Drama / Sci-Fi / War
Drama / Sci-Fi / War
Documentary style account of a nuclear holocaust and its effect on the working class city of Sheffield, England; and the eventual long running effects of nuclear war on civilization.
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March 03, 2018 at 07:17 PM
Absolutely terrifying, utterly disturbing. (Spoilers)
Having just purchased this on DVD I was eager to watch it after waiting years to see it after it was unofficially banned from ever being shown on the BBC again. I was four when it was first shown and my parents switched it off, too frightened to watch it themselves never mind let me see it.
I have to say it is absolutely terrifying and utterly terrifying in the extreme. This could have actually happened! I was impressed by the way the film conveyed what it would be like if thousands of megatons of atomic bomb was dropped on the U.K. Normal life comes to an abrupt stop. One minute people are shopping in their local supermarket, going to the pub and wallpapering their new flat and suddenly they are plunged into Hell. Civilisation is blown back into the stone age.
The most scary part was the way the authorities were shown unable to cope with the scale of the attack (perhaps why the BBC never aired it again). We always think that it could never be that bad because someone would come to our rescue, someone would maintain control. But no, the bombs / missiles keep raining down and down prompting one traumatised emergency committee member to scream, "not another one!" They just did not expect so devastation and are completely helpless. Later soldiers shoot people for food, people wish for death and the emergency committee, those meant to be running things, die in the supposed protective bunker, trapped by rubble.
Ten years later, nothing is back to normal. What young people there are behave like wild animals, raping and fighting and speaking in a bizarre caveman manner.
Since the Cold War ended people have stopped being frightened of nuclear weapons. Everybody in every country should watch this film and realise that if there ever was a nuclear war, still possible with growing tensions between a superpower and its rivals, those left alive would wish they had been caught in the blasts and killed outright.
I don't recommend this for sensitive viewers.
Simply the most devastating film I've ever seen
Words can't describe how this movie affected me in 1985, but I'll try. I happened upon a presentation of "Threads" when I was about 11 years old. As a Navy family, we were stationed in Washington D.C. After viewing it, I was frightened to the point of vomiting. I had nightmares for weeks. The world was a very unstable place at the time with a Soviet government that seemed to change monthly.
The cast does an admirable job here. Dialog is kept to a damaging minimum. There is no soundtrack other than screams of misery and explosions. Very effective. While you can't compare a TV production, there is effective use of stock footage. The interspersed scientific facts regarding the aftermath punctuate the film brilliantly.
While other films about the same topic, like "The Day After" and Testament", were reasonably effective in their messages, I think they failed where "Threads" succeeded. In the aforementioned films, there's a glimmer of hope. In "Threads" there is no hope, only death, misery and dread.
I believe I saw "Threads" before the TV broadcast of "The Day After" because my reaction was one of slight indifference. After seeing Mick Jackson's and Barry Hines' work, "The Day After" is like a day at Disneyland. No film portrays the world on the brink and over the edge as effectively. Highly recommended.
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Never far from my thoughts...
The first and only time I saw Threads was when it aired on PBS in 1985 or 1986, at 15 or 16 years old. It came near the end of my childhood obsession with world war III, in which I terrified myself to sleep many nights worrying about it.
Like no other movie Threads has, in the last 20 years, popped back in my thoughts on occasion. I remember many scenes vividly, and through the magic of IMDb, I've learned that some things that I thought I saw, but couldn't believe, actually did occur in the film. (I'm referring specifically to the "ET" scene that was mentioned in the message boards.) Having grown up in the strategic target city of Chicago, I thought: Okay, this is what I could expect if it does happen. I kept me awake into my 20's, when the cold war ended, and the threat was minimized.
There truly is no more frightening a movie ever made.