Threads (Nuclear War Film)

MrSnowman

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#1
Threads

I finally managed to download Threads last night, and what a film. I recall watching it when it first came out.. I must have been about 9-10, and was a bit too young to appreciate it then.. but now. God, it must be the most bleak but realistic film I've seen, which is amazing considering that it was made on a 1984 BBC budget!!

Are there any good apocalypse films out there that anyone can recommend? (Apart from that American one.. is it called the Day After or something? Flashing skeletons and lots of "gee mom and pop, Kitty's glowing" blehhhh..).
 

Timble2

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#2
There's the 'The War Game' which was made as a 'Play for Today' for the BBC in 1965, and banned for over 20 years, supposedly because it was too horrific, but as much for political expediency. It's in the form of a documentary, followed a nuclear attack on the UK, to say that it's bleak is an understatement.

There's good article on it here:
http://www.museum.tv/archives/etv/W/htmlW/wargamethe/wargamethe.htm

It looks dated, but dated in the way that documentary footage of devastated cities from WWII looks dated.
 

MrRING

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#3
On the Beach is one of the better early apocalypse films. Gregory Peck & Ava Gardner, directed by Stanley Kramer, IMDB says:

A US submarine is on patrol when the Northern Hemisphere is destroyed by nuclear war. They land in Melbourne, Australia where they live with the rest of the city which has less than 12 months to live. They travel back to the west cost of the US and witness the holocaust.

A good link:

http://delarue.net/beach.htm
 

Jerry_B

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#4
'Threads' still bothers me to this day. Not so much the post-bomb stuff, but the run up to the war and the events that then take place during the attack. There's a very powerful sense of the horrible inevitability of what's going on, which to me is far more scary than any special effects etc.. I remember thinking as a kid that it could actually happen, and that I would have no control over what would happen - a horrible feeling of complete helplessness in the face of an awful death (I lived between a military airbase and an important aircraft factory at the time, both being likely targets).
 

MrSnowman

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#5
Ah yes.. On the beach.. that film is fantastic.. just for the air of inevitability about the whole thing. At the end, they all KNOW that there is no hope at all! (Though why they don't just live in the submarine for a couple of months is beyond me).

The War Game sounds intruiging. I think that's beyond the scope of Shareaza though and I might have to buy it... oh the pain! :cross eye
 

GNC

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#6
Testament is supposed to be good, but I haven't seen it.

Threads was the talk of the school when I was a kid, it looked like it was our near future playing out on TV. Being a scaredy cat, I couldn't watch it after the bomb dropped, and only saw the end after I got it on video years later.

It's easy to forget how the threat of the bomb hung over our heads in those days, or that's how it felt when I was little. It was everywhere, in books (one I remember is James Herbert's Domain) or on TV, even in comedy sketch shows, or in films like WarGames. There was a great documentary on BBC4 about this recently.

If you're looking for a weird version of the nuclear apocalypse, try The Bed Sitting Room!
 

MrSnowman

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#7
Without a shadow of doubt. I often wonder nowadays how my parents felt during the 80s, before the Cold War fizzled out. To me, they were just idyllic childhood years, with a vague recollection of how the Russians might bomb us one day. It was only in my teenage years in the 90s that I realised just how worried people were at the time.
 

Jerry_B

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#8
You're lucky - I was 11 in 1980, and throughout the '80s always vaguely felt something was hanging over us. Not in any depressing way, but after I saw 'Threads' it really struck home. We were doing war poetry at school at the same time, so it all combined together into one unsettling mix. I was genuinely relieved when the Berlin Wall was dismantled.
 

MrSnowman

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#9
Funny you should mention that. There was almost a collective relief when the events of the late 80s/early 90s took place. It was almost as if a pall had been lifted from society and everyone could breathe once again... so they hit us with a recession for good measure ;)
 
A

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#10
Scared as Hell

I'll never forget living in 'shared accomodation' in London and phoning all my friends and family, around the country, as Sadman Hussein launched his souped up Scuds towards Israel, in 1992, during the First Gulf War.

I knew that, if he'd put a real 'Weapons of Mass Destruction' in the warhead, the Israelis would not have hesitated in retaliating, with overwhelming force and with everything at their disposal.

That might well have meant nuclear exchange and terrifying consequences.

We were very close to the edge of the Abyss that time.
 

gyrtrash

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#11
Oh yes. The eighties were a scary time for a teenager with an over-active imagination.
I read all the books, 'Beneath the city streets', 'The Zero option'...
I even planned where I could leggit to if the worst happened (plotted the blast zones on a map of the uk if the targets were hit with the 'estimated' warheads...)
Even read up on 'survival tactics'... I'm surprised I turned out so normal!:p

It's so much better now we have no cold war and know we won't be bombed...:hmm: :hah:
 

Jerry_B

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#12
Re: Scared as Hell

AndroMan said:
We were very close to the edge of the Abyss that time.
Really? I never had that impression, myself. I didn't think the war would be anything but conventional. I was more rattled when the Soviet Union collapsed, seeing all the military vehicles in the streets of Moscow, and the fighting around the Parliament building. That was all a very close run thing - Soviet special forces in the city were given orders to attack protestors outside of the building with everything they had. Their commanders met amongst themselves and luckily refused to carry out the order. None of this was revealed at the time, but when I found out about it I realised that it'd been a 'close run thing' :eek!!!!:
 
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#13
Re: Re: Scared as Hell

JerryB said:
Really? I never had that impression, myself. I didn't think the war would be anything but conventional.
As I say, I was very relieved, if puzzled, that S.Hussein appeared to be firing blanks, that time.

