Letter regarding Orson Welles “War of the Worlds” broadcast
“The War of the Worlds was broadcast on October 30th, 1938 on CBS radio, directed and narrated by actor and future filmmaker Orson Welles.
“The first two thirds were presented as a series of simulated news bulletins, which suggested to many listeners that an actual alien invasion by Martians was currently in progress.
“In the days following the adaptation there was widespread outrage in the media and panic by certain listeners, who had believed the events described in the program were real. The program’s format was described as cruelly deceptive by some newspapers (which had lost advertising revenue to radio). Despite these complaints—or perhaps in part because of them—the episode secured Welles’ fame as a dramatist.”
Orson Welles: The voice that captured the minds and hearts of millions (1951)
An account of the North American Premiere of Orson Welles’ Too Much Johnson at The George Eastman House discussed here: http://moviemorlocks.com/2013/10/20/too-much-johnson-becoming-orson-welles/
[All images courtesy of GEH.org]
American Experience on PBS will explore how Orson Welles’ ingenious use of the new medium of radio struck fear into an already anxious nation. This episode will air on October 29 at 9pm on the 75th anniversary of the “Panic Broadcast!”