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The Day of the Triffids (1963)

Approved | | Horror, Sci-Fi | 27 April 1963 (USA)
After an unusual meteor shower leaves most of the human population blind, a merchant navy officer must find a way to conquer tall, aggressive plants which are feeding on people and animals.

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

(screenplay), (front for Bernard Gordon) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
Dr. Soames
Alison Leggatt ...
Miss Coker
Geoffrey Matthews ...
Luis de la Vega
...
Susan - Child on the Train
Gilgi Hauser ...
Teresa de la Vega
John Tate ...
Captain - SS Midland
...
Bettina (as Carol Ann Ford)
...
Flight 356 Radioman
Colette Wilde ...
Nurse Jamieson (as Collette Wilde)
...
Greenhouse Watchman
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Storyline

A shower of meteorites produces a glow that blinds anyone that looks at it. As it was such a beautiful sight, most people were watching, and as a consequence, 99% of the population go blind. In the original novel, this chaos results in the escape of some Triffids: experimental plants that are capable of moving themselves around and attacking people. In the film version, however, the Triffids are not experimental plants. Instead they are space aliens whose spores have arrived in an earlier meteor shower. Written by Murray Chapman <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>, edited by Triffid Fan

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Triffids are coming to devour the human race! ... suddenly the hideous crawling things are everywhere... and no one can escape! See more »

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 April 1963 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Invasion of the Triffids  »

Box Office

Budget:

$750,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Eastmancolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The American naval base in southern Spain referenced by Bill Masen is real. It's called Rota Naval Station, but it's not in Cadiz, but rather across the Bay of Cadiz, in the little town of Rota. It's actually a Spanish naval base, leased by the Americans. See more »

Goofs

The wires pulling the triffids along the ground can be seen, especially in the scene were one of them chases Susan. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: [narrating voice over] In nature's scheme of things, there are certain plants which are carnivorous, or eating plants. The Venus Fly Trap is one of the best known of these plants. A fly drawn to the plant by its sweet syrup, brushes against triggered bristles. Just how these plants digest their pray has yet to be explained. There is much still to learn about these fascinating eating plants. This is a newcomer: Triffidus Celestus, brought to earth on the meteorite during the Day of ...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in FantastiCozzi (2016) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Triffids Are Coming, Yo Ho, Yo Ho
30 January 2007 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

I recommend everyone read Howard Keel's somewhat rollicking posthumous memoirs and read what he has to say about his participation in this science fiction cult classic.

Keel's career was at sea when he signed for this film. A big budget biblical spectacle, The Big Fisherman, was crowded out of existence by the bigger budgeted Ben-Hur. There went Keel's hope for a post musical career. He signed to do this British production and got the money up front so he did it.

He knew he was in a stinkarooney about a meteor shower that blinds nearly all the world's population. At the same time the meteors bring the spores of these carnivorous plants which when they grow can uproot themselves and move about, something like the Daleks in Doctor Who. They're doing a grand job destructing all life about them, especially human life. They spray a deadly poison, fatal on contact.

Howard Keel was in hospital having eye surgery as it turns out the night of the fateful meteor shower. Next morning when he's scheduled to have the bandages removed, he finds he's one of the few people who can see in all London. He saves another sighted person, Janina Faye, and moves on to France, where they in turn pick up Nicole Maurey.

Always meeting up with the giant size Triffids who are just pigging out on sightless humankind. Eventually they end up in Spain.

One day, the producers simply announced the film was over. The money people had taken a powder. Keel and the rest of the cast left the film. A year and a half later, money was found so another story line was filmed involving Kieron Moore and Janette Scott who discover how to destroy the Triffids. Keel was in fact supposed to do it. They integrated the Moore/Scott footage into the film and released it.

The Day of the Triffids became a cult science fiction classic, but not a favorite experience of Howard Keel. I can't say and spoil how the Triffids are destroyed, but in his memoirs Keel says the producers could have saved a lot of money if they had simply let him perform a biological function on them.

Now that would REALLY have been a cult classic.


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