The War Of The Worlds

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The War Of The Worlds

Postby radiofan » Fri Oct 29, 2010 7:09 am

For Your Halloween Weekend Listening Pleasure ...

In 1938, Orson Welles presented his famous radio dramatization of the H.G. Wells classic tale "The War of the Worlds" on CBS "Mercury Theater" ... The show was set up as a music program interrupted by news bulletins saying that Martians had landed near Princeton, New Jersey ... Though a disclaimer was broadcast several times throughout the hour-long program, most listeners did not pay attention to the explanation telling them that the story was fictional and a radio fabrication ... Even the newspaper program guides printed the warning, but nontheless, panic ensued throughout America ... Nobody ever found out why thousands of people believed the science-fiction drama

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Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who couldn't hear the music.
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Re: The War Of The Worlds

Postby Steve Sanderson » Fri Oct 29, 2010 8:55 am

:shock:

The Martians are coming!
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Re: The War Of The Worlds

Postby Buckley » Fri Oct 29, 2010 9:05 am

radiofan wrote:Nobody ever found out why thousands of people believed the science-fiction drama


It was a simpler time back then, is it possible that in a way, it's just something people wanted to believe? Or that people were just more naive back then/didn't care to listen to or read warnings? By 1938, the book would have been out for over 30 years, so people would hopefully have some knowledge of it. Or maybe Orson Welles was just so good, all the warnings you could post wouldn't make him less believable.

Of course, at the same time, people still smoke and there's warnings that say "this'll probably kill you", so... maybe humans are just born to ignore all warnings.
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Re: The War Of The Worlds

Postby PMC » Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:45 pm

It was a much simpler time back then... very few televisions, radio was king. Technology was on the move slowly...

There is a semi modern version of War of the Worlds with Jeff Waynes musical version. Richard Burton does amazing voice work, and Justin Hayward of the Moody Blues with others do the music. It was 2 Columbia Lp's originally, and probably 2 for the CD version of it.

There is a web based trailer here http://www.thewaroftheworlds.com/Landingpage.aspx and it plays the opening track.

Orson Welles would be amazed at it :o
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Re: The War Of The Worlds

Postby radiofan » Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:03 am

It's back for it's 75th year!
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Re: The War Of The Worlds

Postby skyvalleyradio » Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:34 am

my wife and I enjoyed the documentary on "War Of The Worlds" last night on KCTS. I'm sure it's been broadcast before, but our first time viewing this documentary. This is definitely one of radio's finest moments in history and I'm in total awe of the production facility and equipment used to produce this truly realistic presentation: 4 turntables for FX records, full orchestra, felow actors, and several people 'operating' various gizmos & devices to create FX, background voices etc. And...Orson Welles out in front conducting this conglomeration like a madman orchestra conductor! :bow:
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Re: The War Of The Worlds

Postby Neumann Sennheiser » Wed Oct 30, 2013 9:31 am

Good news for me. It's available for viewing, in it's entirety, on-line.

http://video.pbs.org/video/2365108972/

Choosing not to have neither traditional TV, cable, nor satellite, I happily keep discovering new sources to watch nearly everything I want via internet. Notable exceptions are Jeopardy and NFL football. For the latter, I try to catch Sunday and sometimes Thursday and Monday night games at one of the local watering holes thus enjoying the bonus of cheering with other stalwart and lubricated Seahawks fans.
Mostly, the net options are free excepting, I guess, Netflix.
More and better options here in the states I realize. My daughter tells me the Netflix choices are much greater than available from her Canadian Netflix account and, of course, Hulu is unfortunately available (legally) only in the USA.
Let me know if the PBS link above is blocked in Canada; I'd be curious.
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Re: The War Of The Worlds

Postby skyvalleyradio » Wed Oct 30, 2013 10:02 am

Neumann - the link is blocked here in Canada. One of my daughters has a Netflix (Canada) account & is somewhat happy with the offerings, as is my grand-daughter. However, we're all aware Netflix USA has more offerings & probably better pricing. A number of TV shows - including those originating from US networks ARE available online via Canadian TV network websites. However, AMC programming seems to no longer be available here, making it impossible to watched episodes of "Breaking Bad" online.

Regarding the KCTS "War Of The Worlds" doc: - highly recommended & a good tribute to Orson Welles excellence in radio & film. :cya:
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Re: The War Of The Worlds

Postby Neumann Sennheiser » Wed Oct 30, 2013 10:13 am

Helpful tip; if you're visiting the U.S. and you log into your Canadian Netflix account while here, you WILL receive the American options. Nice little bonus.
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Re: The War Of The Worlds

Postby Neumann Sennheiser » Wed Oct 30, 2013 10:49 am

Back on subject; although the actual location of the martian landing site is largely fictional, there is an unincorporated community of Grover's Mill NJ not far SE of Princeton and there is an erected monument located there on the shores of Grover's Mill pond.

