The Night That Panicked America isn't really a science fiction movie but it is about an important SF event. It's a 1975 ABC TV movie about the CBS radio program. It's Halloween Eve 1938 and Orson Wells is adapting the HG Wells novel War Of The Worlds on the Mercury Theater On The Air radio program. As the movie starts we follow the people at the radio station as they get ready to broadcast. After the broadcast gets under way we switch between the production in the studio and several different groups of people as they react to the program. Sadly people thought it was real and not fiction. It caused some good amount of concern among the citizens and a hullabaloo at the station. The response by the police was funny but scary for the actors and in the end it became known that the news media pumped it up out of proportion. There's a so-so documentary on the event called The Day That Panicked America. It's main attraction is the wealth of pictures of the people involved. You are better off reading the Wikipedia page to get a good idea of what happened. I always admired it as a clever production that was a tad too clever for some. Howard Koch was the main writer of the script.
I fondly remember hearing the broadcast for the first time. It was sometime in the early 1970s that I had bought a record with the hour long program. I'd read about the broadcast in a 1970 book called The Panic Broadcast. I bought the book and went looking for a copy of the broadcast. It was in the first record store that I visited. Since I was prepared I didn't run into the streets and make a fool of myself. I used to read a lot of film books in those days. Nowadays I rely on the Wikipedia and such.
This monument is located in Grover's Mill, New Jersey. It's where the Martian's landed in the program. I like that they put that up for people to find.
The Night That Panicked America has a script by Nicholas Meyer and Anthony Wilson. Some might recognize Nickolas from his best selling Sherlock Holmes novel The Seven-Per-Cent Solution. Before he wrote TNTPA Nicholas wrote Invasion Of The Bee Girls and Judge Dee And The Monastery Murders. Both are entertaining but the latter is a bit better. The Judge Dee is adapted from Robert Van Guilk's novel of the same name. That's a series I like quite a bit, they're on my re-read list.
The year after TNTPA he wrote The Seven-Per-cent Solution, which was followed by Time After Time and Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan. I didn't watch much of the rest of his work, I did see the two other Star Trek films he worked on, and a couple of other projects like Tomorrow Never Dies, but most of it was drama and I rarely make the effort to chase those sorts of things down. Nicholas has a writing credit, on the IMDb, for 1 episode of Star Trek: Discovery.
Joseph Sargent was the director. I didn't know much of anything about him but I read on the IMDb that I've seen 3 of his other films: Colossus: The Forbin Project, The Taking Of Pelham One Two Three and Jaws, The Revenge. He directed some TV at the start of his career, episodes of Lassie, Mr Novak, Gunsmoke, The Man From Uncle, The Invaders and others. Most of the films he directed were TV movies. He died in 2014 after nearly 50 years in the business.