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No Blade of Grass (1970)

 
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Bud Brewster
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Joined: 14 Dec 2013
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Location: North Carolina

PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 8:42 pm    Post subject: No Blade of Grass (1970) Reply with quote

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Industrial pollution creates a virus which destroys the world's crops, resulting in world-wide famine and the collapse of civilization.

Cornel Wilde directed this grim tale about an English family's struggle to survive in an ecologically ruined world in which savage motorcycle gangs pursue, threaten, rape, rob, and pillage.

Screenplay by Sean Forestal and Jefferson Pascal from a novel entitle "Death of Grass" by John Christopher. Also starring Nigel Davenport, Jean Wallace (Mrs. Cornel Widle), Lynne Frederick, and George Coulouris.

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Last edited by Bud Brewster on Tue Dec 19, 2017 4:42 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Bud Brewster
Galactic Fleet Admiral (site admin)


Joined: 14 Dec 2013
Posts: 10012
Location: North Carolina

PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 1:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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This trailer certainly doesn't pull any punches. This is obviously a very grime and violent movie — not really my kind of film at all.

I'll pass on this one. Sad
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_____________ No Blade of Grass (1970) Trailer


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Last edited by Bud Brewster on Sun Mar 04, 2018 3:25 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Custer
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Joined: 22 Aug 2015
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love the way that the Ontario Board of Censors, according to the poster, actually "recommend" the movie - presumably saying, "If you like adult entertainment, we recommend this movie to you - five stars!"

"The Death of Grass" was the title of John Christopher's novel in Britain, but in America the novel itself was "No Blade of Grass," which I'd say is a better title. John Christopher must have been our closest competitor to John Wyndham, when it came to close-to-home disaster novels.
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alltare
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Joined: 17 Jul 2015
Posts: 297

PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 10:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A good book, but not a good movie. I have the old Science Fiction Book Club printing.
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Bogmeister
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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It's a few months after the release of 2012 (the film), so let's looks at the much earlier depiction of worldwide disaster which is based on the 1956 novel by John Christophe, The Death of Grass.




"No Blade of Grass Grows . . . and Birds Sing no More . . . " so the song is sung over the credits in a very melancholy fashion.

The film deals with the ascension of anarchy — new rules now prevail, revolving around a primitive goal of survival.

The story focuses on one extended family (led by Nigel Davenport, who sports an eyepatch) which makes its way out of London in order to reach the farm of Davenport's brother. Jean Wallace (wife of the director) plays Davenport's wife and Lynne Frederick (Phase IV) is his daughter. There are a few others in the 'family.'

Cornel Wilde's narration at the start speaks of useless rhetoric about ecological problems in the seventies, so this suggests a 'future' of around 1980.



Cornel Wilde's direction is not the most subtle at times. Early scenes offer a documentary-style presentation of mankind's pollution. Wilde then juxtaposes scenes of starving African children with Britishers gorging themselves at a restaurant (this is right before everything goes to hell).

But later scenes during the trek are direct and effective. The story illustrates how certain people who may have indulged in some shady behavior when civilization was in full bloom now have valuable talents — talents which might be employed by 'respectable' folks.

Other 'normal' folk (Davenport was an architect) now take brutal action which would have been unthinkable weeks earlier. What was considered murder earlier is now just pragmatism. There are almost no more 'good' people and 'bad' people — it's just a matter of who survives better.

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Wilde does employ an editing technique which is pretty unusual. At several points, he presents a flash forward. Suddenly, we see several seconds of violent action which will actually occur 15 minutes later in the film.

I understand why Wilde does this; it's a form of foreshadowing and perhaps foreboding stuff, to add to the tension. But it's a tricky style to use and doesn't quite work; I'm not blaming Wilde for how he did it. I don't think this would work in almost any film.

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The trek itself — most of the film — is fairly well done, with usually sudden blow-ups of violence. The central action, when Davenport's group has grown in numbers, involves a battle against a pesky motorcycle gang.

There's a surprising plot twist in the last 10 minutes. I've read that this follows the book closely except for Wilde's insertion of mankind's polluting. This all compares fairly well to other post-holocaust films of the time — The Ultimate Warrior (1974) and Ravagers (1979) — because it is more realistic. But it's low budget, so don't expect to get impressed.

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There is one chilling aspect to this film (for me, at least). The predicted ecological upheaval is still with us 40 years later and escalating (global warming, 2012, etc.). 40 years have passed and things haven't gotten better, so the film may have been on to something . . . unfortunately. But it may only be a matter of time.

