April 27, 1963: The Day Of The Triffids

“THE TRIFFIDS ARE COMING! THE TRIFFIDS ARE GROWING! THE TRIFFIDS ARE KILLING!”

The_Day_of_the_Triffids-1963The Day of the Triffids is a 1962 British film based on the 1951 science fiction novel of the same name by John Wyndham. The picture was directed by Steve Sekely, and Howard Keel played the central character, Bill Masen. The movie’s leading lady was Nicole Maurey (who played Christine Durant), and it was filmed in colour with monaural sound.

Triffids are tall plants capable of aggressive and seemingly intelligent behaviour. They are able to move about by “walking” on their roots, appear to communicate with each other, and possess a deadly whip-like poisonous sting that enables them to kill their victims and feed on their rotting carcasses.

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Bill Masen is lying in a hospital bed with his eyes bandaged. He discovers that while he has been waiting for his accident-damaged eyes to heal, an unusual meteor shower has blinded most people on Earth. Once he leaves the hospital, Masen finds people all over London struggling to stay alive in the face of their new affliction. Some survive by cooperating while others simply fight, but it is apparent that after just a few days society is collapsing.

He rescues a school girl from a crashed train. They leave London and head for France. They find refuge at a chateau, but when it is attacked by sighted prisoners, they are forced to escape. The Triffid population continues to grow, feeding on people and animals. Meanwhile, on a coastal island, a flawed but gifted scientist, and his wife, battle the plants as he searches for a way to conquer them.

Although the film retained some basic plot elements from Wyndham’s novel, it was not a particularly faithful adaptation. “It strays significantly and unnecessarily from the book and is less well regarded than the BBC’s intelligent (if dated) 1981 TV serial.”

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Look out for future Doctor Who actress Carole Ann Ford as Bettina. [Wikipedia].

Watch the trailer on the TheFearChamber YouTube Channel.

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