THE LOVE WAR (1970)
Article 2586 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 5-4-2008
Posting Date: 9-11-2008
Directed by George McCowan
Featuring Lloyd Bridges, Angie Dickinson, Harry Basch
Two alien races vie for possession of the Earth by sending down three agents each to play a deadly cat-and-mouse game to destroy each other; the winning team’s race gets possession of the Earth. One of the aliens on Earth meets and falls in love with an Earth woman.
Based on its 7.2 rating on IMDB, it’s obvious that that this TV-Movie had a great impact on a number of people in its time; most of the user comments are from people who remember it from many years ago but haven’t seen it since. Perhaps I might have felt that way seeing it back then. Watching it now, though, I mostly feel it’s a good premise poorly handled; the script is overly talky and never makes the premise convincing, the direction is uninspired, dreary and lacking in suspense and, though the fate of the Earth is at stake, I never really get the sense that what is happening is all that important. It does have a good twist in the last twenty minutes, but it leads to a downer ending that just makes it all seem drearier. What I found the least convincing is that the humans in the movie don’t seem to notice that we have people running around with loudly beeping trackers and zapping each other with loud ray guns; you’d think this sort of thing would catch someone’s attention. And one clever idea (that the aliens can spot each other by wearing special glasses to see their real selves) starts out well, but eventually becomes tiresome as we, the viewers, aren’t allowed to see through them until the very end of the movie, and the revelation at that point is thoroughly disappointing. This might work better for someone who has a strong affection for TV-Movies in general, but I’m not one of them.