington politics since President Kennedy, was hired to play the anchorman); and there's the "live" satellite feeds from around the world as the evidence rapidly mounts that the Earth is being visited by not-so-friendly aliens. And the story is at least as frightening as the Welles version so many years ago. Originally, reports come in of a large UFO that's been shot down by the Air Force; an entire town in Wyoming suddenly disappears, with empty cars lining the streets and people's half-eaten dinners sitting on their plates; a zombie-like little girl is found talking what appears to be "nonsense" (it's actually a message from the aliens), then a missing skier in Europe turns up spouting the same gibberish; then large asteroids are spotted heading for the Earth's major cities, poised to destroy them; and the US military in a hurried press conference announces their plan to destroy the asteroids before they hit the Earth. I won't give away anymore of the plot (the ending is a real chiller), but this fast-paced film grabs hold of you quickly and doesn't let go until the very end. I saw this movie by accident when it originally aired, and although I wasn't "fooled" (I'm a big fan of Orson Welles' original broadcast, so I knew it had to be fake), this film nevertheless is chilling to watch in its realism. If there ever is an alien invasion of the Earth (which I doubt), then this movie probably gives an accurate portrayal of how the TV news media would cover it. Highly recommended!"
It's what you've been waiting for!
T. Brewer | Roanoke, VA USA | 07/08/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This is the television movie that stirred up a lot of trouble for CBS in 1994. Despite repeated disclaimers every commercial break, many viewers really thought this was real. Sound familar? It should. The style is loosely based on Orson Wells' War of the Worlds radio cast, where the story is told through breaking news coverage.
I worked at a CBS affiliate and scared people kept calling wanting to know if it was real.
Anyway, this is a fun movie. It is not HAMLET and is a bit over the top at times. But if you get into the spirit of things you might occasionally feel a chill go up your spine."
Panic Broadcast Tribute Works Pretty Well
Joshua Koppel | Chicago, IL United States | 05/26/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Offered as a tribute to Orson Wells' famous Panic Broadcast, another attempt is made to tell a tale of alien involvement as if it were really happening. This time actual news people play themselves (like in the movie DAVE). These include Bree Walker Lampley and Sander Vanocur. The effect is ruined a little when one of the first on-scene reporters is played by John DeLancie (Q of Star Trek fame). The story opens with the report of an earthquake. It quickly turns out that the quake was caused by a massive meteor strike. Then there are reports of two others around the globe. At the US location, Bree Walker covers a story about a young girl found at the site of the impact. Then it is revealed that the three strikes hit at the same time and that they form a pattern. This is too much for coincidence. There must be intelligence behind it.

As the story progresses, another meteor is detected coming in. The military mobilizes to eliminate the massive meteor. The news plays up on the doomsday aspect of the meteor and its existence affects how the news is being covered. Then the full scale of what is going on is revealed.

This was quite well done. I missed out on some of the subtleties as I was not originally familiar with the news services being used when it was first aired. Now that it is on DVD the names are familiar but some of the other cast have become very well known (like Jane Kaczmarek who plays the science correspondant). It also played up on some moder indeas that a threat from space could just pelt us with rocks instead of coming down and fighting face to face. Well done. Check it out."
It's the end of the world as we know it...
The Gent | Sacramento CA USA | 02/20/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)

"This film used "The War of the Worlds" radiocast as a format. Sander Vanocur and Bree Walker played themselves doing a newscast of an series of events. Several other reporters played themselves as well. This film also featured a pre "Malcolm in the Middle" Jane Kaczmarek as an expert commentator and a pre "Q" (Star Trek) John de Lancie as a field reporter.

I remember that CBS ran notices that what we were seeing was not real at every commecial break. This film is fun and a little thought provoking: do we make sure we understand what we are responding to before we respond?

Now....can someone dig up "Special Bulletin" and put that out on DVD?