Sci-Fi TV Shows and Movies >> Sci-Fi TV Shows and Movies >> War Of The Worlds
War Of The Worlds
Post by ears on Oct 29th, 2003, 11:50am
At JVL-CON in Janesville we got to see the movie, hear the soundtrack and even read the book. I think it was War of the Worlds mania. The strange thing is, even though the movie is old and has delightfully cheesy graphics, it's still a classic. I was surprised I still loved it.
Anyone else see this one lately?
Re: War Of The Worlds
Post by Noah on Oct 29th, 2003, 8:14pm
(read the transcript of War of the Worlds at: http://www.ufocasebook.com/wow.txt )
War of the Worlds, Orson Welles, And The Invasion from Mars
The ability to confuse audiences en masse may have first become obvious as a result of one of the most infamous mistakes in history. It happened the day before Halloween, on Oct. 30, 1938, when millions of Americans tuned in to a popular radio program that featured plays directed by, and often starring, Orson Welles. The performance that evening was an adaptation of the science fiction novel The War of the Worlds, about a Martian invasion of the earth. But in adapting the book for a radio play, Welles made an important change: under his direction the play was written and performed so it would sound like a news broadcast about an invasion from Mars, a technique that, presumably, was intended to heighten the dramatic effect. As the play unfolded, dance music was interrupted a number of times by fake news bulletins reporting that a "huge flaming object" had dropped on a farm near Grovers Mill, New Jersey.
As members of the audience sat on the edge of their collective seat, actors playing news announcers, officials and other roles one would expect to hear in a news report, described the landing of an invasion force from Mars and the destruction of the United States. The broadcast also contained a number of explanations that it was all a radio play, but if members of the audience missed a brief explanation at the beginning, the next one didn't arrive until 40 minutes into the program.
At one point in the broadcast, an actor in a studio, playing a newscaster in the field, described the emergence of one of the aliens from its spacecraft. "Good heavens, something's wriggling out of the shadow like a gray snake," he said, in an appropriately dramatic tone of voice. "Now it's another one, and another. They look like tentacles to me. There, I can see the thing's body. It's large as a bear and it glistens like wet leather. But that face. It...it's indescribable. I can hardly force myself to keep looking at it. The eyes are black and gleam like a serpent. The mouth is V-shaped with saliva dripping from its rimless lips that seem to quiver and pulsate....The thing is raising up. The crowd falls back. They've seen enough. This is the most extraordinary experience. I can't find words. I'm pulling this microphone with me as I talk. I'll have to stop the description until I've taken a new position. Hold on, will you please, I'll be back in a minute."
As it listened to this simulation of a news broadcast, created with voice acting and sound effects, a portion of the audience concluded that it was hearing an actual news account of an invasion from Mars. People packed the roads, hid in cellars, loaded guns, even wrapped their heads in wet towels as protection from Martian poison gas, in an attempt to defend themselves against aliens, oblivious to the fact that they were acting out the role of the panic-stricken public that actually belonged in a radio play. Not unlike Stanislaw Lem's deluded populace, people were stuck in a kind of virtual world in which fiction was confused for fact.
News of the panic (which was conveyed via genuine news reports) quickly generated a national scandal. There were calls, which never went anywhere, for government regulations of broadcasting to ensure that a similar incident wouldn't happen again. The victims were also subjected to ridicule, a reaction that can commonly be found, today, when people are taken in by simulations. A cartoon in the New York World-Telegram, for example, portrayed a character who confuses the simulations of the entertainment industry with reality. In one box, the character is shown trying to stick his hand into the radio to shake hands with Amos n' Andy. In another, he reports to a police officer that there is "Black magic!!! There's a little wooden man -- Charlie McCarthy -- and he's actually talking!"
In a prescient column, in the New York Tribune, Dorothy Thompson foresaw that the broadcast revealed the way politicians could use the power of mass communications to create theatrical illusions, to manipulate the public.
(cont. in next post)
Re: War Of The Worlds
Post by Noah on Oct 29th, 2003, 8:15pm
(cont. from previous post)
"All unwittingly, Mr. Orson Welles and the Mercury Theater of the Air have made one of the most fascinating and important demonstrations of all time," she wrote. "They have proved that a few effective voices, accompanied by sound effects, can convince masses of people of a totally unreasonable, completely fantastic proposition as to create a nation-wide panic.
"They have demonstrated more potently than any argument, demonstrated beyond a question of a doubt, the appalling dangers and enormous effectiveness of popular and theatrical demagoguery....
"Hitler managed to scare all of Europe to its knees a month ago, but he at least had an army and an air force to back up his shrieking words.
"But Mr. Welles scared thousands into demoralization with nothing at all."
In the 1950s, America had another taste of the power that simulations have, to draw people into a world of delusional fantasy, when paired with mass communications. This time it was revealed that a number of television game shows were simulations, in which contestants who knew the answers ahead of time were pretending to guess at their responses. But unlike the invasion from Mars, here the fakery was unambiguously intentional; it was the work of producers who had concluded they could create fictional game shows that would be more exciting than the real thing.
