The Fall of the City
December 13, 2019 4:33 AM   Subscribe

'The city of masterless men will take a master. There will be shouting then: Blood after!' The Fall of the City by Archibald MacLeish is the first American verse play written for radio. The 30-minute radio play was first broadcast April 11, 1937, at 7 p.m. ET over the Columbia Broadcasting System (today CBS) as part of the Columbia Workshop radio series. The cast featured Orson Welles and Burgess Meredith. Music was composed and directed by Bernard Herrmann. It is an allegory on the rise of Fascism
posted by Harry Caul (2 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
When the conqueror finally arrives, the people surrender to hysteria and let him take the city unopposed. “Order must master us!” they proclaim; “Men must be ruled!” Only the announcer is able to see that, when the conqueror’s visor rises, his helmet is hollow inside: no one is there at all. The epiphany of the play belongs to him:

The people invent their oppressors: they wish to believe in them.
They wish to be free of their freedom: released from their liberty—
The long labor of liberty ended!
They lie there!

Harry Caul - have you been waiting for just the perfect day to post this? You found it. My heart breaks thinking of what is to come. I hate to seem overdramatic, but I think it is worse to ignore the signs. Fascism is NOT coming. It is HERE.
posted by pjsky at 6:58 AM on December 13, 2019 [7 favorites]

Guilty as charged.
posted by Harry Caul at 7:02 AM on December 13, 2019 [4 favorites]

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