War of the Worlds

War of the Worlds

DVD - 2013
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What began as a broadcast performance of H.G. Welles' fantasy, The War of the Worlds, turned into one of the biggest mass hysteria events in U.S. history. American Experience examines the elements that together created this frenzy, including our longtime fascination with life on Mars; the emergence of radio as a powerful new medium; and the creative wunderkind Orson Welles, the twenty-three-year-old director of the drama and mischief-maker supreme. The film contains reanactments of reactions to the hoax from people all over the United States.

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akirakato
Jun 01, 2019

Originally broadcast as a TV program on October 29 of 2013, this 60-minute documentary delves into the famous radio program on the night of October 30, 1938.
This radio prpgram turend into one of the biggest mass hysteria events in US history if not in the world history.
It explains how the people reacted as they did to this radio drama.
Amazing and amusing!

m
ManMachine
May 23, 2019

This 1-hour historical documentary from the PBS Network takes a close-up look at the significance of the date October 30, 1938 (@ 8:15 pm) when the "Orson Welles" dramatization of "The War of the Worlds" was aired on the radio (coast to coast) all across the USA.

Through stills, archival footage, reenactments, and interviews - The producers of this intriguing documentary try to come to rational terms as to why this particular broadcast generated such widespread panic among the citizens of their country.

Looking back, today, at this incident from 80 years ago - It certainly strikes one as being completely laughable that 1000s of Americans actually believed that their country was, in fact, really being invaded by Martians..... Like - "Duh!"

s
sigridmac
Oct 03, 2016

An amazing true story about how Americans panicked when they misconstrued a fictional radio play to be a real invasion from Mars. Examines the beginning of iconic Orson Welles' rise to fame and how mass hysteria was so easy to provoke among scared people. Made me think the same thing could happen today if we all went online and heard that ISIS had hacked our servers and bombed several countries.

k
Keogh
Jan 23, 2014

A fascinating documentary from PBS looks at the War of the Worlds radio broadcast and the impact it had on America at the time. The Orson Welles production came along at perhaps the only time it could have had such an effect, prior to World War Two. A dramatization of the novel about Martian invaders, the broadcast set off a tidal wave of fear and paranoia as listeners believed the events being described were actually happening. The documentary explores the background of the broadcast, the cultural state of the era, and the events that played out because of it. If you've only heard of this particular event in passing, it's well worth watching this to learn the details.

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