Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
Star Wars: The Force Awakens Teaser Trailer
The Farewell To Middle-earth Issue
Review Of The Year 2014
Subscribe: Get 12 Issues For £25
Buy the perfect Christmas present this year
Farewell To Middle-earth
Full details of our Peter Jackson-edited issue
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
PG
Cast
Howard Keel
Nicole Maurey
Janette Scott
Kieron Moore
Bernard Gordon.
Directors
Steve Sekely.
Screenwriters
Freddie Francis.
Running Time
93 minutes

LATEST FILM REVIEWS
Annie
2 Star Empire Rating
Theory Of Everything, The
4 Star Empire Rating
Bringing Tibet Home
3 Star Empire Rating
Enemy
4 Star Empire Rating
Kon-Tiki
4 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Leviathan
5 Star Empire Rating
Le Jour Se Lève
5 Star Empire Rating
Tony Benn: Will And Testament
5 Star Empire Rating
Nightcrawler
5 Star Empire Rating
Babadook, The
5 Star Empire Rating

Day Of The Triffids
1962 adaptation of John Wyndham's tale about man-eating foliage


submit to reddit


Plot
A mysterious meteor shower blinds most of the inhabitants of Earth - but worse is to come. As the population stumbles about,the triffids - giant carnivorous plants - begin to herd them for use as food. The survivors, led by a few who retained their sight, must try to find a safe place from the monsters.


Review

The 1962 film version of The Day of the Triffids remains a TV staple, more probably because of the lasting reputation of John Wyndham’s classic original novel than its own qualities.  The premise is strong, but the realisation is frankly messy.  It opens well, sticking close to the book, as Howard Keel makes his way through a bewildering world of blind panic and creeping, stinging greenery. 

There are unsettling, effective bits with a plane literally flying blind and the beginnings of panic among the fumbling survivors, and one good triffid encounter in a fog before the monsters start looking like foul-tempered christmas trees. 

After the first act, the film is strangely compelled to stray all over the map, with trips to France and Spain that have no discernible purpose and a new bunch of characters (veteran Mervyn Johns, child actress Janina Faye, cutie Carole Ann Ford) dragged on and written off.  Ford has an especially good exit, blindly feeling her way along a wall towards an evil plant which lashes her with its phallic sting.  Director Steve Sekely’s original cut was judged to be so disastrous that an uncredited Freddie Francis was brought in to shoot a whole new sub-plot, featuring Keiron Moore and Janette Scott in a vine-besieged lighthouse, to thread through the old footage: this allows for one of those hokey happy endings later parodied in Mars Attacks! as plain old seawater kills the monsters. 

A lot less satisfying than the later BBC serial adaptation, it still has some solid end-of-the-world and killer-plant material.


Verdict
The book is a deserved classic, but this film loses most of the tension and all of the terror in the transition.


Reviewed by Kim Newman

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

Your Reviews

Average user rating for Day Of The Triffids
Empire Star Rating

RE: Day Of The Triffids

Wicked book and the '62 movie was pretty dodgy. I think Kim Newmans reviews summed it up well. I did like the 80's minis series though. ... More

Posted by BigKovacs at 10:43, 30 July 2007 | Report This Post


RE: Day Of The Triffids

L: shiny mouse This film adaptation of the John Wyndam classic is a product of its time. Arguably Day of the Triffids is Wyndams most read book due to its every man appeal (as long as we can accept that every man is middle class and educated). It would be true to say this is one of the least faithful book to film adapts ever created. In fact, aside from the central premise and the scene in the hospital you might never suspect it was taken from the book at all. In and of... More

Posted by Mason Verger at 13:37, 28 July 2007 | Report This Post


RE: Day Of The Triffids

There's no denying that some of the empty london shots will have inspired Danny Boyle, thery're just too iconic to not have. ... More

Posted by Mozza at 13:57, 08 May 2006 | Report This Post


RE: Day Of The Triffids

I don' t believe so although I can certainly see why it would be assumed. The main characters' isolation mirrors that of Masons in the book. He meets someone who is in the same situation as himself and they form a bond, a group is formed and dissolved by circumstance. Personally I really liked 28 Days Later but although its message is very similar to that of Day of the Triffids (the book and tv show - the film didnt seem to have one!) its delivery is much more obvious and violent... More

Posted by shiny mouse at 19:48, 07 May 2006 | Report This Post


RE: Day Of The Triffids

i heard somewhere, dat 28 days later was inspired by this, any truth in dat? ... More

Posted by Movie Dude at 20:47, 01 May 2006 | Report This Post


RE: Day Of The Triffids

This film adaptation of the John Wyndam classic is a product of its time. Arguably Day of the Triffids is Wyndams most read book due to its every man appeal (as long as we can accept that every man is middle class and educated). It would be true to say this is one of the least faithful book to film adapts ever created. In fact, aside from the central premise and the scene in the hospital you might never suspect it was taken from the book at all. In and of itself the film is ... More

Posted by shiny mouse at 22:32, 29 April 2006 | Report This Post


SUBSCRIPTION OFFERS

SAVE UP TO 69% GET 12 ISSUES FOR ONLY £25
Get the best seat in the house by subscribing to the world's biggest movie magazine today. Save up to 69% and every month you'll get exclusive subscriber-only covers, access to the biggest stars and the best news, reviews and behind-the-scenes reports straight from the set. Click here to find the perfect offer for you


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Review Of 2014: The 15 Best Cameos Of The Year
Our favourite one-scene movie-stealers

8 Things You Can Learn From The BFI's Star Wars Exhibition
The original crawl, a 'grotesque' villain and a very different princess

Review Of The Year: 40 Worst Posters Of 2014
One-sheets that you'd rather not have on your wall

Hobbit Q&As: Ian McKellen On Finally Saying Goodbye And Farewell To Gandalf The Grey
Read our exclusive Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies interviews

Review Of 2014: Empire's Interviews Of The Year
Crews! Chan! Chickens?! The chats we loved in 2014...

Gallery: Peter Jackson Prop Art: The Bigiatures
An exclusive look inside the director's secret warehouse

Review Of 2014: The Best TV Moments Of The Year
We celebrate the small screen's biggest scenes

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 12 Issues Of Empire For Only £25!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 12 issues of Empire for just £25!
Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)