BoG's Score: 6.5 out of 10



BoG
Galaxy Overlord Galactus


Last edited by Bogmeister on Sun May 19, 2019 2:29 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 7:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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As much as I admire the beautifully written reviews which BoG presented on his own message board between 2010 and 2015, I have to admit that to make them easy to read for the members of All Sci-Fi I have to spend a lot of time correcting his misuse of punctuation! Shocked

For example, Andrew Bogdan tended to use semicolons like periods, and his posts end up with run-on sentences which go on and on . . . when they simply need to END with a period at several points and continue on as new sentences!

He also lumped his text into large blocks that expressed several different ideas which would have been better organized if he'd inserted paragraph breaks periodically.

Here's an example from his original post for this movie on the Base of Galactic Science Fiction.
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Cornel Wilde's direction is not the most subtle at times: early scenes offer a documentary-style presentation of mankind's pollution; Wilde then juxtaposes scenes of starving African children with Britishers gorging themselves at a restaurant (this is right before everything goes to hell). But, later scenes during the trek are direct and effective. The story illustrates how certain people who may have indulged in some shady behavior when civilization was in full bloom now have valuable talents - talents which might be employed by 'respectable' folks. Other 'normal' folk (Davenport was an architect) now take brutal action which would have been unthinkable weeks earlier. What was considered murder weeks earlier is now just pragmatism. There's almost no more 'good' people and 'bad' people - it's just a matter of who survives better.
__________________________________________

I understood what he was trying to convey, but his writing style seriously muddled his message! Shocked

I knew his ideas would be clearer if the text was revised and reformatted . . . so I did what I could to clarify what he wanted to say.

Here's the revised version which I posted above.
__________________________________________

Cornel Wilde's direction is not the most subtle at times. Early scenes offer a documentary-style presentation of mankind's pollution. Wilde then juxtaposes scenes of starving African children with Britishers gorging themselves at a restaurant (this is right before everything goes to hell).

But later scenes during the trek are direct and effective. The story illustrates how certain people who may have indulged in some shady behavior when civilization was in full bloom now have valuable talents — talents which might be employed by 'respectable' folks.

Other 'normal' folk (Davenport was an architect) now take brutal action which would have been unthinkable weeks earlier. What was considered murder earlier is now just pragmatism. There's almost no more 'good' people and 'bad' people — it's just a matter of who survives better.

__________________________________________

If any of you folks have been wondering why I've claimed that it takes me several hours to convert each one of Bogmeister's wonderful reviews to a version I can post here on All Sci-Fi, please understand that the most time-consuming aspect of the task is to serve as Andrew's "copy editor" and make grammatical changes to his text which sharpen his message and present it in the most effect manner! :shock;

Just for record, I paid $4,000 to a professional copy editor who made extensive corrections to my first published novel, The Hero Experience.

I haven't forgotten what I learned from the expensive professional advice I received.

On a related note, I'll confess that I'm really proud of both my artwork and my writing. I've learned that a writer's ability to create effective "word pictures" requires skills very similar to those of an artist.

A writer uses words to present clear images in the minds of the people who read his work — especially when the story is describing a scene on an alien planet which looks like the one below, an image I created for my not-yet published novel.



The rules of artistic composition are as important as the rules of grammar and punctuation. A good writer — just like a good artist — uses all the tools at his disposal to help the reader build the images he needs to visualize the scenes in the story.

So, I genuinely hope that the members of All Sci-Fi are enjoying the "enhanced word pictures" which BoG offers . . . with a bit of help form me.

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scotpens
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Joined: 19 Sep 2014
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2019 2:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bud Brewster wrote:

As much as I admire the beautifully written reviews which BoG presented on his own message board between 2010 and 2015, I have to admit that to make them easy to read for the members of All Sci-Fi I have to spend a lot of time correcting his misuse of punctuation! Shocked

For example, Andrew Bogdan tended to use semicolons like periods, and his posts end up with run-on sentences which go on and on . . . when they simply need to END with a period at several points and continue on as new sentences!

There's nothing wrong with Andrew's use of punctuation, and I have no trouble at all understanding his comments as originally written. Using a semicolon between independent clauses is perfectly correct. It does not make a "run-on sentence"! If he had used commas or no punctuation at all, that would be a run-on sentence.

Part of my job involves copy editing and proofreading, and I would have left Andrew's paragraph stand as he wrote it.

Just putting in my two cents' worth.
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