War of the Worlds

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History Documentary hosted by Oliver Platt, published by PBS broadcasted as part of PBS American Experience series in 2013 - English narration

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Image: War-of-the-Worlds-Cover.jpg

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The night began as any other peaceful Sunday evening, with millions of listeners tuned to their radios. Yet the outward calm hid a nation tense with apprehension: the Great Depression refused to let up, and the threat of war in Europe loomed larger every day. Then, at 8:15 p.m., there was a report on the radio that Martians had landed in New Jersey. Almost instantly, people listening in responded to the shocking news. Newspapers were flooded with calls from worried listeners; many feared that New Jersey had been laid to waste and that the Martians were heading west. In cities and towns throughout the country, people stopped a moment to pray-- then grabbed their loved ones and fled into the night. What began as a broadcast performance of H.G. Wells's fantasy, The War of the Worlds, turned into one of the biggest mass hysteria events in U.S. history. AMERICAN EXPERIENCE examines the elements that together created this frenzy, including our longtime fascination with life on Mars; the emergence of radio as a powerful new medium; and the creative wunderkind Orson Welles, the twenty-three-year-old director of the drama and mischief-maker supreme.


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  • Video Codec: x264 CABAC High@L4.0
  • Video Bitrate: 3831 Kbps (CRF 21)
  • Video Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • Video Resolution: 1280x720
  • Framerate: 29.970fps
  • Audio Codec: AAC-LC (Nero)
  • Audio Quality: 0.50 48KHz (~140 Kbps)
  • Audio Channels: 2
  • Run-Time: 53mn 45s
  • Number of Parts: 1
  • Part Size: 1.49 GiB
  • Container: MP4
  • Released: 2013
  • Source: HDTV
  • Encoder: KarMa

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