Whether they weren't quite paying attention, tuned in late, or simply misunderstood what they heard, legions of listeners thought an actual invasion was underway. The front-page headline in the October 31, 1938, New York Times told the whole story: "Radio Listeners in Panic, Taking War Drama as Fact/Many Flee Homes to Escape 'Gas Raid From Mars'/Phone Calls Swamp Police at Broadcast of Wells Fantasy".
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Love having someone read me a story. Fires in the hearth, rain on the roof, sunny days and surf. Good friends, good food and J S Bach.
If you are old enough to remember the radio serials, and the shorts at the Saturday Afternoon pictures, and you like classic SciFi, you could enjoy this. Orson Wells no less. Having seen both movies over the years, based on this story, it was good to hear the original radio play that had listeners thinking the Martians had indeed landed (or so the other story goes). Classic or otherwise I suggest spending the few dollars asked rather than use your credit here.It is a good listen for the hour and certainly worth $5.00.
I love reading and listening to books, especially fantasy, science fiction, children's, historical, and classics.
What a remarkable radio dramatization of H. G. Wells??? classic novel The War of the Worlds Orson Welles and company made! They effectively distilled the essential elements from the novel into an American context, producing a concise 59-minute program that made me feel that I was listening to an intense night of terror followed by days of existential wandering and wondering.
After a voice proclaims that we are listening to a Mercury Theater presentation of The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells, Orson Welles intones a condensed version of the brilliant opening of the novel, and then quickly sets up the conceit of the first part of the broadcast, that we are listening to a radio program of innocuous dance music that is repeatedly interrupted by eye-witness news flashes from this New Jersey farm where a strange meteor has landed. From there Welles and company use a variety of voices (newsmen, astronomers, farmers, crowds, military men, etc.) and sound effects to create the illusion that the attack of the Martians, complete with heat rays, giant mobile tripods, and poison gas, is happening in real time as we listen to the radio.
After an ???intermission,??? the second part of the dramatization changes from the ersatz radio broadcast to the first person narration by Welles of his professor character???s journal, depicting his attempts to survive and make sense of the invasion. Welles ???out of character??? closes the program by saying that the Mercury Theater was just shouting ???boo!??? at listeners on Halloween Eve and that ???we didn???t mean it.???
Fans of science fiction, of Wells??? novel, of vintage radio theater, and of American culture generally should listen to this program; despite (or due to) its savory slightly static-y quality, it???s well worth the $5.95 ($3.95 for members) price of admission.
I'm a big fan of SF/F/Horror, and all things in between and out.
The story of Orson Welles adapting The War of the Worlds on the radio one Halloween and terrifying a ridiculous amount of the United States is kind of legendary today, but as someone who'd never heard it before, I wasn't sure if it'd live up to the legend or not.
It does, and it's a lot of fun to hear and imagine people listening to it when it originally broadcast. The moments of silence between reporters or military personnel when they go off the air unexpectedly just hangs there, and you can imagine the genuine dread that must've inspired (and still does, for those of us unafraid to use our imaginations).
I recently listened to Wells' original novel (narrated by Simon Vance) and I was impressed how much Orson Welles channeled that here - particularly the scene toward the end with the artillery man. It's a very solid adaptation, and a genuine piece of Americana.
It does sound like an old production, but it's well worth listening to if you've ever been curious about how Welles and Wells created possibly the best Trick or Treat in the world.
Created AND narrated by the late GREAT Orson Welles..I am again stupifed & left in AWE...
My hearing will surely go out early in life due to all the audiobooks I listen to!
I have never listened to something like this, and now that I have im kinda kicking myself in the rear for just NOW finding something like this. Absolutely amazing performance even though it was on the radio Halloween eve 1938. Alot of people during that time actually got scared because they thought it was real! Let me tell you if I was a youngling and i just came across this I would have too.
Short and so bittersweet. Such a horrifying tale, perfect for the eve of ghosts, goblins and well ALIENS!!!
I would not listen again, but it was a one-time "must listen."
Yes. This program sounded like an actual broadcast.
He made the invasion appear to be in progress.
yes, it was a great listening. In fact, i've already listen to it twice again.
none in particular
The reporter i suppose.
yea but could not. was happyto return to it when i did. Hurray for pause.
I like dramatized audiobook. hopes theres more.
Book Listener & Radio Drama Enthusiast.
I can understand how tuning into the first half of this radio drama
could have freaked some people out back in 1938.
It was really well produced.
The voices are great.
I'm sure I will listen to it again at some point.
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