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WGN Channel 9 - Family Classics With Frazier Thomas - "The War Of The Worlds" (Opening, 1978)

Here is the opening to the Family Classics With Frazier Thomas presentation of "The War of the Worlds" on WGN Channel 9.

The Family Classics theme song was called "Moviescope" and was a piece of library music composed by Dennis Berry. It was originally released on the Berry/Conroy label.

This aired on local Chicago TV on Sunday, November 19th 1978 at 3:30pm!

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This clip aired on Sunday, November 19th 1978, and is included in the following categories:

Viewer Comments

I have the RCA SelectaVision CED of this film.
Comment posted by Betamax75 on Tuesday, October 26th 2010 at 9:06am.

Another great find, Fuzzy!
Comment posted by ChitownTVFan on Tuesday, October 26th 2010 at 9:35am.

Which Chicago station had "The War of the Worlds" prior to WGN? I know that in NYC, the first station to lease it, starting in 1969, was WCBS Channel 2 (as part of Paramount Pictures' "Portfolio II" package); in fact, this film was the first to be aired on WCBS's very short-lived attempt at a horror showcase, "Saturday Shocker," in fall 1972 (apparently as meant to compete with WNEW Channel 5's "Creature Features" which aired at various times of the day on weekends, including Saturday and Sunday afternoons).

I seem to recall around the late 1980's or early '90's, WGN's sister station WPIX Channel 11 ran this flick.

Comment posted by W.B. on Tuesday, October 26th 2010 at 1:39pm.

W.B., WBBM Channel 2 had Paramount "Portfolio II" before WGN got the rights to those movie titles.
Comment posted by Phantom on Tuesday, October 26th 2010 at 3:57pm.

Thought so . . . I seemed to read ads from the 1969-70 period that indicated that CBS O&O's acquired "Portfolio II."
Comment posted by W.B. on Tuesday, October 26th 2010 at 6:52pm.

The opening description Fraizer Thomas talked about doesn't mention the 1938 War of the Worlds radio broadcast created by Orson Welles!
Comment posted by Dth1971 on Tuesday, October 26th 2010 at 8:56pm.

Gosh, Anything with Frazier Thomas or Framily Classics is such a rare treat. Thank you for posting..simply awesome! I can almost picture myself sitting on the floor in front of our new 25" RCA ColorTrack Console TV watching this show....one of my favorites to this day. Who didn't want to see the inside of one of those cool space ships.
Comment posted by Siciliano66 on Tuesday, October 26th 2010 at 11:29pm.

Dan - I think this was one of the more scary films that he showed on Family Classics. I wonder if he even considered this one almost crossing the line? People getting vaporized by alien rays definitely freaked me out!

Notice, in a rare variation, he doesn't say, "And now, if you're quite ready..." :-)

Comment posted by FuzzyMemories on Tuesday, October 26th 2010 at 11:51pm.

You never cease to amaze me with your video finds, Fuzzy.

Thanks!

Comment posted by GHilbrich on Thursday, October 28th 2010 at 7:11pm.

Love hearing the amazing Paul Frees in the opening narration...and of course, WGN clips = superawesome!
Comment posted by DoctorJPW on Friday, October 29th 2010 at 9:00pm.

I grew up with that theme song! Anyone know who composed it and which orchestra played it?
Comment posted by ScarlettOHara on Sunday, October 16th 2011 at 4:31am.

This is interesting, because I have an audio recording of Frazier's introduction of this movie in early 1980, and he recited the same speech almost verbatim--including "And now--if I have prepared you for what you're about to see..." I guess even someone as talented as Frazier Thomas needs to use scripts sometimes!
Comment posted by RLaPorte on Sunday, January 29th 2012 at 2:58pm.

RLaPorte - Is it possible it is in fact the exact same intro? Maybe they videotaped some and reused them for popular movies?
Comment posted by FuzzyMemories on Sunday, January 29th 2012 at 3:01pm.

I just listened to the 1980 recording, and, happily, it was definitely a different "performance," with slight changes. Instead of referring to "very expensive trick photography" as Frazier did here, he called it "very clever trick photography" in 1980. Also, here he stated that the film was "released to the movie theaters of the world," but in '80 the phrase "of the world" was omitted. Finally, here he included the phrase "when they attack" toward the end of the speech, but removed it in the '80 performance. Different vocal inflection is used each time as well. In 1980 he was a bit more dramatic, and chuckled a little during the "...if I have prepared you..." line.
Comment posted by RLaPorte on Sunday, January 29th 2012 at 4:10pm.

The Family Classics opening theme was awesome, and very soothing.
Comment posted by ColVonDouche on Thursday, May 31st 2012 at 7:23pm.

