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Threads (1984) [DVD]
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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.
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.See all Product description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
stupid old film not even good efects this film isnt scarey like the other people say there just old this film dont even have good efects in it the explodes look lame and bad... Read morePublished 9 days ago by Blobbinses
I watched the original on the BBC when it was first aired and a chance remark recently had me renting it out to watch again.
Very thought provoking. Read more
I remember it from 1984 It's very realistic and moving Probably true to the sheer panic and terror of real ppl in a nuclear attack. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Bum_Fluff
A poignant reminder of the horrific reality of nuclear conflict.Published 3 months ago by HOWYBABYCOOCACHOO
I watched this at school when I was 11 years old and it had a lasting impression on me. I decided that I wanted to revisit the film 30 odd years later due to current world events. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Karen
A thoroughly depressing depiction of life in Sheffield after a Neutron bomb attack. Even so, it is interesting viewing and well acted. Not for the faint hearted.Published 3 months ago by D. K. Bayliss
Quite simple this one...
FRIGHTENINGLY GETS TO THE REALITY (ALMOST)...
saw threads as a teenager when it when it was on BBC.it gave me and millions nightmares for the subject matter going it into detail the lead up to attack the bombing itself and... Read morePublished 6 months ago by jelly
Love this - dark and terrifying.
Bought for the appearcence of Phil Rose who played Friar Tuck in Robin of Sherwood - has a small part as a burger bar man - love that... Read more