The Day After (1983)

TV Movie  |  Unrated  |   |  Drama, Sci-Fi  |  20 November 1983 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.0/10 from 10,186 users  
Reviews: 157 user | 27 critic

A graphic, disturbing film about the effects of a devastating nuclear holocaust on small-town residents of eastern Kansas.



0Check in

On Disc

at Amazon

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 | War
    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 | Sci-Fi
    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
Special Bulletin (TV Movie 1983)
    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
On the Beach (1959)
Drama | Romance | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

After a global nuclear war, the residents of Australia must come to terms with the fact that all life will be destroyed in a matter of months.

Director: Stanley Kramer
Stars: Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner, Fred Astaire
On the Beach (TV Movie 2000)
Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Well, the world has finally managed to blow itself up. Only Australia has been spared from nuclear destruction and a gigantic wave of radiation is floating in on the breezes. Only two ... See full summary »

Director: Russell Mulcahy
Stars: Armand Assante, Rachel Ward, Bryan Brown
Comedy | Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A post-apocalyptic tale based on a novella by Harlan Ellison. A boy communicates telepathically with his dog as they scavenge for food and sex, and they stumble into an underground society ... See full summary »

Director: L.Q. Jones
Stars: Don Johnson, Jason Robards, Susanne Benton
Animation | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

With the help of government-issued pamphlets, an elderly British couple build a shelter and prepare for an impending nuclear attack, unaware that times and the nature of war have changed ... See full summary »

Director: Jimmy T. Murakami
Stars: Peggy Ashcroft, John Mills, Robin Houston
Drama | Mystery | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A man named Zac Hobson awakens to find himself alone in the world. In a desperate attempt to search for others, he finds only two who have their own agenda.

Director: Geoff Murphy
Stars: Bruno Lawrence, Alison Routledge, Pete Smith
The War Game (1965)
Documentary | Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

The War Game is a fictional, worst-case-scenario docu-drama about nuclear war and its aftermath in and around a typical English city. Although it won an Oscar for Best Documentary, it is ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Watkins
Stars: Michael Aspel, Peter Graham, Kathy Staff
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Disturbing collection of 1940s and 1950s United States government issued propaganda films designed to reassure Americans that the atomic bomb was not a threat to their safety.

Directors: Jayne Loader, Kevin Rafferty, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Paul Tibbets, Harry S. Truman, W.H.P. Blandy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

In an post-apocalyptic world, a group of survivors travel and find other settlements in huge custom designed all terrain vehicles.

Director: Jack Smight
Stars: Jan-Michael Vincent, George Peppard, Dominique Sanda


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


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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Beyond Imagining... See more »


Drama | Sci-Fi


Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

20 November 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dagen efter  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


SEK 1,953,591 (Sweden)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (TV)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The "General on board" is actually 'Clarence Rueben Autery' a 30 year USAF decorated Vietnam vet and actual commander of SAC. See more »


The deputy silo-officer with the orange ascot wears the name "Krause" on his uniform, but after the missile launches, Billy McCoy and his comrades talk about the two men in the capsule of the Oscar Base as "Star and Boyle". See more »


Airman Billy McCoy: [points to corpses] See these people? That's us, man,if we don't get to Lawrence.
See more »


Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Troll 2 (2009) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Still Scary
12 March 2001 | by (Chicago, IL) – See all my reviews

This movie aired recently on the USA network and I saw it for the first time since I was ten years old. Although I did not find myself experiencing nightmares when I went to bed that night, as I did seventeen years ago, I still found the movie's message delivered clearly and with solid dramatic impact.

Upon close analysis, there are flaws, both technical and on the creative end. The post-bomb world seems far too well-lit at times in light of the "nuclear winter" theory. And (as the film's disclaimer says) the actual results are much, much grimmer. Seven years ago I visited Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the photos, accounts and newsreel footage taken of those who survived are absolutely horrifying.

Some of the plot point devices and characters seem far too constructed (or perhaps outright contrived): Steve Guttenberg and his girlfriend and their tearful reunion, the dying doctor played by Jason Robards returning to the ruins of Kansas City for a final farewell to his home (and wife who died in the explosion). But the acting is strong, and Nicholas Meyer's largely low-key direction (often with no music) hammer home what is the film's message - loss. Not just the typical message that everyone loses in (nuclear) war, but illustrating what would be lost: loved ones, your home, your way of life, simple human dignity. And that it would be lost forever. For me, one of the most chilling lines is when Steve Guttenberg says to his girlfriend, "There's not going to be any phones."


17 of 20 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Never heard of this before. djk-930-38279
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
...2013 Blu-Ray release? mpegfailsafe
Discuss The Day After (1983) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: