20 user 6 critic

The Night That Panicked America (1975)

On October 30, 1938, Orson Welles's radio play "The War of the Worlds" accidentally provokes mass panic.


Joseph Sargent


Nicholas Meyer (teleplay), Anthony Wilson (teleplay) | 2 more credits »
Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Vic Morrow ... Hank Muldoon
Cliff De Young ... Stefan Grubowski
Michael Constantine ... Jess Wingate
Walter McGinn Walter McGinn ... Paul Stewart
Eileen Brennan ... Ann Muldoon
Meredith Baxter ... Linda Davis (as Meredith Baxter Birney)
Tom Bosley ... Norman Smith
Will Geer ... Reverend Davis
Paul Shenar ... Orson Welles
John Ritter ... Walter Wingate
Granville Van Dusen ... Carl Phillips
Burton Gilliam ... Tex
Joshua Bryant ... Howard Koch
Liam Dunn ... Charlie
Shelley Morrison ... Toni


The true story of the night that Orson Welles broadcast his version of 'H.G. Welles'' classic ''The War of the Worlds'' on the radio. Designed to be as realistic as possible, many people were fooled into thinking that an alien invasion was actually taking place. Written by Murray Chapman <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

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Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

31 October 1975 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Night the Martians Landed See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Apparently to save on royalties, the Paramount-owned "Cocktails for Two" is substituted for "Stardust" as "the tune that never loses favor" in the mock hotel orchestra broadcast. See more »


The announcer introducing the Mercury Theatre on the Air's production of "The War of the Worlds" names Orson Welles and Howard Koch as the writer. While Koch did write the script, he was not named in the introduction to the original broadcast. See more »


Ora Nichols: [to her assistant, assessing the Mercury Theater's show] Looks like another big night for Charlie Mc Carthy.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Premiered om ABC-TV at two hours (with commercials). A subsequent network rebroadcast was cut to fit a ninety-minute time slot. Both versions later turned up in syndication. See more »


La Paloma
Music by Sebastián Yradier
Arranged by Frank Comstock
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User Reviews

Accurate recreation of Orson Welles' "War of the World's" radio program .
12 December 1998 | by mspangSee all my reviews

This film was a very entertaining, and historically accurate recreation of Orson Welles' radio program "War of the Worlds", which was based loosely on H G Wells' novel of the same name. It is utterly amazing that so many people believed that this radio drama was real, and the film does an excellent job of dramatizing the reactions of several people who seriously believed that the Earth was being invaded by Martians. What amazes me even more is the fact that no one has made this excellent production available for sale on video. It surely is a marketable product.

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