The Night That Panicked America is a made-for-television movie that dramatizes the events surrounding Orson Welles' famous - and infamous - War of the Worlds radio broadcast (based on the novel of the same name by English author H.G. Wells) of October 30, 1938, which had led some Americans to believe that an invasion of Martians was occurring in New Jersey.
The film tells the story of the 1938 broadcast from the point of view of Welles and his associates as they create the broadcast live, as well as from the points of view of a number of different fictional American families, in a variety of locations and from a variety of social classes, who listened to the broadcast and believed the imaginary Martian invasion was actually occurring, with some people even committing suicide.
It premiered on the ABC network on October 31, 1975 and starred Michael Constantine, Meredith Baxter-Birney, Tom Bosley, Eileen Brennan, Vic Morrow, Will Geer, and John Ritter. Paul Shenar played Orson Welles. Some local stations in various areas of the United States have annually rebroadcast the movie on October 30, the anniversary of the original radio broadcast or on Halloween itself, October 31.
The movie has never been officially released on VHS or DVD, but you can find bootleg DVDs online of an old VHS recording.
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