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The Day of the Triffids (1962)

Approved | | Horror, Sci-Fi | 27 April 1963 (USA)
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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:
...
...
...
...
Mervyn Johns ...
Ewan Roberts ...
Alison Leggatt ...
Geoffrey Matthews ...
Janina Faye ...
Susan - Child on the Train
Gilgi Hauser ...
John Tate ...
Captain - SS Midland
...
Bettina (as Carol Ann Ford)
Arthur Gross ...
Colette Wilde ...
Nurse Jamieson (as Collette Wilde)
Ian Wilson ...
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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:

Man eating plants! Spine chilling terror! 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 triffids inspired the E.T. plants of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) See more »

Goofs

In the final shot of Triffids approaching Bill driving a truck, the operators' sneakers can clearly be seen walking the Triffid props towards camera shot. 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 ...
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Connections

Referenced in The Ten (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

A solid genre film with the usual weaknesses but some good moments and will please fans
30 July 2004 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

When an asteroid shower passes over the earth, most of London stops and watches the 'once in a lifetime' spectacle. However, London, as well as the vast majority of the world find themselves blinded and at the mercy of the triffids – a plant-like beast who arrived from space in the night and are feasting on the stumbling humans. One of the few people to still able to see is sailor Bill Masen, who had his eyes bandaged shut at the time due to an operation. As cities burn, survivors try to band together and those still able to see try to stop the spread of the triffids.

Despite being one of those things that is in popular culture and in all our minds, I have never read or seen Day of the Triffids until I decided to watch this film the other night. The gaudy title sequence immediately put this in the category of b-movie creature feature and I prepared myself for the genre, aware of its weaknesses. However, after the initial opening the film settled into a good portrayal of London falling into destruction – planes fall, governments fold and cities burn; I found this great fun and to have a real sense of terror to it – even if the people acting 'blind' were just sort of rocking and stumbling in a comical manner and not panicking quite as much as they would in real life! After this strong opening we settle into more traditional b-movie territory with the characters established and long scenes of dialogue (and sentiment) delivered in place of actual action.

When the film does move past the dialogue heavy establishment what we get is still more dialogue mixed with scenes of big rubbery plants with failing tentacles. As a creature feature it is OK but if you step outside of what is acceptable within the genre then you'd have to admit that it isn't much good! The creatures suffer from being seen and their appearance (and the dialogue heavy pace) robs the film of its early sense of doom. This is an unfair complaint maybe, because few monsters when revealed really retain their threat when unseen (even in the CGI age) but, even with the rubbery effects, the film could have kept them hidden for longer - kudos for a sea of them near the end though, up till this point they didn't seem that much of an immediate threat.

Although the plants look stiff and are made of wood, the cast give them a run for their money (obvious gag, apologies) in the firm tradition of the genre. Howard Keel is a mans' man for the period but he has come from the Steven Seagal school of acting – one expression on his face all the time regardless of whether he is fighting hoards of aliens with a flame thrower or looking after a little girl. Of course he isn't very good but what did you expect from him in a sci-fi b-movie? The rest of the cast are pretty poor too and are a load of genre clichés – sympathetic kids, boisterous men who get their comeuppance and the simpering love interest who need to be saved. The couple in the lighthouse are no better but they suffer from being away from the main story – even if they turn out to be important.

Overall this is not a great film but it is an enjoyable enough b-movie creature feature with all the weaknesses that that description implies (wooden acting, poor script, rubber monsters) but if you are content with this genre then you should find this an enjoyable film if hardly a brilliant one. It's just a shame that the tangible sense of doom that existed with the early scenes of a London falling to pieces was not continued through the whole film.


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