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Re: The War Of The Worlds

Postby Tape Splicer » Wed Oct 30, 2013 1:55 pm

SiriusXM Radio will be broadcasting "The War Of The Worlds" on Thursday October 31st from 7pm local time along with other related features. Below is the SiriusXM Radio listing from their schedule page.

"""10:00 pm (eastern) – Thursday Midnight
War of the Worlds 75th Anniversary

75th Anniversary of "War Of The Worlds" Original 10/30/38 Show plus new documentary "War Of The Welles" """

I also remember a TV movie dramatizing the radio program. The TV movie showed how the SFX were created and the reaction of the listening public.

The way the program ran after the opening of the show, there were no station ID's broadcast in the body of the drama, so anyone who tuned in during the program run would think that something was nefariously wrong. Communication was much slower than.

1938 was the still in the depths of the depression and the world was inching closer to war. The sabers were being rattled in Europe.

arguably our world was less sophisticated - but no less dangerous. As stated above radio was king and people believed what they heard.
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Re: The War Of The Worlds

Postby skyvalleyradio » Wed Oct 30, 2013 3:04 pm

Indeed! People believed what they heard as the drama did a very real job of mimicking a breaking news alert, something radio listeners had become quite used to in 1938. The KCTS documentary stated one interesting detail:

About 1/2 way through the broadcast, as the drama unfolded, one of the Mercury Theatre actors began a impersonation of a well-known US official (secretary-of-state?) whose voice was familiar to radio listeners. At this point, an unidentified person of authority called the CBS Production center where the show was live on-air and DEMANDED that Welles stop and IMMEDIATELY broadcast a network ID and disclaimer that the broadcast was ONLY a dramatization. Welles refused and carried on with his unfolding radio show - broadcasting the CBS Network ID and disclaimer much later in the hour which ultimately prompted the FCC to investigate Welles in addition to CBS. My wife & I speculated that had Orson Welles broadcast the ID & disclaimer when directed to, much of the hysteria would have been diffused.
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Re: The War Of The Worlds

Postby Tape Splicer » Wed Oct 30, 2013 5:44 pm

Here is a YouTube link to the program that frightened so many people in 1938.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6YNHq1qc44

The link below is from "Internet Archive" and will download the radio program in mp3 to your computer.

https://archive.org/download/OrsonWelle ... 381030.mp3
Which ever way you choose to access the program ... enjoy.
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Re: The War Of The Worlds

Postby former tv guy » Wed Oct 30, 2013 5:59 pm

Tape Splicer wrote:Here is a YouTube link to the program that frightened so many people in 1938.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6YNHq1qc44

The link below is from "Internet Archive" and will download the radio program in mp3 to your computer.

https://archive.org/download/OrsonWelle ... 381030.mp3
Which ever way you choose to access the program ... enjoy.


Other than a different picture, how is this different from the link at the top of the page in the original post, which doesnt require any downloading or listening to satellite radio at a specific time?

The earlier discussions were great!
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Re: The War Of The Worlds

Postby Tape Splicer » Wed Oct 30, 2013 6:15 pm

The internet archive link is downloadable if you right click on it. I realize they are the same program.

The PBS program "American Experience" will air again in the wee hours of Thursday morning ... Here are the PBS notes abut the show. (from KCTS )

War of the Worlds: American Experience

Thursday, October 31, 04:00 am on KCTS 9 HD
Seattle/Yakima

Duration: 0:55:45

Description: Timed to coincide with the 75th anniversary of Orson Welles' infamous radio drama, "War of the Worlds" explores this unprecedented and little understood event. With the CBS radio broadcast serving as its narrative spine, the film examines the elements that together created one of the biggest mass hysteria events in U.S. history, including our longtime fascination with life on Mars; the emergence of radio as a powerful new medium; the shocking Hindenburg explosion of 1937, the first disaster to broadcast live; and the creative wunderkind Orson Welles, the 23-year-old director of the drama and mischief maker supreme. Public reaction, forever immortalized in thousands of letters written to CBS, the Federal Communications Commission and Mr. Wells himself, are dramatized in on-camera interviews, bringing to life the people who listened that night to the broadcast and thought it was either awfully good fun or the end of the world.
- See more at: http://pw.myersinfosys.com/kcts/day?mon ... EftY3.dpuf
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