Friday, October 31, 2008

The War of the Worlds

This is the is the 70th anniversary of the famous Orson Welles radio broadcast of “The War of the Worlds” on October 31, 1938. This year is also the 110th anniversary of the novel by H.G. Wells that was adapted for that broadcast.

Many early boomers like me (and Steven Spielberg) first encountered this story of a Martian invasion of Earth either in the Classics Illustrated comic book version, or the 1953 Technicolor feature by George Pal. The story has been adapted for one screen or another several times, and got the big Spielberg treatment in a 2005 movie starring Tom Cruise. There's been another radio (or CD) version produced by Alien Voices, and featuring several stars of Star Trek.

But it seems these days that a lot of people are encountering the story by way of that Orson Welles version, as written by Howard Koch. It's become a fashion for community theatres to re-enact radio plays on stage, often also broadcast on local radio stations, and "The War of the Worlds" is often their first choice--usually about now: Halloween.

No comments: