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The Day That Panicked America (2005)

6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 11 users  
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How could a radio show adapting an old science fiction novel become a nation wide source of panic and dismay? This is the story of just that, from the broadcast to the drama unfolding in individual American homes.

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Title: The Day That Panicked America (2005)

The Day That Panicked America (2005) on IMDb 6.4/10

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John Ross ...
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How could a radio show adapting an old science fiction novel become a nation wide source of panic and dismay? This is the story of just that, from the broadcast to the drama unfolding in individual American homes.

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hoax | radio broadcast | See All (2) »

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The classic sci-fi tale that became a broadcast that became a hoax that scared a nation!


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28 June 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Orson Welles' War of the Worlds Scandal  »

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A Few Good Bits But Not Enough
17 April 2012 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

The Day That Paniced America (2005)

** (out of 4)

Documentary covering the 10/30/38 radio broadcast of "The War of the Worlds" by Orson Welles, which many people believed to be an actual warning, which caused panic as people left their homes fearing a real alien invasion. At 70-minutes this documentary tries to give one the complete story of the event but sadly it's just so cheaply-made that it just never really grabs you. The story itself of the chaos that was created is something very interesting and it's amazing how much actually happened over a single broadcast. The documentary starts off telling us why so many people missed the opening of the show where it was told that the broadcast wasn't real and then we get several details about why people thought it might be real. This is where the documentary pretty much goes off track because it starts showing clips from stuff like ROBOT MONSTER, a film not released for another twenty-years, as well as going into details about Buck Rodgers. The film even goes back to stuff like NOSFERATU and METROPOLIS and these things simply have nothing to do with the broadcast. Throughout the documentary we get audio clips from the broadcast and it goes without saying that these are the best moments in the film. We briefly go over the aftermath of the event and then we go into what benefit the radio broadcast had for Welles. We finally get the rise and fall of Welles as he went forward with CITIZEN KANE, which helped end his career. Throughout the running time there's just so much stuff dealing with non-broadcast stuff that the entire thing just gets out of focus and in the end you really don't learn much about the subject at hand.


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