Studio One in Hollywood (1948–1958)
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The Night America Trembled 

On October 30, 1938, Orson Welles' Mercury Players performed a radio play version of H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds. Some people in the unsuspecting public took the broadcast as a real ... See full summary »


Tom Donovan


Nelson Bond

On Disc

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Edward R. Murrow Edward R. Murrow ... Himself / Narrator
Alexander Scourby ... Carl Phillips - Host
Robert Blackburn Robert Blackburn ... Director
Casey Allen Casey Allen ... First Announcer
Norman Rose Norman Rose ... Second Announcer
Ray Boyle ... First Actor
Frank Marth ... Second Actor
Edward Asner ... Third Actor
Freda Holloway Freda Holloway ... Mary Morgan
John Gibson John Gibson ... Mr. Morgan - Mary's Father
Clint Kimbrough Clint Kimbrough ... Bob
Tom Clancy Tom Clancy ... Tom
Vincent Gardenia ... Dick
Fred J. Scollay Fred J. Scollay ... Harry
James Coburn ... Sam Chandler (as Jim Coburn)


On October 30, 1938, Orson Welles' Mercury Players performed a radio play version of H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds. Some people in the unsuspecting public took the broadcast as a real report about a Martian invasion. In this television play of twenty years later, several fictional storylines present the story of the 1938 broadcast and the panic it caused. Edward R. Murrow, as himself, provides short narrative bridges between scenes. The fun includes watching the young extras for a surprising number of faces that will later range from the familiar to the famous. Written by tlfisher-1

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

9 September 1957 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

Company Credits

Production Co:

CBS Television Network See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


A television adaptation of audience reaction to the 1938 CBS radio broadcast of the adaptation of H.G. Wells "War of the Worlds" by Orson Welles and the Mercury Theater Players. See more »


The events portrayed took place in 1938. The 'Rose-Bowl' pinball machine being played in the bar was not made by D. Gottlieb & Company until October 1951. See more »


Edward R. Murrow: One troubled face out of ten. But this is the face of dawning panic on the night America trembled
See more »


Featured in Studio One Documentary (2002) See more »


Introduction from "Le Coq d' Or"
Music by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
See more »

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User Reviews

It's okay...
26 September 2010 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

This episode of "Studio One" begins with an introduction by Edward R. Murrow and he narrates throughout. He explains that the teleplay you are about to watch is a recreation of the broadcast by the Mercury Theater of "The War of the Worlds" and the panic that accompanied it--as some mistakenly thought it was NOT fiction but a broadcast concerning a real invasion from Mars!! Today it's hard to imagine people being that gullible, but some did take this broadcast way too seriously.

When the show began, the first thing I noticed is that everyone dressed and had haircuts straight from 1957--not when the broadcast occurred in 1938. While this is not the most important problem a teleplay could have, I did think it was a bit sloppy. As for the rest of the show, it was okay but that's about all. It does retell an interesting part of our history, but I don't think it did much for me one way or the other. Well made but not super-involving.

By the way, look closely at the extras in this episode. I noticed Warren Oates and Warren Beatty but there are others--such as James Coburn--all before they became famous.

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