On the night of October 30th, 1938, Orson Welles and the Mercury Theater on the Air presented a dramatization of the HG Wells Classic “The War of the Worlds”. Their play took the form of a series of news bulletins portraying a realistic-sounding fictional Martian invasion. Those who tuned in late missed the introduction of the play, taking them out of their fictitious context. Many mistook its realistic presentation for actual reports of an imminent invasion. Whether is was thought to be Martians, or humans disguised as Martians, people believed their homes were under attack by a foreign enemy. For forty minutes Welles’ broadcast horrified the minds of his growing audience, until an intermission revealed the reality of the drama.
If you’re familiar with the War of the Worlds Broadcast then use the Act I II & III buttons to skip around. If you’ve never heard it before, grab yourself a shotgun and a vial of plague bacilli because the martians are right outside your house!
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- Matthew Wilber
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