War of the Worlds

'The War of the Worlds was an episode of the American radio drama anthology series Mercury Theater on the Air. It was performed as a Halloween episode of the series on October 30, 1938 and aired over the Columbia Broadcasting System radio network. Directed and narrated by Orson Welles, the episode was an adaptation of H. G. Wells' novel The War of the Worlds.

The first two thirds of the 60-minute broadcast was presented as a series of simulated news bulletins, which suggested to many listeners that an actual Martian invasion was in progress. Compounding the issue was the fact that the Mercury Theater on the Air was a 'sustaining show' (it ran without commercial breaks), thus adding to the dramatic effect. Although there were sensationalist accounts in the press about a supposed panic in response to the broadcast, the precise extent of listener response has been debated. In the days following the adaptation, however, there was widespread outrage. The program's news-bulletin format was decried as cruelly deceptive by some newspapers and public figures, leading to an outcry against the perpetrators of the broadcast, but the episode launched Orson Welles to fame.'(wikipedia)
Less than seventy years ago, television was barely at an experimental stage and in the United States, radio was the undisputed king of the airwaves. This is just an example of what was actually broadcast, as the people 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...

...The ability to confuse audiences en masses 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.'(Transparency)

100 Greatest Films Part 4

High Noon (1952)

His Girl Friday (1940)

Intolerance (1916)

It Happened One Night (1934)

It's A Wonderful Life (1946)

Jaws (1975)

King Kong (1933)

The Lady Eve (1941)

Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

Letter From an Unknown Woman (1948)

The Magnificent Ambersons (1942)

The Maltese Falcon (1941)

(For more see Filmsite)

100 Greatest Films Part 3

Duck Soup (1933)

E.T. - The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

Easy Rider (1969)

Fantasia (1940)

42nd Street (1933)

The General (1927)

The Godfather (1972) (tie)
The Godfather, Part II (1974) (tie)

The Gold Rush (1925)

Gone With The Wind (1939)

The Graduate (1967)

The Grapes of Wrath (1940)

Greed (1924)

(See Filmsite for more info)

100 Greatest Films Part 2

Bonnie And Clyde (1967)

Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

The Bridge On The River Kwai (1957)

Bringing Up Baby (1938)

Casablanca (1942)

Chinatown (1974)

Citizen Kane (1941)

City Lights (1931)

The Crowd (1928)

Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)

Double Indemnity (1944)

(See Filmsite for more info)

100 Greatest Films Part 1

The following List has been provided by: Filmsite

The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)

The African Queen (1951)

All About Eve (1950)

All Quiet On The Western Front (1930)

An American In Paris (1951)

Annie Hall (1977)

Apocalypse Now (1979)

Ben-Hur (1959)

The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)

The Big Sleep (1946)

The Birth Of A Nation (1915)

Blade Runner (1982)

The Begining.....

Not to bore you with too much history but to truly appreciate the movies of today, a little appreciation of how they got here is a pre-requisite.

Everything started in 1889 when William Kennedy Laurie Dickson, commissioned by Thomas Alva Edison, created the first motion-picture camera and named it the Kinetograph. Later in 1895 in France, Auguste and Louis Lumiere held the first private screening. The brothers invented the Cinématograph, a combination camera and projector. The image is of an oncoming train is said to have caused a stampede.

1905 celebrated the first movie theater opening in Pittsburgh. And in 1910 Thomas Edison gets back in by introducing his kinetophone, which makes talkies a reality. 1914 brings us Charlie Chaplin and 1921 Rudolph Valentino is cinema's heartthrob.

It isn't until 1924 that Walt Disney creates his first cartoon, "Alice's Wonderland" also refereed to as "Alice's Comedies". It was 1937 when the full-length animated classic "Snow White and the Seven Dwarf's" was released becoming an instant classic.

1939 marked the release of the classic film "Gone with the Wind" and years later in 1960 Alfred Hitchcook's "Psycho" terrifies movie goers. And 1977 is known for the release of the timeless epic "Star Wars". (For more about movie history check out Movie Timeline)

Now-a-days movie makers are continually pushing the envelope to continue to inspire and 'aw' the masses. This blog is dedicated to all the greats (and not-so-greats) of movie history. Comparing movie magic from the beginning to now, the actors, technologies and innovative ways they've continued to draw us to the theaters.
So sit back, grab some pop corn and a pop and enjoy the feature presentation...