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This clip has been viewed 6422 times.
This clip debuted on FuzzyMemories.TV on Monday, October 25th 2010.
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Most Recent Site Comments

Comment posted in Boxcar Willie - King Of The Road - 20 Great Tracks (Record Offer, 1981) by LaPrincess on Thursday, September 18th, 2014 at 9:20pm CT

My great grandma had this record. Strangely Boxcar Willie looks like he could be related to my guy friend.


Comment posted in Marriott's Great America (Commercial, 1979) by pvx on Thursday, September 18th, 2014 at 12:49am CT

In reply to Szake's, T.K.'s, and Fuzzy's comments regarding the letters flashing in the corners of the screen at the beginning--I have seen this as well in other national TV commercials on film from this era.

I have a really good hunch as to what this is--going from my experience working master control in local commercial television and handling the physical airing of commercial spots (albeit much later in the early 2000s on videotape and satellite-delivered video files for on-air playout, as opposed to the film print this commercial is most likely from), this is more than likely an ISCI (Industry Standard Commercial Identifier) code, an unique 4 letter & 4 number identification code assigned to national commercial spots that receive national network and/or local affiliate airing. Each ISCI code is unique to the spot for identification for advertisers, ad agencies, post-production staff, and the station's/network's traffic/logging, ad sales, and and master control personnel. A typical ISCI code is usually in the format of ABCD1234.

I'd hazard to guess that it must of been the industry standard in the 70s to have the ISCI code digits show up on the corners of the first few film frames of the spot, to ease identification for the master control/projectionist/editor at a station to know what spot it was while splicing it together with other commercial films to make a spot reel (or when threading the spot by itself up in a film-chain projector) for airing in a local commercial break.

When the transition to delivering commercials to stations/networks on videotape became more common practice, usually the ISCI code was displayed during the slate & countdown before the spot on the beginning of the tape (obviously not aired, unless the MCO screwed up and switched it up too early ;) )).

I wonder of the ISCI code of this spot is something like xMxHx0x3 (the "x"s being whatever letters/numbers displayed at the left side of the screen, which is mostly cut off in this video), say, something like IMGH1023?


Comment posted in Boxcar Willie - King Of The Road - 20 Great Tracks (Record Offer, 1981) by Phantom on Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 at 5:10pm CT

This album came from Suffolk Marketing which also sold records of Slim Whitman, Jim Nabors, Jim Reeves & Cristy Lane.


Comment posted in Marriott's Great America (Commercial, 1979) by T.K. on Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 at 4:04pm CT

I was able to stop on two frames... the first with M in the upper-right corner and H in the lower-right and the second frame with O in the upper-right and 3 in the lower-right. So... MO, H3? If it was flashing M-O-M, I'd think maybe it was a subliminal message to ask your mother to buy a ticket.


Comment posted in Marriott's Great America (Commercial, 1979) by FuzzyMemories on Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 at 1:39pm CT

Seriously though, it seems like the letters change in each corner very quickly, like it is cycling through something. I also see an 'O' in the upper-right hand corner. Can't we get the conspiracy nuts to break this down for us? This is probably bigger than the "subliminal" station sign-off message. ;-)


Comment posted in Marriott's Great America (Commercial, 1979) by FuzzyMemories on Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 at 1:36pm CT

I still see the X. ;-)


Comment posted in WGN Channel 9 - 10th Inning with Jack Brickhouse - "Interview with Bob Lurie" (1976) by T.K. on Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 at 8:51am CT

When Lurie said, "Toronto certainly is a great city and I know the commissioner wants to get a team in Washington," he's referring to the Seattle Mariners, the other American League expansion team that had been announced in January 1976.

The A.L. had been embroiled in a lawsuit with the state of Washington, which accused the league of breach of contract for not allowing a local nonprofit group to purchase the bankrupt Seattle Pilots prior to the 1970 season. (The other owners believed their clubs would be devalued as a result of such an arrangement. Instead, the team was sold to Bud Selig and moved to Milwaukee between the end of spring training and Opening Day 1970.) Granting another expansion franchise to Seattle was the league's way of settling the case and avoid paying $32 million in damages.


Comment posted in Boxcar Willie - King Of The Road - 20 Great Tracks (Record Offer, 1981) by Duck 182 on Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 at 3:40am CT

I think I remember my Grandma and Aunt having this on 8 track.


Comment posted in Marriott's Great America (Commercial, 1979) by ER3017 on Tuesday, September 16th, 2014 at 1:19pm CT

I see it too


Comment posted in Marriott's Great America (Commercial, 1979) by Szake on Monday, September 15th, 2014 at 9:14pm CT

You can see a M in the upper right hand corner, an H in the lower right hand corner and an I in the upper left hand corner one second into the video.


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