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OG of Podcasting! Orson Welles' Iconic Radio Moments Orson Welles is a legend in a league of his own. An American actor, director, screenwriter, and producer, he is known as one of the greatest filmmakers of all time. His first film, "Citizen Kane", consistently ranks as one of the greatest films ever made, which he co-wrote, directed, produced, and starred in. But before all of this, he was a radio giant. In 1938, "The Mercury Theatre on the Air" premiered Welle's radio adaptation of H.G. Wells' "The War of the Worlds", convincing some American listeners to believe that an alien invasion was occurring in New York City. This rather infamous broadcast shot Welles to international notoriety. Before moving to film, he hosted a number of radio shows, ranging from sketch comedy with huge co-stars to suspenseful adaptations of famous novels. Here are Orson Welle's most iconic radio moments. Vurbl The Best of Old Time Radio
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On October 30th, 1938, listeners across the United States turned on their radios to reports of an alien invasion in New York City. The broadcaster, Orson Welles, reported breaking news between live music, cutting to scientists, reporters, and eye-witnesses to strange space activity and eventually a meteorite landing in New Jersey. The interruptions started to come more rapidly as the news reports became increasingly alarming until only the broadcaster was left. The War of the Worlds was reported live on the Columbia Broadcasting System radio network, leaving listeners in fearful suspense. This broadcaster was none other than a 23-year-old Orson Welles. After this famous (or infamous) broadcast, he went on to be one of the most prolific radio voices of all time as well as a beloved actor, director, and producer.
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ladies and gentlemen, there's something I haven't mentioned in all this excitement, but it's becoming more distinct. Perhaps you've caught it already on your radio. Listen, please. You hear it? It's a curious humming sound that seems to come from inside the object. I'll move the microphone nearer here. Now we're not more than 25 ft away. Can you hear it now? Professor Pearson? Yes. Can you tell us the meaning of that scraping noise inside the thing? Possibly the unequal cooling of its surface, I say. Do you still think it's a meteor professor? What? They think the metal casing is definitely extraterrestrial. Not found on this earth. Friction with the Earth's atmosphere usually tears holes in a meteorite. This thing is moving. You can see it's something happening. Ladies and gentlemen, that's terrific. This end of the thing is beginning to flake off. Top is beginning to rotate like a screw in the thing must be hollow. Take off the top blue down there way. Ladies and gentlemen, this is the most terrifying thing I've ever. Wait a minute. Someone's calling someone or something. I can see coming out of that black holes to luminous disks, the eyes that might be a face might be almost Heavens, something wriggling out of the shadow like a gray snake. Now it's another one and another one and another one. They looked like tentacles. Yeah, I can see the things body. Now. It's large, large as a bear. Christians like wet weather, but ladies and gentlemen, indescribable. I can hardly force myself to keep looking at it with eyes are black and the clean like a surf in the mouth. That's kind of V shaped with saliva dripping from its lips and seem to those equivalent pulsating monster or whatever it is, can hardly move. He's weighed down by possibly gravity or something that things rising up now and the crowd falls back. That seemed plenty that most experts experience making. Tell Mike they find words, and we'll pull this microphone with me as I talk. I have to stop the description till I can take a new position. Hold on. Will you please? I'll be right back in a minute. We are bringing you an eyewitness account of what's happening on the Wilmoth Farm, Grovers Mill, New Jersey We now return you to Carl Phillips at Grovers Mill Ladies and gentlemen My on, Ladies and gentlemen, ladies, gentle. Here I am, back of stone wall that adjoins Mr Wilmot's garden. From here, I get a sweep of the whole scene. I'll give you every detail as long as I can talk. As long as I can see that more state police have arrived at drawing up a cordon in front of the pit, about 30 of them. No need to push the crowd back now. There, willing to keep their distance, the captains and firing with someone can't quite see who? Yes, I believe it's Professor Pearson. Yes, it is now. Now they parted and the professor moves around one side, studying the object, while the captain and two policemen advanced with something in their hands. I can see it now. It's a white handkerchief tied to a pole flag of truce. Those creatures, you know what that means, What anything means. Wait a minute. Something's happening. Humped shape is rising out of the pit. I can make out a small beam of light against a mirror way. What's that? There's a jet of flame springing from the mirror, at least right at the advancing men strikes him head on? Well, to tell you the claim by the woods as far as the gas. Thanks for the automobiles spreading everywhere. Coming this way. Now, about 20 yards to my right. Ladies and gentlemen, due to circumstances beyond our control, we are unable to continue the broadcast from Grovers Mill. Evidently, there's some difficulty with our field transmission. However, we will return to that point at the earliest opportunity. In the meantime, we have a late bulletin from San Diego, California. Professor in bulk Offer, speaking at a dinner of the California Astronomical Society, expressed the opinion that the explosions on Mars are undoubtedly nothing more than severe volcanic disturbances on the surface of the planet. We continue now with our piano interlude. Ladies and gentlemen, I've just been handed a message that came in from Grovers Mill by telephone. Just one moment, please. At least 40 people, including six state troopers, lie dead in a field east of the village of Grovers Mill, their bodies burned and distorted beyond all possible recognition. The next voice you hear will be that of Brigadier General Montgomery Smith, commander of the state militia at Trenton, New Jersey. I have been requested by the governor of New Jersey to place the counties of Mercer and Middlesex as as far west as Princeton and East to James Berg. Under martial law, no one will be permitted to enter this area except by special pass issued by state or military authorities. Four companies of state militia are proceeding from Trenton to Grovers Mill and will aid in the evacuation of homes within the range of military operations. Thank you. You have just been listening to General Montgomery Smith commanding the state militia Trenton. In the meantime, further details of the catastrophe at Grovers Mill are coming in. The strange creatures, after unleashing their deadly assault, crawled back in their pit and made no attempt to prevent the efforts of the firemen to recover the bodies and extinguish the fire. The combined fire departments of Mercer County are fighting the flames which menace the entire countryside. We have been unable to establish any contact with our mobile unit at Grovers Mill, but we hope to be able to return you there at the earliest possible moment. In the meantime, we take you to just one moment. Please, ladies and gentlemen, I have just been informed that we have finally established communication with an eyewitness of the tragedy. Professor Pearson has been located at a farmhouse near Grovers Mill, where he has established an emergency observation post. As a scientist, he will give you his explanation of the calamity.