Wells and Welles

Ran across this interesting conversation, Orson Welles jamming with H.G. Wells in San Antonio, Texas, of all places. Welles attributed his success to Wells’ “War of the Worlds,” his Halloween 1938 radio version having brought him fame/notoriety. He says in the conversation that “Citizen Kane” was possible only because of the radio broadcast, which was supposedly so real as to inspire widespread panic – likely overstated by the press. (My father once told me that the reaction was far more subdued, from what he could see.) Whatever the case, Welles got some ink, and it built his reputation as a dramatic force.

Here’s the complete 1938 radio version of WotW:

15 years later, in 1953, a very good film version was released, produced by George Pal, and featuring Gene Barry as a square-dancing, high flying scientist-hero.

Author: Jon Lebkowsky

Co-wrangler of Plutopia News Network, cohost Radio Free Plutopia. Podcaster, writer, dharma observer, enzyme. Former editor/publisher, FringeWare Review; associate editor at bOING bOING and Factsheet Five; writer at Mondo 2000, 21C, Wired, Whole Earth Review, Austin Chronicle; sub-editor at Millennium Whole Earth Catalog; blogger at Worldchanging. Digital culture maven, podcaster, writer, dharma observer, enzyme. On The WELL, Cohost of VC (virtual communities), Media, and Civil War (.ind) conferences.