For me, The War Game is the most powerful film about nuclear war. We could call this movie a "Nuclear War Opera".
For me, The War Game is the most powerful film about nuclear war. We could call this movie a "Nuclear War Opera".
Have you seen Threads? It's much more powerful, because it takes a long-term view of the effects. of nuclear war.share
Yeah I think THREADS is much better because we don`t get the producers opinions stuffed down our throats every ten seconds which is my serious problem with THE WAR GAME
THE WAR GAME seems to scream " Ban nuclear weapons and the world will live happily ever after " . THREADS seems to scream " If you don`t want this to happen then please find diplomatic solutions to the world`s problems "
I tend to agree that "threads" is more powerful than "war game". now dont get me wrong, i think in its day TWG took it to the next level. but its absolute and utter niavete made me dizzy. three days after a nuclear strike and people are queing for rations in shirts and ties. and the whole execution scene didnt ring true for me either. to be honest, in that situation if the coppers did catch the killers they would have shot them on the spot or more likley beat them to death. i also agree that there was a definate political agenda that was being forced, one that was actually quite niave. however, it still has very grim moments, like the bucket full of wedding rings which even those doing it seemed to see was pointless deep down. filling large buildings with bodies and burning them down, armed coppers (in a world of fast armed response and airport police with mp5's we get used to armed bobbys, but in those days it was a novelty- and frightening)and food riots are all very evocative.share
I just watched both. I'd say they're about equal.
Hey now, hey now now, sing this corrosion to me
Strong indeed... Haven't seen that Threads-film, but gotta find it from somewhere.
But think of this: how would this film have turned out today? Somehow I think that it would be deliberately much less of a shocker. I've lately gotten the feeling that it's "bad policy" to actually show the cruelty of war to people..
I first saw The War Game when it came to Vancouver in 1967 (when I was 10) and I have never forgotten it. I watched it again the other day for the first time in nearly 40 years and I found it just as powerful as the first viewing.
Admittedly, some of the scenes (e.g. the formal execution) are out of date; but the uniqueness of the film rests in its ability to bring nuclear war out of the sky and into the kitchen: There are no mushroom clouds, just everyday families panicking during the last two minutes of their lives. During the 60's, when some of our neighbours were actually building bomb shelters and our leaders were stockpiling weapons, The War Game was a good dose of reality.
Absolutely agree. The War Game has to be viewed as a product of its own time. Threads was just shy of a quarter century later. This does not diminish The War Game's impact; in fact, its b/w filming renders a sheen of reality about it. Those who cavil about the ties and queueing etc. have to remember it was a British movie about the impact upon a British society for whom the memory of WW2 reverberated for far longer after 1945 than Western Atlantic societies. E.g. Rationing persisted until the late 50s for certain foodstuffs.share
I caught this film early one morning (about 03:00 I think) on the discovery channel. I'd never seen it before and I don't think it was in any way naive. Or at least not in a modern way. It was gritty and frightening and was just as harrowing as Threads without the dramatisation. It could have been taken like a typical factual 60s documentary and naive only in the way all 60s documentaries were except that it pulled no punches. The most frightening part for me was the family who roasted to death in the overturned car. You could faintly hear the screams until they finally stopped. This is true nightmare stuff and politicians should take note. Tony Blair did in his CND days, I'm not so sure today.
I think the power of the film is due it part to it's length, it has a decisive quick and terrible message. Although I've never lived under the threat of nuclear war this film showed the terrible reaction a society would need to take to it. Everything about the footage seemed so raw and real, never contrived, never some silly sitcom character study. I haven't seen Threads but I'm sure that The War Game was atleast an inspiration for it.share
I purchased this movie on Ebay and watched it for the first time last night. Very chilling! I hav seen Threads, The Day After, Def Con 4, One Night Stand...you name it...but this little old black and white flick packs a real punch, as much as the flim "threads". IMO.
