American Experience

American Experience

War of the Worlds

DVD - 2013
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What began as a broadcast performance of H.G. Wells' 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.
Publisher: [United States] :, PBS,, [2013]
Description: 1 videodisc (approximately 60 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in
ISBN: 9781608839643
Branch Call Number: DVD 791.4472 War


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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.

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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