No Blade of Grass is a 1970 British-American apocalyptic science fiction film co-written, directed and produced by Cornel Wilde and starring Nigel Davenport, Jean Wallace, and John Hamill.
It is an adaptation of John Christopher’s novel The Death of Grass and follows the survivors of a plague that has hit London in the not too distant future. When London is overwhelmed by food riots caused by a global famine, a man tries to lead his family to safety in Westmorland.
The film opens with a montage of pollution, which, as implied by the narrator, is the cause of a virulent new disease arising in Asia, a virus that strikes all members of the grass family, including wheat, rice and maize. It spreads to Africa, Europe and South America, bringing starvation, anarchy and cannibalism in its wake. Hundreds of millions die. The Chinese use nerve gas on their own population, killing 300 million, in their desperate attempts to survive.
The world is descending into famine and chaos. Architect John Custance, along with his family and friends, is making his way from London to his brother’s farm in Scotland, where hopefully, there will be food and safety for all of them. Along the way, they encounter hostile soldiers, biker gangs, and all manner of people who are all too willing to take advantage of travellers for a mouthful of food.
Nothing prepared audiences in 1970 for the sights that awaited them in No Blade of Grass. Raw, uncompromising and violent – maybe too much so, although the film went largely unseen.
This movie has now gone on to be considered a cult classic.