"I'm a vehemently anti-nuclear, paranoid mess, harbouring a strange obsession with radioactive sheep"
It's a title that's haunted me for 30 years - but I've finally seen it - living as I do in one of the areas of Kent depicted in the film as destroyed by a nuclear weapon. It's dated in parts and there are plenty of flaws (look carefully and you'll see the same actors doubling up, or the notion that starving and traumatised civilians would take to the streets with neat little protest boards saying "share food equally") That aside, it lives long in the pysche by allowing you to imagine some of the horror rather than it all being graphically portrayed. There is some comfort in looking at it knowing that we did get to reach 1980 (which the film suggested was unlikely) and we're all still here. Perhaps, Mr Watkins, nuclear weapons were a deterrent after all............ but let's hope the film is still being discussed in 2050!share
I have been haunted by this film for twentyfive years precisely because I did see it. It was shown at my university and had a discussion period afterward. What shook me was the effect it had on people, including me. At that time, I was still very immature, cocky and more than a bit conservative, but a liberal arts higher education was in the process of changing all of that. The number of people openly weeping in the auditorium affected me greatly and made a huge dent in my masculine shell. Since that time I have seen many of the films mentioned above and read a number of excellent post-apocalyptic novels. None of these things have a happy ending, folks! The grim reality of the aftermath of a major nuclear exchange was depicted very well in The War Game. I just finished an excellent book on the subject of civil defense called "One Nation Underground: The Fallout Shelter in American Culture". What this book brings home, as did the films, is the fact that no amount of planning, shelter building, stockpiling, etc. would change the ultimate outcome, just prolong the agony. And now I see that out own Boob in Chief and his criminal administration are considering using nuclear weapons against Iran. How quaint!share
I've just seen this. I admit, I wasn't expecting much for a 65/66 film - but it was genuinely disturbing. I think I've reawakened my nuclear fear since rewatching Threads the other day. But back on track, The War Game was well acted. The child blinded seemed simple, but strangely effective.share
People who consider this film dated or exaggerating are forgetting the circumstances under which it was made. Nowadays we can lean back and watch films like "The Day after Tomorrow" casually with a bag of popcorn and a large Coke because
a) those films are now being made for the sake of sensationalism and advanced CGI technology to make as much profit as possible - not out of a political or social activism and concern
b) we still may decide to embrace the opinion of this scientist who says our ecosystem will collapse in hundreds of years instead of the other scientist who says it will happen in our lifetime.
Back in the 60's, people didn't have this option. The nuclear threat was very real, it wasn't a question of their lifetime or next century - it was a question of days or weeks. Many artists felt urged to warn people of the potential threat of it, they wanted to prevent it by all means because it COULD'VE happened the very next day. Under such circumstances, you can't be subtle and moderate anymore.
The same way we now listen to the music of late 70's and early 80's that dealt with a repeated nuclear threat of that era (Kate Bush's "Breathing", for instance) with a slight amusement over all that panic, pathos and exaggeration. But we're forgetting that there are more nuclear missiles in the world now than back in the 60's or 80's and as long as they exist the threat is there. Should we wait until it becomes a question of days again to take these works of art seriously?
I could not agree more: growing up in the late 70's, The Bomb was a constant worry...I recomend 'Trinity And Beyond', if you want to renew that sense of foreboding. The segment on the 'Tsar Bomba' gave me some real 1979-style heebiejeebies....share
Very well said.
Enjoy it while it lasts
very good indeed
8 out of 10
I Worship The Goddess Amber Tamblyn
This film was released a little over a year after I was born; I saw it when it was shown at my school in 1980, when I was 15. Both eras, in terms of the perceptions and potential realities of MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) were, I believe, rather different from those of today.
1965 was 20 years after a horrific war, which itself came 20 years after the "War to end all Wars". There was supposed to be a new world order - after all, we had the UN - yet we seemed to be poised on the brink of global holocaust.
In 1980, I recall having read several stories of young people, of roughly my age, who had committed suicide, because of their fears of nuclear war.
"The War Game" shocked me, by presenting a (1960s) vision of a nuclear strike. The naivety of the film only served to add to the reality: we had the weapons, and we were prepared to use them, but did we really know anything about them? I felt the same unease when I saw "The Atomic Cafe" (qv).
And now in 2007, we in the UK are "debating" (New Labour euphemism for "the decision's made, but we'll patronise you by pretending to listen") about the upgrading of our deterrent.
Have we learned anything?
It's so British, lolshare
I take that back... it's so ENGLISH hahashare
I'm a bit of a fan of the worst-case scenario nuclear war type films and The War Game and Threads are at the top of the list. I still say The War Game is a more powerful film whereas Threads is a more depressing film. The War Game focuses on the immediate effects whereas Threads focuses on the long term effects. Threads starts off a little slow and goes down the narrative route and tries to develop the characters and it takes about 45 minutes before the film becomes really intense. Though The War Game is only 48 minutes long, its mayhem from beginning to end. Both films accomplish what it set out to do and both are excellent depictions of a complete loss of faith in humanity. I just wish there was a movie or a TV series that combined the shocking intensity of the immediate effects of nuclear war of The War Game with the disturbing and depressing aftermath of nuclear war of Threads.share
I do agree with Sektion on this one.
Yes it may seem a little aged, but remember the era that it was made in and the circumstances surrounding that era. Also bear in mind the sociology of the era too.
I'm an 80s child and saw it only a few years back. That scene with the people burning to death in the car still haunts me somewhat.
I think the film is shocking because it doesn't rely on CGI and effects and blood and gore to shock (although there is blood and gore) it uses imagery and dialogue which is not shocking at first, but when you think about it, becomes more and more horrific. Take for example the exhausted rescue worker dispassionately telling the cameraman that they learned from the bombing of Dresden to take rings from the dead to identify them, and that they are keeping the rings in a bucket. Expecting to see a few dozen rings in the bucket, I was shocked to see it full to the brim.
I did think the film a little optimistic in places. They said that the psychiatric services would not be able to cope with the large numbers of shell shock victims. But there wouldn't BE any psychiatric services at all! (although to be fair, officials said the same thing about civilian shell shock in WW2 and it didn't happen).