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Threads (1984) [DVD]

4.8 out of 5 stars 331 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Reece Dinsdale, Karen Meagher, David Brierly, Rita May, Nicholas Lane
  • Directors: Mick Jackson
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Simply Media
  • DVD Release Date: 18 Nov. 2013
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (331 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00FQFIJUC
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,889 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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Product description

Product Description

The original BBC drama that shocked a generation. Winner of four BAFTAs including 'Best Single Drama'. The most powerful anti-nuclear message ever presented on film.

Originally broadcast at the height of the nuclear paranoia of the 80s, Threads sent shock waves throughout the country. This landmark drama remains the most powerful anti-nuclear message ever presented on film, and is every bit as shocking today.

The threads that hold civilisation together are blasted away in this critically acclaimed, no-holds-barred docudrama about a nuclear attack on a British city during the 1980s.
Ruth (Karen Meagher) and Jimmy (Reece Dinsdale) live in Sheffield, and are preparing to get married. Tension is rising between the Western powers and Russia, but the couple are blissfully unconcerned with world events as they carry on with their wedding plans.
When Russia invades Iran, events take a dramatic turn. With no prior warning Russia fires two nuclear warheads over Sheffield, obliterating the city and creating a radioactive wasteland. The few survivors are reduced to living in medieval conditions, scavenging for survival as they combat starvation, disease, mental trauma and nuclear winter.

