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The Day of the Triffids (film): Wikis


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The Day of the Triffids

film poster by Reynold Brown
Directed by Steve Sekely
Produced by George Pitcher
Philip Yordan
Written by Bernard Gordon
Philip Yordan
Starring Howard Keel
Kieron Moore
Janette Scott
Nicole Maurey
Mervyn Johns
Music by Ron Goodwin
Cinematography Ted Moore
Editing by Spencer Reeve
Distributed by Allied Artists
Country UK

The Day of the Triffids is a 1962 British film adaptation of the science fiction novel of the same name by John Wyndham. It was directed by Steve Sekely, and Howard Keel played the central character, Bill Masen.[1] The movie was filmed in colour with monaural sound and ran for 93 minutes.



Triffids are strange fictional plants, capable of rudimentary animal-like behaviour: they are able to uproot themselves and walk, possess a deadly whip-like poisonous sting, and may even have the ability to communicate with each other. On screen they vaguely resemble gigantic asparagus shoots.

Bill Masen begins the story in hospital, with his eyes bandaged. He discovers that while he has been blindfolded, an unusual meteor shower has blinded most people on Earth. Masen finds people in London struggling to stay alive in the face of their new, instantly-acquired affliction, some cooperating, some fighting: after just a few days society is collapsing.

Relationship to novel

The film retained some basic plot elements from Wyndham's novel, but 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."[2] Unlike the novel, the Triffids arrive as spores in an earlier meteor shower, and some of the action is moved to Spain. Most seriously, it supplies a simplistic solution to the Triffid problem: salt water dissolves them, and "the world was saved". This different ending appears to be closer to the ending of The War of the Worlds than Wyndham's novel, as the invading aliens succumb to a common product of Earth (as the Martians died of bacteria) and both end with a religious tone (quite unlike Wyndham). This ending was also used to similar effect in M. Night Shyamalan's Signs.


Simon Clark, author of The Night of the Triffids stated on interview: "The film version is enjoyable, luring the effective looking Triffids away with music from an ice-cream van and some other good action scenes. The Triffids' death-by-seawater climax is weak and contrived though. But it would still rank in my all-time top 100 films."[3]

References in popular culture

It is this version of the film to which the song "Science Fiction Double Feature", from The Rocky Horror Show, refers, in the line: "And I really got hot when I saw Janette Scott fight a triffid that spits poison and kills..." A Triffid appears as one of the aliens in Area 52 in Looney Tunes: Back in Action. A Triffid also appears aboard the spacecraft as one of the plants harvested by the aliens in E.T.. [4]


  1. ^ Hunter, I. Q. (2002). British Science Fiction Cinema. Routledge. pp. 80–81. ISBN 0203009770.  
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Turn On Your Heartlight: Inside E.T.". Cinefex. January 1983.  

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