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Invasion of the Triffids (1963)

The Day of the Triffids (original title)
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:

Steve Sekely, Freddie Francis (uncredited)

Writers:

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

Cast overview, first billed only:
Howard Keel ... Bill Masen
Nicole Maurey ... Christine Durrant
Janette Scott ... Karen Goodwin
Kieron Moore ... Tom Goodwin
Mervyn Johns ... Mr. Coker
Ewan Roberts ... Dr. Soames
Alison Leggatt Alison Leggatt ... Miss Coker
Geoffrey Matthews Geoffrey Matthews ... Luis de la Vega
Janina Faye ... Susan
Gilgi Hauser Gilgi Hauser ... Teresa de la Vega
John Tate John Tate ... Captain - SS Midland
Carole Ann Ford ... Bettina (as Carol Ann Ford)
Arthur Gross ... Flight 356 Radioman
Colette Wilde Colette Wilde ... Nurse Jamieson (as Collette Wilde)
Ian Wilson ... 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:

Fantastic, frightening, but entirely plausible. John Wyndham's famous story of a world dominated by monstrous, stinging plants catches the imagination like the best of HG Wells. See more »

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 April 1963 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Day of the Triffids See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$750,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the book, the Triffids can walk in places like Borneo, Sumatra, the Belgian Congo, Columbia, Brazil, Ecuador and near the equator. When they walked, Mason said it was like "watching a man on crutches". Two of the legs slid bluntly forward, the Triffid then lurched forward with a rear leg drawing level and then the front two legs sliding forwards. As it moved, its long stem whipped violently back and forth; Masen felt seasick just watching. It was both strenuous and clumsy, like young elephants at play. It would probably lose all its leaves and break its stem after a while but it persisted at trying to cover an average walking pace, even if it was ungainly but the fact that they could walk made headlines. Even tethered by chains, the Triffids could get loose but they avoid hard surfaces because it was uncomfortable for their roots which were more like limbs. Triffids only ambush people in soft earth to dig their roots while they wait, so they would never ambush someone in the street, only if they were near a garden wall or fence. See more »

Goofs

When the security guard is killed, you can see the triffids moving towards him on wheels. They are clearly visible for a couple of seconds. 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 »

Alternate Versions

In pan & scan versions of this film, there is an extra scene as Bill & Susan depart England for France. They are seen on the small motorboat and Susan asks Bill "Where are we going?". Bill answers "We're going to that meeting in Paris, if we can make it". They then hear an explosion behind them, and we see that the ship they had just left from has exploded. We then see their small boat heading out to sea past an estuary lighthouse. This scene is missing from the letterbox versions. See more »

Connections

Featured in Take Two: Janette Scott (2017) See more »

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User Reviews

"And I even got hot, when I saw Janette Scott, fight the triffid that spits poison and kills..."
15 November 2001 | by uds3See all my reviews

Another film-role immortalised in the line above, from the soundtrack of The Rocky Horror Show! Bit of a misnomer actually, SHE didn't fight the triffid, Kieron Moore did! All poor Janette did was to stand there shoving her hand in her mouth and screaming!

Well here's another sci-fi flick seems to have struck a sour note with many viewers. Yeah, there HAVE been many liberties taken with John Wyndham's original tale, doesn't mean though "Hey, three strikes you're out! Derided and laughed-at, much like RAISE THE TITANIC, many aspects of this film are clearly socially responsible and relevant today. How would YOU handle yourself in the situation Howard Keel finds himself in after the majority of the world's population is blinded by the light emanated from a meteor shower? The film was made for a 1960's outlook and acceptance, not new millennium desensitised and pseudo-enlightened audiences. Maybe the triffids WERE men in suits, they were damn good ones though. The fx where the triffids were seeking to gain entry to the lighthouse I thought were exceptionally good for their age. OK, so the film DOES also offer what is probably the WORST train pile up ever filmed (you never actually see it!) but give the makers a break. What did you EXPECT them to do? close Charing Cross station and have an eight coach steam train from Watford ram the buffers at 100 mph?

Many wonderful images from this film stick in the mind. That great scene where Mervyn Johns and Howard Keel stand on the edge of the quarry, watching the triffid spores becoming airborne. The triffid, as it lashes the back window of the Humber as Keel shepherds the little girl to safety. The stock-standard British stiff upper lip when the blinded crew of the airplane know they are doomed. The panorama of burning triffids when Keel rigs up the elctric fence then has to torch them before they break through. Even now so many years since I saw it, I can still hear that ice-cream truck as the triffids are led in pied-piper fashion away to their ultimate fate.

I can forgive 'Tommythek' his less than relevant comments. He at least admits to being "illiterate" and functioning at the lowest level. Others though are stupefyingly brittle and short-sighted. THE DAY OF THE TRIFFIDS is top sci-fi entertainment, not quite a fully-fledged classic I agree, but I'll watch it anyday before I ever sit through CAST AWAY again!


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