7.1/10
11,158
163 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.

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1,783 ( 44)
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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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

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Beyond Imagining... See more »

Genres:

Drama | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

20 November 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dagen efter  »

Filming Locations:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TV)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The nuclear missile launch code, sent to the Minuteman silos to fire their missiles at the Soviet Union, was portrayed in the film as "Alpha-7-8-November-Foxtrot-1-5-2-2" with an authentication of "Delta-Xray" See more »

Goofs

An all-out nuclear war is hypothesized by scientists to produce enough soot and fallout to completely blot out the sun, resulting in an extended nuclear winter around the Earth. The film depicts a brief nuclear snowfall soon after the bombing ceases, but for the rest of the film the landscape is mostly bathed in a hazy sunlight. See more »

Quotes

Denise Dahlberg: I've been out riding around with Bruce.
Jim Dahlberg: All night?
Denise Dahlberg: Frankly, Daddy, that's none of your business.
Jim Dahlberg: As long as you live...
Denise Dahlberg: Oh Daddy, don't start this again, I'm getting married tomorrow.
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Connections

Referenced in Be Kind Rewind (2008) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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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."

Haunting.


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