From Amazon.co.uk

Hideously plausible when first broadcast in 1984, this BBC TV docu-drama now seems like a terrifying might-have-been, although a great deal of what it says about the probable aftermath of a nuclear attack remains horribly pertinent. Scripted by Barry Hines (author of the novel on which Ken Loach's Kes was based) and directed by Mick Jackson (who later went to Hollywood with The Bodyguard and Volcano), at the time Threads seemed like a response to the American TV movie The Day After although it stands nobly on its own. Showing the after-effects of World War III on the United Kingdom by concentrating on two Sheffield families linked by an unplanned pregnancy, it illustrates the scientific, political, medical and social consequences of the severing of the many vital connective "threads" that support a Western society. Grim in a particularly 1980s way, this is a compulsive if uncomfortable watch and accomplishes a great deal without the distraction of spectacle, picking through all the melted milk bottles and firing squad traffic wardens to find the human horror at the heart of it all. --Kim Newman --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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DATED WHICH MAKES IT SCARIER...TO THINK THEY HAVE WEAPONS FAR BIGGER THAN THIS AND IT WILL BE USED ONE DAY NO DOUBT ABOUT IT,WELL IT ALREADY HAS AND AS FOR THE SECRET TESTING IN RUSSIA WHICH IS ON SUCH A SCALE YOU WOULD HAVE NIGHTMARES FOR YRS IF YOU KNEW HOW MANY.....YOU CAN FIND OUT HOW MANY HAVE BEEN LET OFF SINCE WEVE HAD THEM AND ITS HUNDREDS...UNDERGROUND,IN THE SEA........WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH OUR LEADERS?(well dont get me started) ONCE WE START THROWIN THESE ABOUT ITS GAME OVER FOR EVERY LIVIN THING ON EARTH AND A HORRIBLE DEATH FROM BURNING ALIVE AT SUCH A TEMP THAT IT MELTS GLASS OR IF YER REALLY LUCKY YOU MIGHT GET RAD POISONING...OH HAPPY DAYS. I RECOMMEND THIS TO ANY WALLY WHO LOVES NUCLEAR WEAPONS OR SAYS THEY ARE NEEDED........THINK AGAIN MY FRIENDS THE CLOCKS TICKING.
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By KM #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on 13 Dec. 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I remember watching this as a fifteen year old during those days of the 80's of the protect and survive public information films. It was a case of, not if but when! Shocking stuff. Threads is about the build up and aftermath of nuclear strikes on the UK and worldwide. Set against the background of troubles in the middle east particularly Iran (things never change then eh!). Based in Sheffield the story unfolds in a clever documentary/gritty and realistically grim drama style telling the story of one young woman in particular and all that goes on around her. The graphic attention to detail is very good and you can only imagine that this is exactly how it would be. The scenes where people are trying to make a small shelter using internal doors and mattresses to protect them against the nuclear blast (as instructed by Protect and Survive) give a sense of how hopeless things are going to get. I won't spoil it for you but be prepared for a unhappy ending. As an adult I found it more disturbing than ever and an amazing piece of drama that everybody should see. Brilliant.
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This film is frightening, absolutely hideous. The film woke up fears in me that had lain dorment for years and I sure it will do the same for many people who have been lulled into a false sense of security since the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union. Although the Berlin wall has collapsed and Russia is now our ally, the nuclear message is perhaps more relevant today with growing tensions between the U.S. and its enemies and terrorists trying to get hold of dirty bombs.
Truly one of the most frightening films I have ever witnessed, much more shocking than any horror film. Even "The Exorcist" doesn't come close to showing man's capacity for evil and the brutalisation of innocence.
This film brings it home how close the world came to ending. There is no hope in this film, no way out, no rescue, no happy ending, no winners. Only death and the end of civilisation. Britain, and we assume everywhere else, is plunged back into an irradiated Stone Age.
For me, the most frightening part is when a traumatised Civil Defence expert, locked in an underground bunker as the USSR drops thousands of megatons of atom bomb onto Sheffied screams in horror, "not another one!". That's all they can do! Completely impotent against the bombs.
We see society break down right in front of our eyes. The threads of civilisation come apart: one minute people are shopping in the city centre and going to the pub, next minute...
A tremendous but horrifying film.
I don't recommend this for sensitive viewers or people with a weak disposition. This film is not for the faint-hearted and not something to watch if you want to be entertained.
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By AJ on 14 Feb. 2017
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Terrified me but good film
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By A Customer on 17 Sept. 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Remember 1984, the year Threads was screened? Then this superbly made film was really thought probable pre-cursor to the real thing by many people, and was a "stark warning". Set around a Soviet invasion of Iran following a US backed coup there, Threads chronologically follows the slowly accelerating descent into catastrophe over a three week period leading to war, and the thirteen years of relentless misery afterwards. The plot however focuses on ordinary people in Sheffield, their oblivion to the dangers at the beginning of the crisis and their fears and tragedies as it builds up and unleashes respectively. The film offers no hope for a post-nuclear feature, and the news reports are stunningly authentic if you take the time to listen to them beneath the dialogue. Well worth buying and still a stern warning against man's folly.
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Format: DVD
All the more terrifying for including a clip from Words and Pictures ("Skeletons and Skulls"),this play (not a film at all) brings us nuclear holocaust on a BBC budget and boy does it work. Other reviewers are right to say it is not entertainment, although the build up to the war and the attack itself is handled with an exquisite tension. The family building their inner refuge as the streets are full of horrific screams is quite the most powerful scene in any televisual production. In addition the use of the genuine PIFs recorded by Patrick Allen and only ever seen on this and on Panorama (I think)give it realism to frightening extent. While the narrative is fiction, these are real. What would you do if the radio said: "If anyone dies while you are kept in your fallout room, move the body to another room in the house." I wouldn't wait for the Bomb to die.
The latter parts of the play are the weakest, as it telescopes to a year, ten years, then thirteen years after the attack - predicting this far ahead is impossible.
Excellent drama-doc acting before the genre was really established, and no music except the Words and Pictures and Tomorrow's World themes, and some bits of pop music. It is bleak stuff.
Is it bleak enough? Well, difficult to say. A full exchange might involve 10000 rather than only 3000 megatons, but in a country like the UK there is only finite damage you can do, before you get into er, "overkill". As it is, Threads postulates a minimum population level of 4 million after the attack.
Don't forget your tin opener...and bottle opener.
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