7.1/10
11,756
165 user 30 critic

The Day After (1983)

Unrated | | Drama, Sci-Fi | TV Movie 20 November 1983
A graphic, disturbing film about the effects of a devastating nuclear holocaust on small-town residents of eastern Kansas.

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Writer:

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1,304 ( 1)

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Won 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 4 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Stephen Klein (as Steven Guttenberg)
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Calvin Jung ...
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Reverend Walker
Clayton Day ...
Dennis Hendry
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Storyline

The frightening story of the weeks leading up to and following a nuclear strike on the United States. The bulk of the activity centers around the town of Lawrence, Kansas. Written by Anthony Ventarola <theventman@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

They told us it would be impossible to make this movie. They told us it would be impossible for you to watch it. We hope nothing is impossible. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 November 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dagen efter  »

Filming Locations:

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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TV)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(CFI)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Several special effects scenes that were planned in the original script were scrapped when the production was cut from 4 hours to 2 1/2 hours. Among the scenes that were scrapped were a birds eye view of the nuclear explosion over Lawrence, Kansas, witnessed from a 737 on approach. A simulated newsreel of tactical nuclear exchanges between NATO and Warsaw Pact forces in Germany was also scrapped. See more »

Goofs

(at around 55 mins) Dr. Oakes' daughter and other people are shown being vaporized by the nuclear blasts, and screams are heard from the victims as they die. In reality, they would have in all likelihood been vaporized instantly, having no time to scream or otherwise react to the blast. In addition, the daughter's death is depicted as an awkward juxtaposition of a shots: the fist showing of the lower half of her body igniting, followed by a close-up shot of her being vaporized. See more »

Quotes

Helen Oakes: My God. It's 1962 all over again. The Cuban Missile Crisis. Do you remember Kennedy on television, telling Khrushchev to turn his boats around?
Dr. Russell Oakes: "Full retaliatory response." He didn't bat an eye.
Helen Oakes: We were in New York, in bed... just like this, remember? 118th street.
Dr. Russell Oakes: Meatball sandwiches from Sharky's.
Helen Oakes: Your last year's residency. I swear we that made Marilyn that night.
Dr. Russell Oakes: We got up, went to the window to look for the bombs.
Helen Oakes: It didn't happen. It's not going to happen now.
Dr. Russell Oakes: Nah. People are crazy, but ...
[...]
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Connections

Featured in I Love the '80s Strikes Back: 1983 (2003) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A very controversial, but excellent film
18 February 2002 | by See all my reviews

This film originally aired as a TV movie back in 1983 in the United States. It depicts the effects of nuclear war on the citizens of the Kansas City area. In the film, during the actual attacks, a lot of raw footage of nuclear blasts and explosions is used, but no computer enhanced special effects were needed in this film to get the point across. The point, being of course, that nuclear war is horrible. The movie was aired to show leaders of nations in the world what would happen if nuclear war was ever waged. When this film was first aired, Cold War tensions were high and the fear of nuclear war was very imminent. Though the events in the film are very powerful, a disclaimer at the end of the movie even tells the viewers that the events depicted in the film are far less worse then what would actually take place in a real nuclear war.

I feel that the plot was created well. The film shows what happens before the attacks, the actual attacks and then what happens after the attacks. The attacks were not shown too soon after the movie began but well into the movie and built up enough to show a lot of drama. The acting is very good, in my opinion. The late Jason Robards plays the lead role and a few other familiar faces take part as well (Steve Guttenburg, John Lithgow). The writing is fair, but not bad for a made-for-TV movie.

Overall, the movie is very excellent and places itself very positively in my book. It was a very controversial film for its time and it did scare the hell out of many people (truthfully, it did shake me up a little the first time I saw it). It's really not for the kids, even though it was a TV movie, because the scenes of the nuclear blasts and radiation sickness aren't very light.


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