April 2010

In 1938 many people believed that the radio play reports from Orson Welles about a real event. According to my opinion the people in 1938 were more gullible than nowadays. They had a certain trust in the information of the radio.

Nowadays the people are less plausible. The majority knows that the media often exaggerate or publish less checked information By the fact that nowadays there are many possibilities to find out news and to examine,  the radio play would cause less hysteria .

Nevertheless, I think that the media influence the people  thoug in another frame. We take up today’s media subconsciously and are influenced so.

Result: The hysteria of 1938 cannot be transferred to the today’s society.


TWotW causes a lot of panic. Orson Welles presented the Drama of H.G. Welles in a realistic way.  The play focused on the invasion of the martians on earth. Because many people missed the little introduction at the beginning most of the people believed that the martians attacked the world. There was a mass hysteria.

The headline of the New York Times “Radio listeners in panic, taking war drama as fact” reports about this panic.

The reaction of the people was likewise it would be in our world. People believe in the media too much. But today the hysteria would be just a short moment. Than the people would proove if the information is right.


My expectation is a different film of the 1938 version. I believe that Spielberg has his own image of the  invasion and has used the radio play merely as an idea incentive.Besides, details of the book can only be foreseen.

I expect an extremely exciting representation of the invasion from the film. Also hot and cold baths of the feelings and  precise, professional picturization of the action. Because Spielberg is known for his thrillers, the dramatic representation is likewise obvious.

My expectacions were nearly right. The film has just adopt little details from the Radio Play. The way the martians attacked were nearly likewise but the story around the attack was totally different.

The well knwon “thrilling” talent of Steven Spielberg is visible and the way he films is as in his other films.


#1    The first indication that something unusual was happening was when the news arrived that

ο several meteorites had landed on earth

X there were several explosions of gas on Mars

ο the music being played was by Ramón Raquello and his orchestra

ο that people were dying in Grover`s Mill

#2    The first interview was with:

X Professor Pierson, an astronomer at Priceton Observatory

ο Ramón Raquello

ο Carl Philipps

ο Mr Willmuth

# 3   The object that landed at Grover`s Mill looks like:

ο a bath tub

ο a meteor

ο a flying saucer

X a huge cylinder

#4    The Martians are described in detail. Which of the following did they NOT have?

X tentacles

ο saliva dripping from their V-shaped mouths

ο black eyes

ο furry skin like a bear

#5   Which of the follwing did the Martians use to kill people:

X a heat ray

ο missiles

ο machine guns

ο electric shocks


I thought that Orson Welles sounds much younger and not that dramatical. I also was surprised by the many different peoples which were added in the radio broadcast. In addition, it needs getting used to that there are quick changes between music and gossip. The music is only very short to hear. That is very different to the modern radio broadcasts.

to be continued..

George Orson Welles (May 6, 1915 – October 10, 1985), Kenosha, Wisconsin, USA, best known as Orson Welles, was an American film director, writer, actor, and producer, who worked extensively in film, theatre, television, and radio.

Welles first found national and international fame as the director and narrator of a 1938 radio adaptation of H. G. Wells’s novel The War of the Worlds which, performed in the style of a news broadcast, caused widespread panic when listeners thought that an extraterrestrial invasion was occurring and being reported by newscasters.

Citizen Kane (1941) won Oscar 1942

The Magnificent Ambersons (1942)

Touch of Evil (1958)

Chimes at Midnight (1965)

In 2002 he was voted the greatest film director of all time in the British Film Institute’s poll of Top Ten Directors.