Synopsis by Mark Deming
On October 30, 1938, Orson Welles was transformed from a celebrated stage actor and director struggling to bring his talents to the masses to the most infamous man in America thanks to a single radio broadcast. On October 30, Welles and his Mercury Theater of the Air troupe presented an adaptation of H.G. Wells' tale of an alien attack on the Earth, The War of the World, but Welles and his writers struck upon the novel idea of presenting the story in the form of a radio news broadcast. When thousands of listeners tuned into the program late and missed the set up, panic broke out in New Jersey (where the story was set), and all across America people nervously wondered if the world was truly under fire from Martians. The Day That Panicked America: The H.G. Wells War of the Worlds Scandal is a documentary which looks back at this innovative bit of radio theater, the incredible reaction it caused, and the aftershocks of this event, which can been seen in our mass media to this day.
panic, radio, invasion, alien [not human], man-vs-aliens, America