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No Blade of Grass (1970)

When a deadly virus strikes London, John Custance takes his family to hoped-for safety in Scotland.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) (as Jefferson Pascal) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
John Custance
...
Ann Custance
...
Roger Burnham
...
Mary Custance
...
David Custance
Ruth Kettlewell ...
Fat Woman
M.J. Matthews ...
George
Michael Percival ...
Police Constable
Tex Fuller ...
Mr. Beaseley
Simon Merrick ...
T.V. Interviewer (Fred Gray)
Anthony Sharp ...
Sir Charles Brenner
...
Mr. Sturdevant
Anthony May ...
Pirrie
...
Clara
Max Hartnell ...
Lieutenant
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Storyline

A strange new virus has appeared, which only attacks strains of grasses such as wheat and rice, and the world is descending into famine and chaos. Architect John Custance, along with his family and friends, is making his way from London to his brother's farm in Scotland, where hopefully, there will be food and safety for all of them. Along the way, they encounter hostile soldiers, biker gangs, and all manner of people who are all too willing to take advantage of travelers for a mouthful of food. Written by Jean-Marc Rocher <rocher@fiberbit.net> (edited by TrivWhiz)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

virus | chaos | soldier | biker | farm | See All (163) »

Taglines:

A virus of doom envelops earth! No room to run! No place to hide! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

23 October 1970 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Death of Grass  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,500,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to actress Wendy Richard, who played a supporting role: "It came from a brilliant book, but Cornel Wilde, God rest his soul, I don't think he did it justice when it came to the screenplay. He seemed to go over the top and get some bits of egg on his face." See more »

Quotes

Clara: Here, how long are we gonna be up there on this farm?
Pirrie: Hell do I know? Why?
Clara: [Sarcastically] Well, we're gonna have a smashin' time up there, arn't we?
Pirrie: You forget the smashin' time. just keep your legs crossed.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Inside the Tower (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Lead Us On
By Charles Carroll
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User Reviews

 
travesty or lost gonzo classic?
17 December 2005 | by (Rain City, Pacific Northwest) – See all my reviews

Obscure end of the world film directed by Cornel Wilde. The first six minutes are entirely negligible; we get the message that Man has polluted the planet with the stilted voice-over narration TELLING us; we don't need endless footage of smokestacks belching black smoke into the sooty sky and pipes gushing industrial waste into rivers to hammer the message home, over and over again. This is most likely enough to alienate most modern viewers but if you stick with it you will at least be rewarded by a few surprises. I was astonished by the number of people shot down in cold blood by the characters who are, ostensibly, the heroes of the film. I was continually surprised by the harshness of the "heroes" as well as just about every other character; soldiers shoot their officers, civilians shoot soldiers and the main characters shoot an appalling number of people without blinking an eyelash! They shrug their shoulders after the first massacre and justify themselves by saying, "Well, its Us or Them now!" and afterwards they are a transformed group: Dangerously self-righteous and extremely trigger-happy. There were several points when I wondered, " Geez, couldn't they have tried to talk to them before gunning them down?" You've got to hand it to Cornel Wilde for not trying to pretty it up; this is a movie with a bleak premise and a grim message. I guess things would be even uglier if it were done any truer to life. If the whole thing weren't so badly dated it would be a very interesting look at the savagery that erupts when civilization breaks down, but as it is, the musical score alone makes it kitsch. And about the time that our rag-tag group of trigger happy survivalists engage in a pitched battle with viking helmeted motorcycle marauders(in slow motion, no less!) you may be wondering just what in the hell it is that you are watching. And what is it with the Motorbike riders all the time, huh? Just once I'd like to see a group of middle-class businessmen on a rampage. Its obvious that this was a personal project for Cornel Wilde and even with all of the weaknesses I've described, i must admit to a morbid fascination with this movie. Even when its showing those aforementioned montages of pollution and crooning the title song it's never boring because of its late 60's artsy fartsy editing and time capsule clothes and attitudes. But its just when you start settling into the rhythms of a standard 60's war/adventure film al la The Guns of Navarone or something when the director will have Nigel Davenport administer the coup de grace to a government soldier--and when was the last time you saw THAT in a movie like this? I'd like to see Mel Gibson blast his way thru soldiers and rioting beatniks, and then using his trusty shotgun to blow away elderly farmers and their wives in order to get HIS family to safety! yikes! This movie is hard to find but i know they have it at MOVIE MADNESS in Portland, Oregon. So Enjoy...


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