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No Blade of Grass 1970

R CC
3.9 out of 5 stars (25) IMDb 6.2/10

After an environmental catastrophe plunges the world into savagery, one family learns just how far it is willing to go in order to survive.

Starring:
Nigel Davenport, Jean Wallace
Runtime:
1 hour, 37 minutes

Available to watch on supported devices.

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Product Details

Genres Science Fiction, Drama
Director Cornel Wilde
Starring Nigel Davenport, Jean Wallace
Supporting actors John Hamill, Lynne Frederick, Patrick Holt, Ruth Kettlewell, M.J. Matthews, Michael Percival, Tex Fuller, Simon Merrick, Anthony Sharp, George Coulouris, Anthony May, Wendy Richard, Max Hartnell, John Lewis, Norman Atkyns, Nigel Rathbone, Christopher Lofthouse, John Avison
Studio MGM
MPAA rating R (Restricted)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. Callahan on January 20, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I've been waiting for years to see this, as a fan of obscure genre films. The message is ham-fisted (as with Silent Running and Soylent Green), the look is very 1970, and some odd soundtrack choices were made, but it's a bleak film about the collapse of civilization. It can be viewed as exploitation, except that I find the story's premise completely plausible, and the violence gives depth to the plot and characters. With the notable exception of the scene with the biker gang, "No Blade of Grass" is closer in spirit to "The Road" rather than "The Road Warrior."

I've read that this is part of a "survival" trilogy in director Cornel Wilde's work, the other films being The Naked Prey (The Criterion Collection) and Beach Red. In a technical sense, "No Blade of Grass" isn't the same quality as "The Naked Prey," but Cornel Wilde is certainly a film maker with a strong message who can deliver it in a brisk plot. Cast members Lynn Frederick and Nigel Davenport would reunite in 1974 for another serious (and also underrated) science-fiction film, Phase IV.

The DVD itself has no chapter stops or extras, but the presentation is letter boxed and the source print is good. A trailer can be found on 42nd Street Forever Vol. 4.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Cornell Wilde's "No Blade of Grass" is a supposed adaptation of the Samuel Youd novel (which I have not read, yet) about a post-apocalyptic world in which grass is dead, and everything else that is living soon starts following the lead of the earth's green...this is a dark, impressionistic, somewhat bizarre movie. It has some nostalgic value to it, but the back cover of the DVD makes it sound like the picture will show a real bloodbath, when, in fact, the violent scenes are rather tame here. Wilde uses a "flash forward" style of cutting that seems to telegraph the tragedies that lie ahead, but this England-based thriller is more dense, dialogue-driven, and steadily paced than I thought it would be simply from observing the cover of the DVD. Wilde's other films that fit credibly into this trilogy of terror (the others being "The Naked Prey" and "Beach Red") are more action-driven than this title--there is plenty of gunplay and intense scenes, but they are rather light by our modern standards, and may not shock and revolt in the same way that they once did. However, you do get to see a live baby pulled from the bleeding and syrupy-looking "area" of a female on the operating table, and that right there is still pretty shocking to witness! Eeeck!
The Warner Archive DVD is distressingly bare-bones (again, sheesh), whereas an audio commentary would have made this a knockout (as the picture transfer is actually very good). I wonder what Youd (and the producers) thought about the finished film, but really a commentary track done by a British film historian would have been as valuable.
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Format: DVD
Cornel Wilde directs a sleazy, apocalyptic road movie with heavyhanded ineptitude, but it's hard not to enjoy for it's casual violence and campy exploitation value. You'll thrill to: yummy buffets during televised footage of starving babies; cheating wives getting shot and wholesome ones being raped; practical fratricide; and, of course, reality-tv childbirth. 70's drive-in fare par excellance!
The dvd print is exceptional for a rarely-screened film from 1970.
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Format: DVD
I remembered this from my childhood and was never allowed to see it - too horrible I was told. All these years later and I finally made up for lost time. It is set at a time when the idea that global pollution was finally gaining traction as being a killer of the planet. Here we see that a cancer or virus is starting to kill all of the world's grass's. This is all plants from the grass family, wheat, rye, barley, rice etc. It starts in East Asia and India but soon the virus starts to spread to Europe.

John Custance (Nigel davenport - `Greystoke', `Chariots of Fire' etc) is an architect living in London with his wife and daughter. He has a brother living on a farm in the North of England and they are aware that things could go wrong if the government don't handle things well. The old adage that we are only three meals away from anarchy is uppermost in their minds. Then things escalate very quickly as the fabric of society unravels it soon becomes everyman and woman for themselves as mankind descends into a dog eat dog world.

John and his family try to make it to his brothers but face many an obstacle including, biker gangs, soldiers gone bad and a load of people hell bent on protecting their own - at all costs.

I absolutely loved this; filmed in 1970 everything was contemporary and so in many respects the first part is like a time capsule. The existential elements around the group and what we may do to survive are excellent. Some of the acting is a bit am dram. But Nigel Davenport always brings a gravitas to all his roles which saves nigh on every scene - even where it doesn't really need it. Wendy Richard also makes an early appearance as a lady of easy virtue.
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