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Threads (1984)

Documentary-style account of a nuclear holocaust and its effect on the working class city of Sheffield, England, and the eventual long-term effects of nuclear war on civilization.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Karen Meagher ...
Mr. Kemp (as David Brierley)
Rita May ...
Nicholas Lane ...
Henry Moxon ...
Mr. Beckett
June Broughton ...
Sylvia Stoker ...
Granny Beckett
Marjorie Sutton
Chief Supt. Hirst
Phil Rose ...
Medical Officer
Steve Halliwell ...
Information Officer


Documentary style account of a nuclear holocaust and its effect on the working class city of Sheffield, England; and the eventual long running effects of nuclear war on civilization. Written by Leisha Sibley

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The closest you'll ever want to come to nuclear war. See more »


Drama | Sci-Fi | War


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Parents Guide:




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Release Date:

23 September 1984 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

A Teia  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office


£400,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The film was part of a 1980s cycle of films about atomic bombs and nuclear warfare which had started in 1979 with The China Syndrome (1979). The films included Silkwood (1983), Testament (1983), Threads (1984), WarGames (1983), The Day After (1983), The Atomic Cafe (1982), The Manhattan Project (1986), Whoops Apocalypse (1982), Special Bulletin (1983), Ground Zero (1987), Barefoot Gen (Hadashi no Gen (1983)), Rules of Engagement (1989), When the Wind Blows (1986), Letters from a Dead Man (Pisma myortvogo cheloveka (1986)), Memoirs of a Survivor (1981) and The Chain Reaction (1980). See more »


In several scenes set in May the trees are bare, the actors' breath 'fogs' and people are wearing winter coats. See more »


Jimmy Kemp: Gonna get married and 'av baby.
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Referenced in Be Kind Rewind (2008) See more »


Johnny B. Goode
Written by Chuck Berry
Performed by Chuck Berry
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User Reviews

Saw it again recently and it STILL packs a killer punch.
16 September 2004 | by See all my reviews

I was about eleven or twelve when this harrowing made-for-TV docu-drama was repeated by the BBC, back to back with 'The War Game'. 'The War Game' didn't faze me much, for various reasons, but 'Threads' - that grabbed me instantly and wouldn't let go. It was not only horribly real, seeing a lower-middle class family rather like my own suddenly plunged back into the dark ages by a nuclear holocaust, it was also entirely believable (the cold war was still very much an ongoing concern back in the eighties) and shockingly compelling. I wanted to look away, but couldn't. I wanted to run from the room in fright, but couldn't. For better or worse, this film showed in full, unflinching, uncompromising detail exactly what it would be like if your home town got nuked, and gave us graphic realism in spades. Melting milk-bottles, spontaneous urination, houses reduced to rubble in seconds, burning cats, dead kids, gore, vomit, armed traffic wardens shooting looters, filth, decay, disease...it's certainly not a barrel of laughs, but Mick Jackson's aim was to shut up all the ignorant gung-hos who believed a nuclear war could be "won". He succeeded, unequivocally. The scene that made the deepest impact on me was the ravaged makeshift classroom with a ragged bunch of shell-shocked adults dazedly watching an ancient videotape of a schools programme (Words and Pictures, in fact) in an attempt to regain their numeracy and literacy skills. That was a show we used to watch at school. Work it out for yourself. In short, this is a downbeat, depressing, bleak and utterly horrible film, but I recommend it wholeheartedly to everyone. The cold war may be gone, but the threats portrayed are still very real.

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