Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The War of the Worlds

Today is the 75th anniversary of Orson Welles' radio play broadcast of "The War of the Worlds." But, did you know that "The War of the Worlds" was not even the first radio play to incite a panic? On October 4, 1924, French radio play writers Pierre Cusy and Gabriel Germinet produced a radio play entitled "Maremoto." Using realistic sounds and voices, "Maremoto" told the story of a ship lost at sea making an S.O.S. call without response. And unlike the Welles' version that warned the listening public that the drama that was about to unfold was, in fact, NOT REAL, the 1924 French radio play contained no such warning. There was a public outcry; Listeners sent letters to the French radio station that broadcast the drama complaining, terrified about what they had heard.

-Dr. Richard Gray, author of “A War of the Worlds for the 1920s: Pierre Cusy’s and Gabriel Germinet’s 'Marémoto.'”

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