Threads did, The Day After didn’t.
This is a great video review of WTWB;
Yes WTWB is animated, and that’s part of the reason it takes you off guard, it starts slow, very slow, you get to see this endearing elderly couple live their daily life, they become real to you, they remind you of your parents, or grandparents, it’s just the two characters, you simply fall in love with this wonderful, endearing couple, who are clearly still madly in love after decades together…
…and then you watch as their world, and they, simply fall apart… physically, and mentally…
sorry, gotta go scare off those invisible ninjas cutting onions that have somehow snuck in…
be warned, WTWB WILL crush your soul!
if you feel nothing after watching this then you are not human and have no soul.
Remember that panel talk show with the politician who wanted to use nuclear bombs in the Korean War?
War Hawk Politician: “Yes, there are several targets north of the Yalu River we could use. We could destroy them! We could destroy them and contaminate them!”
Me watching movie: Down boy! Down, I say! Down!
But what I found most amusingly disturbing, beside Bert the Turtle of course, were the little topical songs they played. Such as:
"There were no atheists in a foxhole.
And men who never prayed before
Lifted up their eyes and hearts to heaven,
And begged the Lord to end that awful war.
They prayed to Him about their homes and loved ones,
And how they would love to be there.
I think the bomb that hit Hiroshima
Was the answer to a fighting boy’s prayer."
The quotes are approximate from memory of years ago, but you can see, I watched it a number of times, and it made an enormous impression on me.
I thought Testament was the best ‘80s nuclear war drama. A low-key production, originally for PBS, starring Jane Alexander as the mother of a California family that gradually dies off from radiation poisoning.
(And I hate to correct my old neighbor Baker, but Lawrence is between Topeka and KC. I think she just misspoke).
I was 15 or 16 when it aired. I don’t remember being scared even though I was prime age to be. A vague feeling of a memory makes me want to say I thought it was too slow.
On the Beach scared me. Failsafe scared me. By the time of The Day After I was toughened to it all.
I was 21 when it aired, and it didn’t frighten me but it was hella depressing.
Both of these were incredibly affecting, and terrifying. I’m not sure if the When The Wind Blows film aired in Australia, I read the Raymond Briggs graphic novel on which it was based.
Threads is on dailymotion, in two parts. Used to be on YouTube in its entirety. Worth your time, but consider when it was made.
I was profoundly moved by “Testament”. There’s a scene where Jane Alexander’s character is watching her youngest child burn in a mass cremation. She falls wailing to her knees, and scoops up handfuls of poisoned earth, screaming rage at the “leaders” who brought this upon everyone.
It deserves to be an iconic scene in movies. Like “STELLA!!!” or “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.”
Not a bit, even though they clearly expected it to. Units in high school, special features on television and magazines and so forth.
But fuck, unless you were oblivious, we Gen X kids had been living under the constant threat of death en masse since we were born. Weird All made satirical songs about it, for heaven’s sake.
Some asshole television execs saying we could be ‘deeply effected’ by their show only shows they weren’t really paying attention, either.
I think I might have been confusing Threads and Testament. Which is the one that ends on the terrified mother freeze frame? That’s the one I meant.
I’m another one of those Gen-X that was supposed to be terrified by a risk I’d already internalized. If anything it was a risk that was on a downward trend.In 1983 the Soviet Union was already limping towards the glasnost and perestroika era that began just a few years later.
I agree, that one is by far my favourite as well. I was just old enough to really understand the Cold War when it came to an end, and that movie was released in the same period so I probably watched it at a formative time. I did watch it again not so long ago and thought it really stood up, one of those occasions where the movie is better than the book its based on.
As for The Day After I only watched it fairly recently and it was better than I expected, the attack sequence is very well done in my opinion. It didn’t scare me, but then I wasn’t watching it in the early 1980’s.
I was a teenager and I did not find it scary.
Must be Threads (which I’d never heard of until now). Testament ends rather hopefully (all things considered), with the mother and surviving son deciding to not commit suicide after all.
Gen X? Try growing up a Baby Boomer and living about a good 3-iron from the largest MATS base in Southern California, about 15 miles from a key SAC base and the same from the largest rail marshaling yards on the West Coast. We didn’t even bother with “duck & cover” drills.
For whatever reason, I never saw Threads or The Day After, but we did see another movie with a similar subject called Special Bulletin. It was presented as if it was live news reports from the scene of a hostage-taking in Charleston, South Carolina by a group with a home-made nuclear bomb.
They are still out there. In the corn fields. The missile silos, that is. They are still targets for our adversaries. Even the deactivated ones.
I was in elementary school in '83, but I wasn’t terrified of the Day After. Just more resigned it was going to happen, so be prepared, and enjoy the spectacle. Which I did, when watching that broadcast. Much better eye candy than Threads. The rockets launching, and weird optical effects when the bombs detonated, were really cool.
I’m surprised it didn’t happen, those last 10 years of the Cold War, and the first few afterwards. The Coup against Gorbachev ended far better than anyone could have hoped. Ditto the unrest with Yeltsin.