🎥 The Day of the Triffids – 1963
The Story …
A meteor shower blinds most people in the world and at the same time spreads triffid plant spores which quickly become animated.
Bill Masen, a merchant navy officer who has been lying in hospital overnight with his eyes bandaged, is unaffected and leaves the next day.
While at a railway station, he comes across an orphaned schoolgirl named Susan who, having spent the night in the luggage van, is unaffected too. He helps her escape the groping crowds and they commandeer an abandoned car in order to reach his ship.
On their way the car gets stuck in mud and while they look for stones to gain traction a mobile triffid ambushes them and they barely escape. Meanwhile, scientist Tom Goodwin and his wife Karen have been isolated in a lighthouse and only learn of the world emergency over the radio …
Karen alerts Tom to a triffid growing on a ledge; inside they discover another and Tom has to battle it off. Though it appears dead, they discover that triffids can apparently regenerate themselves. The couple then barricade themselves in and set to work to discover some means of neutralising the plants.
After Masen and Susan finally make it to the dockyard, they only hear bad news from over the radio. They then cross into France, where they come across Christine Durant at a roadblock. She guides them to a chateau which is serving as a refuge for the blind. While looking for supplies at a grocery store with Mr Coker, a worker at the castle, they discover dozens of the plants, and Coker dies while they are returning to the chateau to warn the others.
Later the place is invaded by escaped convicts and during the mayhem triffids move in and kill everyone except Tom, Susan and Christine, who manage to get away in the prison bus. After discovering that Toulon is in flames, Masen next heads for the American naval base in Cádiz.
On their way they encounter a blind couple, Luis de la Vega and his pregnant wife Teresa, and help her deliver a baby boy. Luis tells Masen that the Cadiz base has been evacuated by submarine since those who were underwater didn’t get blinded by the meteor shower. Masen gets de Vega’s radio transmitter working just in time to hear the navy broadcasting a message about a final survivor pickup in Alicante the next day and a warning to beware of wandering bands of triffids.
The group decides to leave early in the morning and Masen electrifies the enclosing fence around the villa during the night as a precaution. When triffids arrive, the current is too weak to hold them for long and Masen has to improvise a flamethrower from a fuel truck to keep them off. He also realizes that the triffids are attracted to sound, so he decoys them next day with a musical clown car while the others escape. He himself manages to attract the attention of a naval dinghy, which picks him up and takes him to the submarine.
Back at the lighthouse, the triffids manage to break in while Tom and Karen retreat to the top of the stairs. In a last effort to hold them off, Tom sprays them with a salt-water fire hose and the triffids begin to dissolve in a cloud of green smoke. Tom realizes that sea water was the answer they have been looking for all along and uses the hose to kill the rest of the Triffids in the lighthouse.
At the end, the narrator states that humanity has conquered the triffids by turning to the very thing that gave humans life in the beginning: sea water. Meanwhile, the people from the submarine have disembarked and are heading up to a church to give thanks for their survival.
- Directed by : Steve Sekely and Freddie Francis
- Written by : Bernard Gordon and Philip Yordan
- Produced by : George Pitcher, Philip Yordan and Bernard Glasser
- Cinematography : Ted Moore
- Edited by : Spencer Reeve (sup.)
- Music by : Ron Goodwin and Johnny Douglas
- Production Company : Security Pictures Ltd
- Distributed by : Rank Organisation
- Release Date : 25 April 1963
- Howard Keel as Bill Masen
- Nicole Maurey as Christine Durant
- Janina Faye as Susan
- Janette Scott as Karen Goodwin
- Kieron Moore as Tom Goodwin
- Mervyn Johns as Mr. Coker
- Ewan Roberts as Dr. Soames
- Alison Leggatt as Miss Coker
- Geoffrey Matthews as Luis de la Vega
- Gilgi Hauser as Teresa de la Vega
- John Tate as Captain — S.S. Midland
- Carole Ann Ford as Bettina
- Arthur Gross as Flight 356 radioman
- Colette Wilde as Nurse Jamieson
- Ian Wilson as greenhouse watchman
- Victor Brooks as Poiret
- Peter Dyneley as the narrator’s voice
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