Today I watched a 1962 British film "The Day Of The Triffids" based on a 1961 novel with the same name, by John Wyndham. "The Day Of The Triffids" happens to be one of my father's favourite books, and is well worth reading.
The story goes as follows: one day nearly all the population of planet Earth goes blind after having watched a spectacular meteor shower the day before. The resulting crash of the civilisation is made worse by the confrontation with three meter tall man-eating plants called triffids which can walk and think. The main character William Masen who kept his eyesight by a lucky chance and some others are trying to survive and rebuild the lost civilisation.
The 1962 film bears but a slight resemblance to the original book as it changes all the significant details about the characters and the relationship between them, and the story line itself. For instance, in the film the main character is a sea captain who at first knows little about triffids. Triffids are seen as innocent plants which were brought to Earth by a meteorite. In the book, triffids' origin is obscure, but they are supposed to be experimental plants created in the laboratory. Men use them for industrial purposes but are well aware that the plants can be dangerous. William Masen has worked with triffids and knows all about them etc.
My father tells me there was a much more detailed BBC series from 1982 and recently they made a new adaptation which was on TV over here. I stopped watching right after I saw a woman who was large, in charge and barking orders to men.
Though the 1962 version is very different from the book, I still liked it exactly because you don't see such sort of things in the old film. In 1962 adaptation, women who encounter the walking monster plants scream and panic, while men fight valiantly and slay the dragon that is, the triffid. In the end, it's a man who discovers how to destroy them.
The film tells two parallel stories, one about the sea captain who travels through Europe with a little girl he saved in England trying to find some vestiges of civilisation, the other about an alcoholic scientist living on a small isolated island with his wife who is forced to grow up and assume the responsibility when the couple's survival is at stake.
Unlike similar modern movies, it doesn't concentrate on blood and gore but more on the relationships between the characters and in a quite politically incorrect manner, shows that in the absense of civilisation women need men to survive. Another message of the film is that you must never surrender, but always fight to the last because there is always hope. In the end, the survivors go to church to offer thanks for their nearly miraculous rescue. To sum it up, though not a masterpiece, it's a nice film!
Watch it on YouTube: The Day Of The Triffids 1962