Friday, October 26, 2007

Orson Welles - War of the Worlds

The infamous Mercury Theater radio broadcast of H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds from October 30, 1938. You can probably find this elsewhere online, but I bought it, so I may as well do something with it.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

There was a dinner party, a very select, elegant and exclusive dinner party; and this is a really true story--I must ask you to believe that. In Long Island, the night of this broadcast, which was Hallowe'en Eve, a lot of grand people were sitting at dinner, and about half-way through dinner the butler arrived serving the next course. He said to the host, in an undertone which carried around the table, "I beg pardon, sir; but New Jersey has just fallen." He then passed the next plate.

"Everyone was very contained and very polite; nobody panicked; they waited till the next course and the butler came round again, and the host said "Meadows"--(whatever his name was)--"What was that, Meadows...you said about...where did you hear that?

Meadows said, "On the radio, sir."

The host said to him, "Well, exactly what happened?"

Meadows said, "Well, I believe, sir, that the greater part of the Atlantic seabord has capitulated"--passing another plate.

"Of course everybody assumed it must be the Communists or something. Third round of whatever it was--by the time the Baked Alaska came, the host said, "Meadows, have you ascertained who it is that's attacking us?"
Meadows said: "I believe it's interplanetary, sir."

And at this point, accordign to my informant, who is highly placed, and should be believed, at this point they looked out of the window and there was a falling star. Everyone, not unnaturally, rushed for the nearest exit!

Anyway, all kinds of people reacted in all kinds of ways; for example, John Barrymore was listening to the broadcast, and although he was a friend of mine, ceased to identify me with the show, and believed implicitly that America had fallen to the Martians. Hearing all this on his radio, he rushed out into his backyard where he kept ten Great Danes in kennels, and released the dogs, giving them their freedom, crying to them as they ran in all directions of the compass, "The world has fallen, fend for yourselves!"

Four or Five years later, I was on the air doing a show, a very polite show with a lot of people, choruses, singing...I was in the midst of some hymn of praise to the American cornfields, or something of the kind, when suddenly a gentleman darted into the radio studio, held up his hand, and said: "We interrupt this broadcast--to bring you an announcement. Pearl Harbour has just been attacked!"

Of course, this very serious and terrible news was never believed, not for hours, by anybody in America--because tehy all said "Well, there he goes again. Really. Rather bad taste--it was funny once, but not a second time!"

-Orson Welles, slinging bullshit like it was hashbrowns.
Taken from The Fabulous Orson Welles by Peter Noble

Other fun Halloween stuff:

The Mostly Ghostly Music Sharing Blaaahg! has a ton of great Halloween-related audio, including haunted house sound effects records, Vincent Price reading ghost stories, and audio readings of HP Lovecraft. More good stuff on the Scar Stuff blog.

Check the Cool Wax has a bunch of Munsters-related stuff, including this awesome mix of Munsters music.

At Oddio Overplay, Otis Fodder's perenial Halloween mix Ghouls With Attitude, a new mix called Calling All Fiends, and of course, the Coconut Monkeyrocket/Martinibomb collaboration "Munsterbeat!"

Neato Coolville is renamed Neato Ghoulville in honor of the season, with piles and piles of Halloween flotsam and jetsam. Monster Movie Music has some very neat stuff, too.

Check this badass Tiki Pumpkin!

Have you been following CHUD's Forgotten Monsters of Filmland series?

I love this cheap-ass Buster Keaton mask!

A blog for those with a sexy witch fetish!

3 Comments:

Blogger Katanga said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10/28/2007 10:27 AM  
Blogger Katanga said...

Almost as terrifying as the Jeff Wayne musical album.

Hey, check this out: Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten

10/30/2007 11:19 AM  
Blogger Chris Oliver said...

Yeah, I'm totally up for seeing that.

10/31/2007 3:38 PM  

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