7.1/10
11,141
162 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.

Director:

Writer:

Reviews
Popularity
2,135 ( 85)
Won 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 4 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Threads (TV Movie 1984)
Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Documentary-style account of a nuclear holocaust and its effect on the working class city of Sheffield, England, and the eventual long-term effects of nuclear war on civilization.

Director: Mick Jackson
Stars: Karen Meagher, Reece Dinsdale, David Brierly
Testament (1983)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The life of a suburban American family is scarred after a nuclear attack.

Director: Lynne Littman
Stars: Jane Alexander, William Devane, Rossie Harris
By Dawn's Early Light (TV Movie 1990)
Drama | Thriller | Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The crew of a nuclear bomber attack the Soviet Union while the President of the United States tries desperately to regain control of his military after his helicopter crashes during a ... See full summary »

Director: Jack Sholder
Stars: Powers Boothe, Rebecca De Mornay, James Earl Jones
Countdown to Looking Glass (TV Movie 1984)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Docudrama uses fictional reports of a crisis in the Middle East, which leads to a nuclear confrontation between the US and the USSR. "Looking Glass" is the code word for the Strategic Air ... See full summary »

Director: Fred Barzyk
Stars: Scott Glenn, Michael Murphy, Helen Shaver
Special Bulletin (TV Movie 1983)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A TV reporter and cameraman are taken hostage on a tugboat while covering a workers strike. The demands of the hostage-takers are to collect all the nuclear detonators in the Charleston, SC... See full summary »

Director: Edward Zwick
Stars: Ed Flanders, Kathryn Walker, Roxanne Hart
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Stephen Klein (as Steven Guttenberg)
...
Jim Dahlberg
...
...
Lori Lethin ...
...
Jeff East ...
...
...
Calvin Jung ...
...
...
Clayton Day ...
Edit

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:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 November 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dagen efter  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TV)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

As the news gets worse, the character Steven Klein (played by Steve Guttenberg) hitchhikes home to "Joplin". This is referring to Joplin, Missouri. Joplin is the birthplace of bombardier Kermit Beahan, of the B-29 Superfortress 'Bockscar', who dropped the atomic bomb on Nagasaki, Japan. In Beahan's own words, "I hope to keep the dubious distinction of being the last man to use an atomic bomb". See more »

Goofs

Surely intentional by the director but the movie kept referring to Sedalia where Whiteman AFB is located. Sedalia is several miles East, the name of the small town where Whiteman is located is Knob Noster. However, the ICBMs at Whiteman were scattered around several hundred square miles adjacent to the base. In fact, several Minuteman II silos (specifically, Launch Facilities B-07, C-08, C-09, E-10, and E-11) were quite close to Sedalia. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Joe Huxley: [speaking into his shortwave radio] Hello. Is anybody there? Anybody at all?
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A good film - critics are missing the point.
2 July 2002 | by (The Real LA - on the South Coast) – See all my reviews

I first saw the film as a high school student attending a Department of Defense school in Germany in the early 1980's. The film was shown in school and it scared the bejeeezus out of me and many of my fellow students. We were dealing with Red Army Faction terrorism, car bombs, bomb threats at school and only a few hundred miles from the border to East Germany. The concepts were quite accurate: if the eastern bloc came over the border, then the ONLY NATO response could be to fight a delayed retreat, blowing up roads and bridges as the US and Nato forces were pushed back and most of Germany would have fallen to the Eastern Bloc before any offensive action could have been taken. The scenario leading to the nuclear attacks are quite real and plausible.

The critics say the film was not graphic enough (they prefer things like Threads) or too graphic (prefering more subtile films like Testament ). There is no need to be totally graphic and accurate in portraying the events. Yes, we know it would be worse. But the goal is not to gross everyone out. We want younger audiences to see the film too - and that would never happen with something like theads. Likewise, a mored emotional but action lacking film would not draw in the audiences. The purpose was to 'get the point accross' and I think it did that very successfully - bad acting, flubbed lines, stock footage and all. It showed enough of the circumstances surrounding the events for those who had some education in things could recognize issues and say,"Yes thats right" while not being overly graphic so that only adults could see it.

If you want to see an action movie about nuclear war or you want to see a touchy-feely emotional treatment of the losses due to war - this film is not for you. The purpose of this film is to show what nuclear war may be like (in a very superficial way) and to remind everyone that it must NEVER happen again. Back in the early 1980's with the Soviets under a rotating leadership of old hardliners and the US with Ronny talking smack - the threat was very real and the reality check this film delivers was needed. It doesn't play as well in the year 2002 - but you must remember when a film was made when you see it.


97 of 115 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Nuclear weapons are actually wonderful herschie
The president's address at the end.. TyCobbSalad
The Overwhelming Sense Of Despair Would Prevail After the Bombs freedomfightertjm
The Day After vs. Threads the_yoda_pagoda
How do the Looking Glass pilots keep from getting flash blinded bradhig
...2013 Blu-Ray release? mpegfailsafe
Discuss The Day After (1983) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?