When Orson Welles Met HG Wells

The names of H.G. Wells, the great British novelist and Orson Welles, the great American actor will forever be linked. Orson Welles co-authored with Howard Koch the script that dramatized H.G Wells’ Wells’ legendary novel of the Martian assault of planet Earth. Welles and Koch moved the setting of the story from late nineteenth century Britain to twentieth century America and thus was born the most infamous radio broadcast in the history of radio.

The evening of October 30th, 1938 will be forever remembered as the night America trembled. Some two years later the two finally had the chance to meet during a radio interview on KTSA radio in San Antonio, Texas.

H.G. was initially dismayed by Orson’s dramatization because he felt it distorted the fundamental message of his book which was the destructive imperialism of a technologically advanced race. Fortunately by this time his dissatisfaction had been mitigated by a curiosity about the stir the broadcast had caused. Interestingly enough, Adolf Hitler mentioned the “panic” stirred by the broadcast in one of his many infamous oratories, and Orson refers to this particular “Great Munich Speech” during their meeting:

“Mr. Hitler made a good deal of sport of it, you know… Its supposed to show the corrupt condition and decadent state of affairs in democracy that The War of the Worlds went over as well as it did.”

What follows is the rare audio clip of HG Wells’ meeting Orson Wells.


2 Responses to “When Orson Welles Met HG Wells”

  1. 1 somayeh October 23, 2008 at 7:59 am

    so where is it? the audio clip? i don’t see it and i really want to listen to it

  2. 2 Alex Michael Bonnici October 27, 2008 at 3:57 am

    Its on the You Tube file I embeded.A M Bonnici

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