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War of the Worlds | Behind the Scenes

Making of War of the Worlds: Outtakes

After the infamous 1938 radio broadcast of The War of the Worlds, thousands of listeners wrote letters — some were angry, many congratulated Orson Wells on what they considered rip-roaring entertainment. Saved by Mercury Theater member Richard Wilson, most of these letters had not been read since 1938. Donated to the University of Michigan in 2007 by Wilson’s estate, they were re-discovered by A. Brad Schwartz, a University of Michigan student who was writing his thesis on the broadcast. To bring freshness to the story behind Orson Welles' famous broadcast, American Experience film producers used the letters in the film, with actors delivering dramatized on-camera interviews inspired by the original letters. In these outtakes, actors have some fun at the end of the day describing what it's like to play a character from the 1930s.

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