Threads is Meta’s newest Twitter clone, a social media platform that reached 100 million users in under a week. It’s also a name you’ll see mentioned more and more in connection with Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer movie, arguably the biggest blockbuster of the year (not mentioning Barbie). Still, people won’t be referring to the social media clone but to Threads on BBC, one of the best movies in history that deals with the same topic: nuclear power.
In this article, we’ll tell you all about the best movies about nuclear power and nuclear disaster ever made.
Why is BBC Threads such a famous movie? This is a nightmare Oppenheimer could never touch
Ready for Barbenheimer, aka the dual premiere of Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer movie and Greta Gerswig’s Barbie? If you’re team Oppenheimer and prefer a serious movie above all, make sure you don’t miss Threads on BBC.
That is, if you have the guts for it.
“Threads” is a BBC movie released in 1984 that depicted a fictional scenario of a nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union. It aimed to show the devastating impact of a nuclear conflict on the city of Sheffield, England. What made “Threads” particularly frightening was the realism of it all. Even preppers, who spend their days thinking about the consequences of any type of disaster, man-made or otherwise, would have a hard time planning for a nuclear scenario like Threads.
The movie was intentionally realistic and focused on portraying the effects of a nuclear war in a gritty and documentary-like manner. It showed the immediate and long-term consequences of the conflict, including the destruction of buildings, widespread fires, and the breakdown of society.
There’s no way to overstate the sense of dread and fear evoked by BBC’s Threads but there is a way to warn you about the graphic nature of it: stay away if you’re prone to nightmares, just tune in on Oppenheimer (more on that later).
If you thought Chernobyl on HBO was horrifying, 1984’s Threads will leave you gasping for air.
The BBC Threads 1984 movie contained graphic and disturbing scenes that depicted the consequences of a nuclear attack. This included the portrayal of burns, injuries, and radiation sickness in a very explicit manner. The movie did not shy away from showing the horrifying physical and psychological effects of the war, which contributed to its frightening nature.
There’s also the emotional impact of seeing ordinary people before, during, and after a nuclear attack. Probably the most scary movie of 1984, even scarier than the movie 1984, Threads showed the desperation, fear, and hopelessness experienced by the characters as they faced the grim reality of the post-apocalyptic world.
The worst part of it all?
Threads on BBC was not just realistic but plausible. Tapping into the deep-seated fears generated by the Cold War era, it used real-life military strategies, political tensions, and the fear of nuclear annihilation that existed at that time. The fact that the movie was rooted in the geopolitical reality of the era made it more unsettling for viewers.
Even three decades later, the BBC Threads movie is a stark reminder of the potential consequences of nuclear warfare and the importance of avoiding such conflicts. This isn’t a movie made to entertain like Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer, which marketed itself in a funny manner alongside Barbie and emphasized sex scenes, but a true representation of the worst mankind has to offer.
Still, it’s a fantastic “sequel” so to say to Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer, a sort of alternate-history documentary that deserves to be in the spotlight again. If you want to see a “real bomb” with Oppenheimer, watch Threads immediately after.
Threads movie streaming: where to watch Threads
If you’re faint of heart or just want to avoid the emotional damage inflicted by hours of watching this type of content, this is a five-minute edit that will take you through the most important scenes.
Since everyone is curious to see how Nolan’s Oppenheimer will depict a nuclear bomb, check out how Threads did it three decades ago on a shoestring budget.
The Threads full movie is available for free on Filmzie. If you’re a student or have a library card in the US, also try watching the BBC Threads movie on Kanopy.com. This is a streaming platform more people should know about, full of thought-provoking and educational content.
For the rest of us, the easiest way to watch the 1984 Threads movie is to rent it on Amazon, where it goes for about $4.
The Day After movie: The American “Threads” movie
As you know, there’s plenty of British movies and shows that make the jump across the pond to the US. Sometimes they’re scene-by-scene adaptations, sometimes they’re loosely tied movies.
At the height of the Cold Era, there were two movies fueling people’s fears – Threads on BBC in the UK and “The Day After” movie in the US.
