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Posts tagged with Orson Wells


If you go here, you can download a copy of one of the most famous radio broadcasts ever made: Orson Welles 1938 adaptation of ‘War Of The Worlds’, a drama that caused mass panic and hysteria when it was broadcast. Here’s what happened:

“On the evening of Sunday, October 30, 1938 – a month after the Munich – Orson Welles of the Mercury Theatre gave, over the Columbia Broadcasting System, a scheduled radio dramatization of an old fantasy by H.G. Wells, The War of the Worlds. To make it vivid, he arranged it to simulate a current news broadcast. After an announcer had clearly explained the nature of the program, a voice gave a prosaic weather forecast; then another voice said that the program would be continued from a hotel, with dance music; shortly this music was interrupted by a “flash” to the effect that a professor at “Mount Jennings Observatory,” Chicago, reported seeing explosions at regular intervals on the planted Mars; then the listeners were “returned” in orthodox fashion “to the music of Ramon Raquello…a tune that never loses favor, the popular ‘Star Dust’”; then came an interview with an imaginary Princeton professor, with more information about disturbances on Mars – whereupon a series of further “news bulletins” described the arrival of Martians in huge metal cylinders which landed in New Jersey. The broadcast gathered speed, bulleting following bulletin. More Martians landed – an army of them, which quickly defeated the New Jersey State Militia. Presently the Martina attack was vividly described as being general all over the United States, with the population of New York evacuating the city and Martian heat-rays and flame-throwers and other diabolical devices causing terrific destruction, till all was laid to waste.”

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