A Guide to Apocalyptic Cinema

By Charles P. Mitchell | Go to book overview

No Blade of Grass (1970)

Rating: **** Threat: Global famine

MGM. Written by Sean Forestal & Jefferson Pascal based on the novel The Death of Grass by John Christopher; Photographed by H.A.R. Thomson; Special effects by Terry Witherington; Edited by Eric Boyd-Perkins & Frank Clarke; Music arranged by Burnell Whibley; Produced & directed by Cornel Wilde. 97 minutes.


ANNOTATED CAST LIST

Nigel Davenport (John Custance, architect fleeing London with his family); Jean Wallace (Ann distance, John's wife); Nigel Rathbone (Davy distance, their son); Lynne Frederick (Mary distance, their teenage daughter); John Hamill (Roger Burnham, scientist and Mary's boyfriend); Patrick Holt (David distance, John's brother and owner of a large farm); Anthony May (Andrew Pirrie, gun shop clerk); Wendy Richard (Clara Pirrie, his wife); Christopher Lofthouse (Spooks, Davy's schoolmate); George Coulouris (Mr. Sturdevant, gun shop owner); Ruth Kettlewell (fat lady in pub); M.J. Matthews (George, her companion); Michael Percival (police constable); Tex Fuller (Mr. Beasley, John's lunch companion in flashback); Simon Merrick (TV announcer); Anthony Sharp (Sir Charles Brenner, government ecologist); Norman Atkyns (Dr, Cassup, head of Davy's boarding school); John Avison (Yorkshire sergeant); Jimmy Winston (rapist killed by Ann); Richard Penny, R.C. Driscoll (gang members); Geoffrey Hooper (roadblock spokesman); Christopher Wilson (roadblock gunman); William Duffy (farmer slain by Pirrie); Mervyn Patrick (Joe Ashton, group leader killed by Pirrie); Joanna Annin (Emily, Slain leader's wife); Ross Allan (Alf Parsons, recruit who joins Custance); Joan Ward (Alf's wife); Karen Terry (Alf's daughter); Bruce Miners (Bill Riggs, recruit); Margaret Chapman (Prudence Riggs, Bill's wife); Michael Landy (Jess Arkwright, recruit); Louise Kay (Susan Arkwright, his wife); Brian Crabtree (JoeHarris, recruit); Susan Sydney (Liz Harris, Joe's wife); Bridget Brice (Jill Locke, pregnant woman); Christopher Neame (Locke, Jill's husband); Derek Keller (Scott, recruit); Suzanne Pinkstone (Scott's wife); Surgit Soon (Surgit, Indian recruit) John Buckley (captain); Malcolm Toes (sergeant-major); Cornel Wilde (Narrator; short-wave radio broadcaster).


SYNOPSIS

This is a bleak and unsettling film that escorts the viewer into an unvarnished tour through the darkest regions of human nature. The downward spiral is inexorable, and the audience is offered no ray of hope or comfort in the entire plot. The quality of the film is remarkable, employing a full repertoire of cinematic

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A Guide to Apocalyptic Cinema
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Overview: Cinematic Visions of the Apocalypse xi
  • A Guide to Apocalyptic Cinema: Fifty Films in Depth 1
  • The 27th Day (1957) 3
  • Armageddon (1998) 10
  • Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970) 17
  • Crack in the World (1965) 22
  • The Dawn of the Dead (1978) 27
  • The Day the Earth Caught Fire (1961) 33
  • The Day the Sky Exploded (1958/61) 40
  • Day the World Ended (1956) 44
  • Deep Impact (1998) 48
  • Deluge (1933) 54
  • Doomsday Machine (1967/72) 59
  • Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964) 63
  • The End of the World (1930/34) 70
  • Five (1951) 74
  • Holocaust 2000 (1978) 78
  • The Horn Blows at Midnight (1945) 83
  • Kronos (1957) 88
  • The Last Man on Earth (1964) 93
  • The Last War (1961) 98
  • The Last Wave (1977) 103
  • The Last Woman on Earth (1960) 108
  • Lifeforce (1985) 112
  • The Lost Missile (1958) 117
  • The Magnetic Monster (1953) 122
  • The Man Who Could Work Miracles (1936) 127
  • Mars Attacks! (1996) 133
  • Meteor (1979) 139
  • Moonraker (1979) 145
  • The Night the World Exploded (1957) 152
  • Noah's Ark (1929) 157
  • No Blade of Grass (1970) 162
  • No Survivors Please (1964) 168
  • One Night Stand (1984) 172
  • On the Beach (1959) 177
  • Quiet Earth (1985) 184
  • Robot Monster (1953) 189
  • Runestone (1991) 194
  • The Satan Bug (1965) 199
  • The Seventh Sign (1988) 205
  • Solar Crisis (1990) 210
  • Star Trek—the Motion Picture (1978) 214
  • Target Earth (1953) 221
  • Them! (1954) 226
  • Virus (1980) 231
  • Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (1961) 238
  • The War of the Worlds (1953) 243
  • When Worlds Collide (1951) 249
  • Where Have All the People Gone? (1974) 255
  • The World, the Flesh and the Devil (1959) 259
  • Zarkorr the Invader (1996) 265
  • Appendices 269
  • Appendix A 271
  • Appendix B 279
  • Appendix C 283
  • Index 285
  • About the Author 311
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