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Jonathan Daniel Brown,
The crew of a nuclear bomber attack the Soviet Union while the President of the United States tries desperately to regain control of his military after his helicopter crashes during a ... See full summary »
Rebecca De Mornay,
James Earl Jones
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
Saw it again recently and it STILL packs a killer punch.
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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