In Sheffield, ordinary people from the working class live their lives while the television news report the escalation of the tension between United States of America and Soviet Union after the invasion of Iran by the soviets. People in general do not pay much attention until the day they realize that a nuclear attack may happen and affect the mankind.Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The film was first commissioned by the Director-General of the BBC Alasdair Milne, after he watched The War Game (1966), which had not been shown on the BBC when it was made, due to pressure from the Wilson government, although it had had a limited release in cinemas. See more »
Despite having been born and grown up in the primitive post-war "society", Ruth's daughter Jane has a tooth filling. See more »
In an urban society, everything connects. Each person's needs are fed by the skills of many others. Our lives are woven together in a fabric. But the connections that make society strong also make it vulnerable.
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The 1987 releases on VHS and Betamax replaced Chuck Berry's "Johnny B Goode" with a cover of the song, owing to licensing difficulties. See more »
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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