Once again, there was a shocked reaction from the public. Once again, those involved became objects of public anger. And, as happened with the Orson Welles broadcast, an effort was made to ensure that such manipulations wouldn't recur.
But in 1990, it happened again. Audiences around the world discovered that they were taken in by the ultimate Hollywood illusion in which two performers faked their own talent, lip-syncing, to create the impression they were singing. What millions of fans had believed were two talented singers was actually a composite, another seamless interweaving of sensory simulations in which two people provided the visuals, while vocalists provided the audio.
As in the previous two instances, there was a stunned response. But unlike the experience of 1938 or even the 1950s, the social context was different because simulations had become commonplace, and attempts to use them to trick the public were the rule rather than the exception. Also by this time, a global culture had developed, which meant that tens of millions of people around the world were drawn into the same illusion.
One might say that War of the Worlds and the game show scandal foreshadowed the age of simulation that was still to come. Allowing for a little poetic overstatement, the Milli Vanilli scandal served as a rite of passage or symbolic marker, making clear that we now live in an age of simulation confusion in which our tendency to mistake fakes for what they imitate has become one of the characteristic problems of the age.
More to the point, we live in a time in which the ability to create deceptive simulations, especially for television, has become essential to the exercise of power. And the inability to see through these deceptions has become a form of powerlessness. Those who let themselves be taken in by the multiple deceptions of politics, news, advertising and public relations, are doomed, like the more gullible members of the radio audience in 1938, to play a role in other people's dramas, while mistakenly believing that they are reacting to something genuine.
Re: War Of The Worlds
Post by trazzie on Mar 22nd, 2004, 12:52pm
In this day and age .People would not be fooled by a movie like that only because the shows are interupted every ten minutes or so for commercials.But I wonder if it was done again in the form of a real news broadcast
uninterupted commercialy .Would it still effect some people.Im positive it would.People who only hear half a story.Still behave this way baseing everything on how there minds filled in the blanks in an attempt rationalize
and make it believable.Ive seen some strange things
in my life. but people are the strangest.While I was camping up by bensons.I was watching the sky at night about eleven .The sky was clear and full of stars .I was amazed at how long it had been since I saw a sky like that liveing in the city.Then I realized I could'nt watch the whole sky at once so I focused on one star.That star did not let me down.In only about five minutes A bright light turned on bigger than the star I was looking at and made a half circle around the star .This light was not in our atmosphere as it swung around the star two faintly lit aircraft which I can only discribe as arrows with wings shot after the bright light Which simply turned off and all was over.I did'nt go running into the campground screaming we are being attacked or load up my gun. But instead I did the only thing I knew to do.Find shelter and comfort.So I jumped into the back seat of my car locked my door and hid under a blanket till daylight. A reaction that would'nt have made any difference in my ability to servive.but simply let me choose my place to die. Shelter & Comfort.mottled with a slight dash of hope. phenomena still frightens me. Im just not as jumpy.Nothing has hurt me yet.Thank you for letting me share this little story with you.Not the end
Trazzie truly( :-> )p.s. This happened just a few years ago in july.
Steven Spielberg, Tom Cruise to bring "War of the
Post by jenny on Mar 24th, 2004, 11:35am
Looks like STeven Spielberg & Tom Cruise are planning to make a movie of War of the Worlds:
Steven Spielberg, Tom Cruise to bring "War of the Worlds" to big screen
LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Movie mogul Steven Spielberg is to make a film version of Orson Welles' "The War of the Worlds," the sci-fi drama that seamed panic across America in the 1930s.
Hollywood icon Tom Cruise will produce and star in the film based on H.G. Wells' classic book that will be directed by Spielberg, the creator of such mega-hits as "E.T: The Extra Terrestrial", "Jaws," and "Raiders of the Lost Ark."
Daily Variety said production on the movie, the story of a Martian invasion of planet earth, could start in late 2005 after a first draft of the script has been re-written and after Spielberg completes his current film, "The Terminal," starring Tom Hanks and Catherine Zeta-Jones, the industry bible said.
Cruise and his production company persuaded Hollywood studio Paramount Pictures to take on the movie in May last year and now Spielberg's DreamWorks SKG is also expected to get in on the act, Variety said.
Hollywood has been considering making a new film version of "War" for two decades but various projects that were proposed to studios never made it to the big screen.
"War of the Worlds" left an indelible mark on US culture when moviemaker Orson Welles adapted H.G. Wells' 1898 book into a radio play in 1938, presenting the alien invasion as a live radio report that terrified Americans.
Listeners did not realise it was a science fiction radio play, and many people fled cities for the hills to escape the attackers from outer-space.
A film version of the book was made in 1953 but did not leave a major lasting impression on audiences.