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The effects of a nuclear holocaust on the working class city of Sheffield, England and the eventual long-term effects of nuclear war on civilization.

Director:

Mick Jackson

Writer:

Barry Hines
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2,038 ( 350)

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4 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Karen Meagher Karen Meagher ... Ruth Beckett
Reece Dinsdale ... Jimmy Kemp
David Brierly ... Mr. Kemp (as David Brierley)
Rita May Rita May ... Mrs. Kemp
Nicholas Lane Nicholas Lane ... Michael Kemp
Jane Hazlegrove ... Alison Kemp
Henry Moxon Henry Moxon ... Mr. Beckett
June Broughton June Broughton ... Mrs. Beckett
Sylvia Stoker Sylvia Stoker ... Granny Beckett
Harry Beety ... Clive Sutton
Ruth Holden ... Marjorie Sutton
Ashley Barker ... Bob
Michael O'Hagan ... Chief Supt. Hirst
Phil Rose ... Medical Officer
Steve Halliwell Steve Halliwell ... Information Officer
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

The end of the world as we know it. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Sci-Fi | War

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | Australia | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 September 1984 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

A Teia See more »

Filming Locations:

Buxton, Derbyshire, England, UK See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The scenes taking place six weeks after the attack were shot in the Peak District National Park, though because weather conditions were considered too fine to pass off as a nuclear winter, stage snow had to be spread around the rocks and heather, and cameramen installed light filters on their equipment to block out the sunlight. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Narrator: It is 8:30 a.m. 3:30 in the morning in Washington. Over the past few days, neither the President nor his senior staff will have had more than a few hours rest. This is when they may be asleep. This is when Western response will be slowest.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Television Versions:
  • The version occasionally shown on BBC Documentary is quite heavily edited and is missing about 15 minutes of footage. (Spoilers Below!)
  • A brief scene showing Jimmy Kemp and his girlfriend watching a military convoy pass by through a steamy car window.
  • During the firestorm sequence a number of more graphic images are removed, such as fluid (blood?) bubbling up from rubble, shots of a cat suffocating, close-ups of a charred head, and a hand with burning fingers.
  • A sequence when we first see how badly Mrs Kemp has been burned, as she wimpers when Mr. Kemp tries to dab her wounds with a cloth.
  • Mr. Kemp going to get water for Mrs. Kemp, trying a destroyed sink first, then trying water running off some wood which he spits out.
  • Ruths' walk through devistated Sheffield, where she comes across a man playing with melted action figures, many burned and disfigured corpses and a lady cradling a dead baby.
  • Much of the scene at the hospital is missing, including the removal of glass from festering wounds from a child and a man having his leg amputated by saw without anesthetic.
  • The soldiers collecting the tins after they catch the killers of Mr. and Mrs. Beckett, including the line "I fucking hate prawn cocktail!"
See more »

Connections

Features Protect and Survive (1976) See more »

Soundtracks

Alpine Symphony
Written by Richard Strauss
[Opening bars of music for spider web and title is from beginning of Richard Strauss composition 'Alpine Symphony']
See more »

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User Reviews

Genuinely horrifying
7 December 2004 | by BenjAiiSee all my reviews

I've always said that no film can really scare you as an adult as films scared you when you were a kid. My benchmark for that being watching 'The Omen' on video when i was about 13, nothing has ever quite lived up to it in the effect it had on me.

Rewatching 'Threads' a while back makes me change my mind.

I remember first seeing it in Ireland on the BBC when I guess i was about 14. Even in Ireland, a neutral country, anxiety about nuclear war was a big thing when we were kids in the 80's.

'Threads' does really get to you, its very unsettling and disturbing. Unlike fictional horror films, 'Threads' is hugely different in one respect - it's real. This is what would happen, you can't distance yourself by saying it's make believe. There are still thousands of nuclear weapons armed and primed to be launched within minutes, 24 hours a day, everyday. Now we even have a country, the US, that says it's ready to use them, even if no one else does first.

Rewatching it, the dated production values don't detract from the film's power. It seems to bring the film even closer to the ordinary and the everyday. It's the film's ordinariness that makes it so viscerally disturbing - Hollywood special effects would at least have allowed you to distance yourself from it somewhat. In fact the film is more realistic for not having them. Someone else mentioned the scene of the woman in the shopping centre urinating where she stood out of pure terror as she sees the bomb go off a mile or two away from her - thats the scene that stayed with me the most too.

Its depressing to think in 2004 we are living in a world where politicians are again talking about 'winnable' wars using nuclear weapons. In many things in life you get a second chance if you make mistakes, I don't think nuclear weapons use will give us the luxury of finding out afterwards was it all worth it. Watch "Threads' and see if you think 'winnable' nuclear war is something you want to give yourself or your children.


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