Mars Attacks! Bet Hitler Didn’t Count On That One
I know the link below is long and that most of you will not listen to the whole thing. And that’s fine, because even a couple of minutes is enough to leave me breathless. But what can I say? I’m a superfan of Orson Welles. His voice is rich like a ten-course French meal, and his delivery so authoritative that he sent an entire nation into a panic. I’m talking about the 1938 theatrical broadcast of War of the Worlds, as performed by none other than the master himself…Rosebud.
The War of the Worlds was here, and the Martians, he told us, were attacking. You can run, but you can’t hide.
I always found it interesting – from a historical perspective – that the American public freaked out about a bunch of little green men (and yes, it was scary – especially if they had the technology to invade a neighboring world and we…uh…didn’t), but weren’t overly concerned about the looming specter of Hitler and his thugs in Europe. I guess when it comes down to it, Hitler was merely a man. He might’ve had some cockamamie ideas about racial superiority, and a funny little mustache and bad haircut, but his clothes were smart and snappy, and he had two arms and two legs. With the Martians, we really didn’t know what to expect, did we?
With hindsight, what we can reasonably surmise about a Martian attack is this: that unless the Martians killed us all – which seems a bit extreme, but stranger things have happened – we’d have several more million Jews in the world. War of the Worlds – Orson Welles original 1938 broadcast