The War Game (1965 - extract) | BFI DVD -

The War Game (1965 – extract) | BFI DVD

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Peter Watkins Academy Award-winning drama on the devastating consequences of a nuclear attack on Britain returns to BFI DVD on 28 March.

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The War Game is Watkins’ 1965 Academy Award-winning television drama-documentary depicting a nuclear war, written, directed and produced by Peter Watkins for the BBC’s The Wednesday Play anthology series. The film shows the prelude to, and immediate weeks of the aftermath, of a Soviet nuclear attack against Britain. Told in the style of a news magazine programme, the cast was made up of non-actors, with narration by Peter Graham and Michael Aspel reading quotations from source material.

Watkins is known for pushing boundaries to the extreme with his documentaries and his films continue to inspire today.


  1. Not exactly a date movie 😂

  2. The last two minutes would be me lighting a fag, getting the JD out along with a copious number of tablets that would put me to sleep forever. I've read and seen The Road, no thanks..!

  3. Putin and his ilk think nuclear war is winnable and their citizens millions of sacrificial pawns.

  4. 6 miles , hmm, they'd be fried, let alone eyeballs burning…

  5. I think the only thing that doesn't work well about this is the way the supposed documentary or newsfootage continues after the attack. It'd hard to believe that the communications and broadcasting capabilities of the UK weren't almost totally destroyed in the attack.

  6. this is great. roger deakins recommended this. this is how they should film coronation street.

  7. I was reading earlier about how hypersonic nuclear delivery systems under development by the U.S. and Russia raise the risk of a world-ending miscalculation dramatically, simply because of their speed and how hard they are to track. I only saw this film once years ago, but after I was done with that article, I immediately thought of it. Between Threads, The War Game and When The Wind Blows, the British have made high art out of the unthinkable. These movies get under my skin in a disturbingly important way.

  8. The worst scene is watching the police kill the patients outside the hospital who were beyond help to free up room for the ones that could. It makes me wonder how this is not on youtube now in full. I watched it years ago on here once

  9. The worst scene is watching the police kill the patients outside the hospital who were beyond help to free up room for the ones that could. It makes me wonder how this is not on youtube now in full. I watched it years ago on here once

  10. The BBC showed this to kids as young as 12 to scare them with propaganda videos of nuclear attacks that where inement……. They scared the shit out of everyone and gues wat it never happened. This is not the full version.

  11. The BBC showed this to kids as young as 12 to scare them with propaganda videos of nuclear attacks that where inement……. They scared the shit out of everyone and gues wat it never happened. This is not the full version.

  12. "At this distance the heatwave is sufficient to cause melting of the upturned eyeball." Shit.

  13. We were made to watch this in secondary school in the early 70's .
    Frightened the life out if me , kept me awake that night i remember !

  14. Remember when this came out when I lived back in Leeds and I couldn't sleep good after watching this frightening, and never know in this day and age. Yes Lesley Chilling,

  15. Jeezus we Brits know how to do a low budget horrific realistic nuclear war documentary drama. Threads anyone?

  16. This type of film creates the conditions for an awareness that excludes ideologies such as nationalism or racism from the outset.

  17. I remember being a kid in the 80s and my contemporaries were often bragging about how they'd seen a horror film. Which usually consisted of guys in rubber masks running around whilst someone threw Kensington gore over them. You really wanted to be scared? – you watched this, or "Threads". Laugh at the production values if you will, but a nuclear weapon is a much more real threat than a vampire. I always hated horror films, but I have a lot of respect for this movie.

  18. this was probably first found footage movie ever made

  19. there was a local fair in the late 70s where i went with my parents. the red cross and similar organisations had some tents at the market square. they had an exhibition tent with all kind of tools and flyers. in the background was running a super-8 movie on a mobile screen: 'the war game'! without being warned i accidently watched a few minutes of this. terrified! frozen! scared to the core! it is still haunting me, the scene with the man in his mask dying on the street. i was like 7 years old.