Just like Threads, “The Day After” is a 1983 American television movie that depicts the impact of a fictional nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union. It focuses on the events leading up to the war, the immediate aftermath, and the long-term consequences for the survivors in Lawrence, Kansas.
This movie is also known for its realistic and graphic portrayal of the consequences of nuclear war, particularly the immediate aftermath of the bombing. It showcases the destruction of buildings, the loss of infrastructure, the emergence of radiation sickness, and the emotional trauma experienced by the survivors. These elements can be distressing and deeply unsettling for viewers, especially considering the film’s intent to illustrate the true horror of a nuclear war.
Where to watch The Day After: streaming free
The bad part? Somehow, The Day After isn’t streaming free or paid anywhere. It’s a very weird thing to happen, considering how popular and influential this movie was.
The good part? The Day After 1983 movie is available for free on YouTube – check it out below and read on to see why this one is a must-watch.
“The Day After” was widely watched when it premiered on television and generated significant discussion and debate about nuclear weapons and their potential consequences.
Many viewers found it to be a disturbing and sobering portrayal of the potential horrors of a nuclear war – which didn’t help matters, considering the Cold War was looming over everyone.
While most critics appreciated the film’s intentions and execution, there were some dissenting voices. A few critics argued that the movie was excessively manipulative or heavy-handed in its messaging, and a small number of conservative critics accused it of being overly anti-nuclear or biased.
In what way did the British BBC movie “Threads” differ from the American “The Day After”?
How does the BBC Threads compare to The Day After? While the topic is the same, the movies are very different in tone and content.
The BBC Threads movie, sometimes erroneously called a documentary, takes a grittier and more documentary-like approach in its style. It’s unflinching in its depiction of events, with graphic and explicit imagery showing radiation sickness. On the other hand, “The Day After” has a more traditional narrative structure and employs a dramatic storytelling approach to engage viewers emotionally. It also keeps the gore a bit more contained, so it has less of a potential to become nightmare fuel for you.
In terms of narrative scope, BBC’s Threads also covers a longer time span. It shows events from before the war, the immediate aftermath, and into the future, giving plenty of thought to the long-term effects of the conflict. Meanwhile, “The Day After” primarily focuses on the lead-up to the war, the attack itself, and, as the name of the movie indicates, shows just the immediate aftermath of the bomb, without delving extensively into the long-term consequences.
Either way, The Day After vs Threads is a great look into the psyches of the US and the UK at the height of the Cold War.
The Oppenheimer movie, a big budget prequel to Threads 1984?
First and foremost, don’t expect Oppenheimer to be a documentary of how the atomic bomb was created. Yes, Oppenheimer is a movie about the Manhattan Project. It’s a biographical film written, produced, and directed by Christopher Nolan but it is based on a book, the 2005 biography American Prometheus by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin.
What is the movie Oppenheimer about?
While the movie tells the story of J. Robert Oppenheimer, the theoretical physicist who helped develop the first nuclear weapons on the Manhattan Project during World War II, it is expected to drum up drama by adding character details that aren’t probably true to life.
While he was largely credited with the success of the Manhattan Project, he would later regret his involvement with the atomic bomb and resigned from his post in 1947. Obviously, to make for an engaging story, the filmmakers probably took some liberties with the story.
Most famously, Oppenheimer made headlines for having a lot of full-frontal nudity with Cillian Murphy and Florence Pugh, the actors playing Oppenheimer and his partner – and spawned countless memes.
Doing a Barbenheimer marathon will leave you feeling a bit like Tyler Durden
The Manhattan movie project cast also leaned heavily into the memes about Barbenheimer, the dual release of Oppenheimer and Barbie on Jul 27, 2023.
Since it’s a Nolan movie and the director is famous for his dedication to realism, a lot of questions are also being asked about on social media – particularly about the Oppenheimer bomb scene.
Did Christopher Nolan use a real nuke? The answer is obviously no, since there would be no way to guarantee any kind of safety measure with this. The Oppenheimer movie does not have a real nuke but it will probably be a very realistic movie when it comes to depictions of atomic bombs.
As for their legacy? Oppenheimer will show the creation of nuclear armament but movies like the 1984 Threads and the 1983 The Day After show what they truly do.
Have you watched either of them? Are you planning to?