Welles on the Radio Plus War of the Worlds

A screening of a brand-new 35mm print of the 1953 film War of the Worlds, directed by Byron Haskin, plus a special radio treat from 1939!

Before the feature, University of Chicago professor and radio expert Neil Verma will present excerpts of Orson Welles’s infamous War of the Worlds broadcast, which caused a nationwide panic 75 years ago this Halloween.

What drove 1.2 million Americans from New Jersey to San Francisco to the brink of suicide — literally? Hear about the biggest hoax of all time from the author of Theatre of the Mind: Imagination, Aesthetics and American Radio Drama.


Tickets are $10

War of the Worlds

directed by Byron Haskin starring Gene Barry, Ann Robinson, Les Tremayne in English, Spanish

The film adaptation of the H.G. Wells story told on radio of the invasion of Earth by Martians.

When visionary producer George Pal brought the classic H.G. Wells story of a Martian invasion to the big screen it instantly became a science fiction classic, and won the 1953 Academy Award for Best Special Effects.

It’s a work of frightening imagination. As formations of alien ships wreak destruction around the globe, the military is helpless to stop this enemy while scientists race to find an effective weapon.

As the perfect crystallization of 50s ideology the film would be fascinating enough, but the special effects in this 1953 George Pal production also achieve a kind of dark, burnished apocalyptic beauty. —Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader

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