  20. Are you the one who uploaded the full Threads on July 13th, and it got taken down in the past 24 hrs?

  21. Tales From Tin Pan Alley - The Documentary + More says:

    Lucky to have met Director Peter Watkins at the Edinburgh University Film Club in 1979

  22. Watched this at a US prep school (private boarding secondary school) in the early 1970s. I think it's been too long since the young ones saw something like this. The public is way too relaxed about nuclear war risk right now.

  23. Never watched this could be a good film

  24. The attack on manstone airfield is the alt name

  25. Donald J Trump should be done up like little Alex in A Clockwork Orange strapped to the chair making a brace eyes held open with lid locks and should be forced to watch this movie over and over in an endless loop for 48 hours

  26. Government: Sorry BBC, The War Game is absolutely horrifying, and going to traumatize the whole country if we let it be shown. Why don't you try making another movie about nuclear war, but keep the politics out of it? Don't bother with all that interview stuff, just go for the human perspective, give us some specific characters to follow. Maybe one family that has a good bomb shelter ready and is fully prepared to survive, and another family that isn't ready and doesn't do so well?
    BBC: Ooh, that sounds good. Tell you what, let's shelve this for now, and we'll try again in the 80's? By then we'll have better emergency plans in place anyways, so it'll be a much less depressing film.
    Threads: Clench up motherfuckers

  27. I can see where the makers of "Threads", 20 years later, got their ideas from. The two films are SO similar.

  28. This and Threads should be mandated viewing in British schools.

  29. We’ve come pretty damn close a time or two, but thankfully this has not become a reality… yet.

  30. I always found this to be the British nuclear war movie that was even better and more haunting than "Threads". It just seemed to hit harder for some reason.

  31. The thing I love/hate the most about Watkins was how merciless he was, yet still tasteful and tactful when necessary. That's the hallmark of a good director.

  32. I see it has still been effectively censored – being nowhere available online.

  33. A single megaton 🤣 aren't most at least 8 now?

  34. I like the idea of a teenager wearing a cravat.

  35. Thomas the thermonuclear bomb… Overshot Sodor…
    Dark facts: when both shockwaves arrives (Shock Front and the Mach Stem) if you are not holding your ears you will lose your eardrums however a 1 MT airburst weapon is usually detonated over a target for maximum destruction and minimal fallout. Not many nations have nuclear "super" weapons anymore, super weapons being 1.2 MT and larger in yield and just about all of them are of the "dial-a-yield" variants so a warhead may be rated at 1 MT but can be programmed on the fly to a lower yield. The 60's were an interesting time of mad science experiments in the Nevada desert and pacific ocean all revealed some interesting facts and along side a LOT of misinformation in the form of survival practices. Fact is IF you survive the initial attacks, you have an 80% chance if dying of radiation sickness in 2 weeks or less.
    If you manage to survive the sickness then you are now looking at a critical issue of locating uncontaminated food and clean water. You can stock up and prepare but that will eventually run out. SO your survival chances after 2 weeks drop rapidly, if you are injured or have pre-existing conditions like diabetes, etc. then your chances drop extremely fast and without necessary medications you will perish

  36. This scene was just the start of the nightmare in this docudrama.

  37. Out of threads, when the wind blows and this, this is the most terrifying

  38. My class watched this when I was 16, not sure if we were ready to handle it to be honest

  39. A shame that there's no Region 1 release of this. Had to watch bootlegs of this all my life.

  40. If you think this scene is disturbing, just wait till you see how the same family reacted to punk rock twelve years later, har har.

  41. This, youtube generation, is how ordinary people in the 1960s used to react when they found out their teenage daughter was going out with an Irish bloke.

  42. I bought this from a seller on Amazon. Supposedly a Blue-Ray/DVD copy of The War Game/Calloden. Unfortunately, the seller didn't warn me that the DVD copy was a Region 2, and wouldn't play on my machine here in the USA. Good luck trying to find a Region 1 DVD of this film. At least the other sellers were kind enough to point out they were offering Region 2 copies.

    They showed "The War Game" to us high schoolers in the 1970s. Finding "Treads" is fairly easy, and I have a copy. In my opinion, however, "The War Game" is a vastly superior film. If I had a copy of it, I would show it to every youngster in my sphere of influence. Even after nearly fifty years, this film still stands out in my mind. It is probably the best argument against nuclear war ever put on film!

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