I have no doubt that the Israelis would not have hesitated to nuke Iraq. As it was, we can only imagine the kind of pressure and backroom dealing that was done to stop Israel from taking retaliatory action.

As to the Russkies: Always steer well clear of 'domestic disputes' and Civil Wars.
 

Jerry_B

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#14
I always felt safe that Israel wouldn't bother, safe in the knowledge that Iraq was being subject to almost contant attack from Coalition air forces, and that the SCUDs were being fired at very extreme range. The Gulf War just seemed so one sided that I didn't think it would escalate into the sort of nightmare scenario that was a brooding presence during the '80s. The outbreak of the Yugoslav Civil War bothered me more than the Gulf War, if we're talking about how one weighs up the possible repurcussions that presented themselves at the time.
 
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Anonymous

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#15
JerryB said:
I always felt safe that Israel wouldn't bother, safe in the knowledge that Iraq was being subject to almost contant attack from Coalition air forces, and that the SCUDs were being fired at very extreme range.
Hmm.

I still think it mattered much, what those SCUDs carried for a payload.

Israel takes the Biblical injunctive, "an eye for an eye" to the max, virtually as an openly stated part of it's defense policy. See Syria, for further details.

There's no more dangerous player of 'brinksmanship' in the World today.
 

OneWingedBird

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#16
It's easy to forget how the threat of the bomb hung over our heads in those days
Our local library had a large display showing a map of the region with a number of blast radii drawn on showing the different types of damage that would be taken at different distances, assuming a hit on the nearby Vickers Defence System factory.

We were thrown Threads at school (I think as part of social studies) and it completely freaked me out.
 

Yithian

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#18
A favourite of mine: When the Wind Blows (Graphic Novel and Film) by Raymond Briggs - I was only young but i've seen it since and its grim as hell.

Powerful in itself and nothing you ask Roger Waters to contribute music to is going to be happiness and rainbows.
 

lopaka

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#19
GNC said:
Testament is supposed to be good, but I haven't seen it.
I doubt if I've seen it since it came out, but yes, Testament is (or was, at least) a devastatingly depressing film. Jane Alexander in the lead role. A real stick your head in the gas oven number. I was in my early teens in the early 80's and The Fear of nuclear holocaust was indeed a very palpable presence.
 
A

Anonymous

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#20
Ah the 80's!

We had the constant threat of nuclear holocaust, Margaret Thatcher and Depeche Mode. What a joyful time to have your formative years.

The closest we had to a bright spot was that living in Cornwall there were no targets apart from Plymouth and was downwind of the prevailing south westerlies. Meant we had a chance if the sh!t had hit the fan.

And I do remember how gobsmacked we all were at the collapse of the Warsaw Pact regimes. It seemed very unreal at the time.
 

MrSnowman

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#21
Re: Re: Threads

The Yithian said:
Where from?
:)
From Shareaza. It's this thing that let's you connect to Gnutella 1 and 2 and the edonkey/emule network at once (and download torrents too). It took over a week to get .. and that's with broadband too :eek: It was worth the wait though ;)
 

Yithian

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#22
Re: Re: Re: Threads

Snowman X said:
From Shareaza. It's this thing that let's you connect to Gnutella 1 and 2 and the edonkey/emule network at once (and download torrents too). It took over a week to get .. and that's with broadband too :eek: It was worth the wait though ;)
Hmm, only using Winmx lately and i wouldn't actually claim to know how it works but i might look into this! The prospect of filling multiple hardrives with 80s retro films as well as the 80s retro music already there appeals. :D
 

Dennis_De_Bacle

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#23
I remember maps with blast radii and fallout plumes printed on them, it really helped that there was a munitions dump just up the road and 'sunny Sellafield' is not too far. (then we had the 'Chernobyl World Tour':rolleyes: )
 

Yithian

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#24
Caroline said:
... and 'sunny Sellafield' is not too far.
The same sunny Sellafield nuclear re-processing plant that certainly does not cause increased rates of leukemia for the surrounding populace. That link, we've been honestly told, is merely statistical and probably an anomaly. :rolleyes:

Thank god the end of the cold war means we can avoid the perils of radiation...
 

MrSnowman

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#25
Re: Re: Re: Re: Threads

The Yithian said:
Hmm, only using Winmx lately and i wouldn't actually claim to know how it works but i might look into this! The prospect of filling multiple hardrives with 80s retro films as well as the 80s retro music already there appeals. :D
Shareaza is great for old stuff :) I've managed to find Midnight Cowboy on there as well :)
 

Melf

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#26
i just caught the last 5 mins of "threads" and i realised i saw it in school about 20 yrs ago. it didnt scare me

but im not sure if ive seen "the war game" in school aswell?
 

Jerry_B

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#28
melf said:
i just caught the last 5 mins of "threads" and i realised i saw it in school about 20 yrs ago. it didnt scare me

but im not sure if ive seen "the war game" in school aswell?
The end bit of Threads isn't so impressive IMHO - it's the run up to the attack and what happens immediately after Sheffield is exposed to the nuclear blast that's scary.
 
A

Anonymous

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#30
As a very nervous child of the 80s, Threads was one thing I was categorically not allowed to watch. I've seen clips of it and they frighten me even now.

I did read 'Z for Zachariah' by someone whose name escapes me when I was at school and that was all to do with the aftermath of a nuclear war. Scary stuff.
 
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