7.1/10
11,142
163 user 29 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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1,827 ( 308)
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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Jim Dahlberg
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Lori Lethin ...
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Jeff East ...
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Calvin Jung ...
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Clayton Day ...
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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:

Apocalypse... The end of the familiar... The beginning of the end. 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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TV)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Nicholas Meyer claims he suffered severe flu-like symptoms throughout the making of this film. When doctors could find no reason for his illness, they eventually determined that Meyer was actually suffering from severe clinical depression, which the director attributes to having to face the horrors of nuclear war in such depth. See more »

Goofs

Characters in the film refer to I-70 as 'The I-70' and 'The Freeway.' Locals in the Kansas City area refer to Interstate 70 as 'I-70' or '70', never as 'The I-70' or 'The Freeway.' See more »

Quotes

Denise Dahlberg: Phones working?
Stephen Klein: Are you kidding? There aren't going to be any phones.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Americans: The Day After (2016) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A very controversial, but excellent film
18 February 2002 | by (Connecticut) – 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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