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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 8,772 users  
Reviews: 149 user | 23 critic

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:

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:

The Day After  »

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
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The tank that was used to created the "mushroom cloud" was the same tank that used to created the Mutara Nebula effect in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982). See more »

Goofs

When the second bomb hits near Kansas City, the view from Dr. Oakes's car as the flash goes off shows the first mushroom cloud stop, then shrink, then start rising again as the second cloud forms. See more »

Quotes

Julian French: We tried hooking up an auxiliary pump up to a backup generator, and we're still only getting a trickle.
Dr. Sam Hachiya: I still don't understand. Did they burn out?
Dr. Austin: They could have been subject to the EMP effects.
Dr. Russell Oakes: What's that?
Dr. Austin: 'Electro-Magnetic Pulse.' When a large nuclear device is airburst at high altitude, a lot of electrical disruption can be created, principally with radios, communication systems, electrical wires, computers, cars, transistors. Of course, it's all theoretical. It's never happened before. ...
[...]
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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