On Halloween night of 1938, I was only 10 years old. Mom commanded us to be home from our “Trick or Treat” expeditions before sunset. By eight in the evening I sat in front of our Zenith, a gigantic instrument which connected us with the outside world by means of radio waves.
I twisted the dial of the radio and stopped at 850 to catch the most powerful of the local stations WTAM. The program was “The Mercury Theater,” a program devoted to stories and music. Its music was interrupted by a news bulletin. The Martians had landed in New Jersey and were hell bent on conquering the world.
I was not too concerned. I knew New Jersey was more than 500 miles away and it took Uncle Harry, a salesman, two days to get there.
Crises bring out both the best and worst of us. So it is no surprise that mild mannered mayor tries to calm the populous. On the other hand, a rabble rouser World War I veteran assembles a militia carrying sickles and axes to defend the community from invaders.
The misdirected comedy that results is amusing. The combination of Orson Welles and H.G. Wells is too good to miss, particularly if you remember the radio as our altar of amusement.
I recommend you see “Brave New Jersey” showing at the Rialto Theater in The Villages.
Jack Petro reviews movies for Villages-News.com
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