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The Day After (1983)

TV Movie  -   -  Drama | Sci-Fi  -  20 November 1983 (USA)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 9,009 users  
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A graphic, disturbing film about the effects of a devastating nuclear holocaust on small-town residents of eastern Kansas.

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Title: The Day After (TV Movie 1983)

The Day After (TV Movie 1983) on IMDb 7/10

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Won 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 3 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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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:

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:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

SEK 1,953,591 (Sweden)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TV)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After watching this, president Ronald Reagan sent a pile of suggestions to director Nicholas Meyer how it should be edited. 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

Ending disclaimer: The catastrophic events you have just witnessed are, in all likelihood, less severe than the destruction that would actually occur in the event of a full nuclear strike against the United States. It is hoped that the images of this film will inspire the nations of this earth, their peoples and leaders, to find the means to avert the fateful day.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Executioners (1993) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

No thanks, I think I'll skip "Threads"....
5 October 2000 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Like many of the viewers here, I watched this movie when it first aired on TV, I was in junior high school. I remember the TV stations and media warning people not to watch it alone, and to not let little kids watch. I remember the little 'discussion groups' about it at school the next day. The main image that was left in my mind was almost everyone being vaporized when the bomb hits, and their skeletons showing through for a moment (especially the couple on their wedding day- that must have been kind of a drag).

I was home from work sick a few months ago, and had nothing to watch. The movie hadn't started too long ago, and I figured what the heck, it would probably be interesting to see how 'dated' it looked, and how it wasn't even remotely scary anymore (especially since I wasn't 14 and impressionable, and one of the least of my worries as an adult is a nuclear war-I remember being scared it would happen on a regular basis for weeks after seeing the movie as a kid). I remember thinking that all the warnings to viewers were just really good publicity stunts by the networks to get people to watch. Maybe it would even be 'campy', right? Ha-ha! No.

I watched the movie with only mild interest at first, but got more and more upset as it went on. This movie has not lost any of its impact, but actually disturbed me much more as an adult. Maybe its because I am now grown up, married, know how short life really is, and have more of a realistic idea about how horrible life would really be 'the day after'. I was actually shocked at how graphic and scary the movie was, especially to have been shown on prime time TV in the early 80's, even when watching in the middle of the day. There's a truly chilling scene when a main character has been in a bomb shelter too long and completely loses it, to bolt outside. She's so far gone that she just twirls around happily, as if she came out and the land they lived on looked exactly the same. Instead, the sky is grey, ash covers every surface, every single bit of plant life is dead, and the family dog and all the livestock lie flyblown and rotting (there is dead silence, expect for the sound of flies surrounding the bodies)...in another scene set in a hospital, there was a huge jump that made me hit the ceiling and left me muttering, "Jesus Christ!" afterwards.

There are other images that I couldn't get out of my head for a long time, such as one of the last scenes where a man visits his ex-girlfriend in some sort of shelter for the radiation victims. They both end up sobbing, and the camera keeps pulling back until you see the other dead and dying people surrounding them number probably closer to the thousands than the 50 or so you thought were in the shelter at the beginning of the scene. It just keeps getting more and more depressing, grim, and scary, until the last incredibly depressing scene, which is made even sadder and more emotional because you see a character obviously insane and dying who you thought might be one of the ones to make it. Afterwards, I think I ended up having to watch "Hairspray" or something equally cheerful to cheer myself up and get my mind off it before I could take a nap.

I always heard how "Threads" made "The Day After" look like an after school special, and had been looking for a copy for a long time (since when I hear that a movie is shocking and upsetting, it usually makes me want to see if it can live up to the buzz). I finally found a store that carries it, but you know what? After getting nightmares after seeing "The Day After" as an adult, I think I'll just pass on "Threads"...


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