War of the Worlds (1953)
"The War of the Worlds," be it H.G. Wells' sci-fi novel or the radio and film adaptations that followed, is not, technically, about the end of the world. Civilization makes it through OK in the end-but only because the invading aliens didn't get the proper shots before they left home.
Though Steven Spielberg and Tom Cruise gave "War" slick, CGI-laden treatment in 2005, the real cinematic classic is the 1953 version, in which a Martian-bearing meteorite lands near the tiny town of Pine Summit, Calif. Before you know it, the earth is under attack by a hostile alien army, equipped with flying saucers, heat rays, impenetrable force fields and a whole lot of Martian gumption. Not even atomic bombs stop these unwelcome guests, and the alien race starts spreading over the land like kudzu. Beaten and discouraged, a few survivors of the initial onslaught decide to spend what they assume will be their last moments in a church. It's appropriate, then, that when they see the Martians war machines start toppling from the church door-bearing, it seems, under-the-weather invaders--it seems nothing less than miraculous.