• Sale 7565

    Entertainment Memorabilia

    2 June 1994, New York, East

  • Lot 149

    ORSON WELLES. Typescript radioplay "The War of The Worlds," [New York, 1938].

    Price Realised  

    ORSON WELLES. Typescript radioplay "The War of The Worlds," [New York, 1938].

    45 pages, 4to (8 x 10 in.) typed on one side only, some pages with original drawings by Welles in heavy pencil of faces and oddly alien creatures. In very fine condition.

    [With:]

    ORSON WELLES. Autograph letter signed, to an unidentified correspondent, no date, on original printed Mercury Theatre stationery, 1 page 4to (8 x 10 in.) Welles writes:"This is to certify that this is my own directorial copy of 'The War of The Worlds' radio script. Needless to say I scarcely anticipated the reaction accorded what seemed to us to be a fairly routine hour radio show. Orson Welles."

    ORSON WELLES DIRECTORS TYPESCRIPT OF "THE WAR OF THE WORLDS": ONLY ONE OTHER COPY IS KNOWN TO EXIST On October 30, 1938 Orson Welles and The Mercury Theatre on the Air presented what listeners believed was a live performance of Ramon Raquello and his Orchestra. History was made that evening as the fictitious Intercontinental Radio News network interrupted with flash bulletins reporting terrifying, dramatic sightings of the dreaded Alien from Mars. A nationwide panic ensued and Welles found himself at the center of what is still considered to be the most famous backfired hoax of all time. Numerous injuries due to the panic were reported, CBS and the New York City Police Department confiscated all copies of the script. Until now, writer Howard Koch's copy had been believed to be the only complete typescript in existence. Welles gave this script to a close associate for safe-keeping.

    The forty-five page script is annotated with drawings by Welles in heavy pencil, most of alien Martian images, according to text. On the first page is a full page drawing of a robust man, signed in pencil at the bottom Orson Welles.
    All that happened before the arrival of these monstrous creatures in the world now seems part of another life...I look down at my blackened hands, my torn shoes, my tattered clothes, and I try to connect them with a professor who lives at Princeton University...My wife, my colleagues, my students, my books, my observatory, my...my world...where are they?


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