28 November 2023
The Night That Panicked America (1975)
95 min.
Directed by Joseph Sargent.
With Vic Morrow, Paul Shenar, Cliff De Young, Eileen Brennan, Meredith Baxter, Michael Constantine, Walter McGinn, Tom Bosley, Will Geer.
This captivating TV thriller chronicles the infamous 1938 Orson Welles-Mercury Theatre radio play of H.G. Wells' sci fi terror War of the Worlds.

Welles and his crew expertly act out the tale of Martians landing on Earth and beginning a wave of death and destruction.

Meanwhile, a frightened national audience mistakes the doom for real...and en masse begins a panic of despair and chaos!

Shenar is excellent as the master Orson while the supporting cast is entirely watchable as the increasingly frenzied radio listeners caught in a horrifying fiction they believe all too real.

The subplot with Baxter and her reverend father Geer is oddly interesting. But it's really Brennan and Morrow who are especially intriguing, particularly in a climactic tunnel scene where they prepare to kill their own children before letting the Martians get the tots.

Rare but worth seeking out.

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