7.1/10
11,831
165 user 31 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.

Director:

Writer:

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Popularity
1,095 ( 388)

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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:

The most watched television movie in history. Tonight, relive the story of a day beyond imagining. 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 visual effects scenes that were planned in the original script were scrapped when the production was cut from four hours to two and a half hours. Among the scenes that were scrapped were a bird's-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

The maintenance team flew into and out of Launch Control Facility Oscar 1. Oscar 1 is located on Whiteman AFB just to the south of the security police squadron and the maintenance shop. They could have walked to it. See more »

Quotes

MCCC Cpt. Stanton: [an alarm goes off in the Launch Control Center of the Minuteman III ICBM "Oscar Wing" at Whiteman AFB ] Standby to copy the message.
DMCCC Lt. Krause: Standing by.
Intercom: Flashing, flashing, flashing. Message follows: Alpha, seven, eight, November, Foxtrot, one, five, two, two... Delta X-Ray.
MCCC Cpt. Stanton: That's a J.C.S. execution from the President.
DMCCC Lt. Krause: I agree, the message is valid, also.
MCCC Cpt. Stanton: Step One: Launch Keys inserted.
DMCCC Lt. Krause: Roger.
MCCC Cpt. Stanton: [both officers retrieve the Launch Keys and insert them into the console] Let's enable the missiles! Program ...
[...]
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Connections

References 60 Minutes (1968) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
It's later than you think
15 April 2003 | by See all my reviews

If you think this movie's theme is outdated, think again. The Doomsday Clock has moved ahead three times since the end of the Cold War. From a press release: "Chicago, February 27, 2002: Today, the Board of Directors of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists moves the minute hand of the `Doomsday Clock,' the symbol of nuclear danger, from nine to seven minutes to midnight, the same setting at which the clock debuted 55 years ago. Since the end of the Cold War in 1991, this is the third time the hand has moved forward."

I watched this movie again a few weeks ago, after seeing it on TV as a ten-year-old kid. While some of the story-lines were painful (e.g. the soon-to-be-wed farmer's daughter whining when dad caught her sneaking off to have sex) this was a well-done movie showing the effects of nuclear war on middle america.

While maybe you can knock this for it's dramatic quality, I think it holds together as an honest story. Some of the criticisms I've read below don't hold together. The story *is* clear about the effects that happen at different distances from ground-zero. The Russians nailed Kansas because of the missile silos there. And it is honest about human nature: in the aftermath lots of people help, like the doctor, but others kill for food or land and there's plenty of panic and anger to go around.

This movie made an impression on me when I saw it as a kid and also now as an adult. And for those out there knocking it--remember this: The Day After made the people of the United States realize what kind of horrible toys their leaders are dealing with. It sparked the movement against nukes. We need a similar movement today--because people have forgotten, or don't think nuclear weapons are a threat. But the United States is now researching new, tactical nukes which, if smaller, will still result in fallout poisoning people unlucky to be in the neighborhood. Just like the kids in Iraq that get to breath the Uranium dust from our tank-busting weapons.

I wish we had more movies like this, and like _Traffic_, that bring painful realities to life and make people think.


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