7.1/10
10,767
160 user 28 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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1,971 ( 142)
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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Jeff East ...
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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:

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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TV)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Because it was too expensive to destroy every window seen in after the blast and then replace it with a new one, a lot of windows were decorated with black paper to indicate broken glass. See more »

Goofs

In the establishing shot scene of the SAC Airborne Command aircraft, after the missile launches, the aircraft appears to be a KC-135 Stratotanker, due to the prominent aerial refueling boom under the tail. However, the EC-135 "Looking Glass" also had an aerial refueling boom. Following its mission, the EC-135 had the ability to refuel the next aircraft sent up to relieve the previous crew. See more »

Quotes

Airman: [missiles from both sides are still en route] You know what that means, don't you? Either we fired first and they're going to try to hit what's left, or they fired first and we just got our missiles out of the ground in time. Either way, we're going to get hit.
Airman Billy McCoy: So what are we still standing around here for?
Sergeant: Where do you want to go?
Airman Billy McCoy: Well, how about out of here for starters? I've got to get my wife and my kid!
Sergeant: We're still on alert, Billy! No one leaves this facility. Not until the choppers get ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Can't Stop the Music (2014) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
It's later than you think
15 April 2003 | by (Edinburgh, Scotland) – See all my reviews

If you think this movie's theme is outdated, think again. The Doomsday Clock has moved ahead three times since the end of the Cold War. From a press release: "Chicago, February 27, 2002: Today, the Board of Directors of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists moves the minute hand of the `Doomsday Clock,' the symbol of nuclear danger, from nine to seven minutes to midnight, the same setting at which the clock debuted 55 years ago. Since the end of the Cold War in 1991, this is the third time the hand has moved forward."

I watched this movie again a few weeks ago, after seeing it on TV as a ten-year-old kid. While some of the story-lines were painful (e.g. the soon-to-be-wed farmer's daughter whining when dad caught her sneaking off to have sex) this was a well-done movie showing the effects of nuclear war on middle america.

While maybe you can knock this for it's dramatic quality, I think it holds together as an honest story. Some of the criticisms I've read below don't hold together. The story *is* clear about the effects that happen at different distances from ground-zero. The Russians nailed Kansas because of the missile silos there. And it is honest about human nature: in the aftermath lots of people help, like the doctor, but others kill for food or land and there's plenty of panic and anger to go around.

This movie made an impression on me when I saw it as a kid and also now as an adult. And for those out there knocking it--remember this: The Day After made the people of the United States realize what kind of horrible toys their leaders are dealing with. It sparked the movement against nukes. We need a similar movement today--because people have forgotten, or don't think nuclear weapons are a threat. But the United States is now researching new, tactical nukes which, if smaller, will still result in fallout poisoning people unlucky to be in the neighborhood. Just like the kids in Iraq that get to breath the Uranium dust from our tank-busting weapons.

I wish we had more movies like this, and like _Traffic_, that bring painful realities to life and make people think.


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Nuclear weapons are actually wonderful herschie
This movie really scared us back in the 80s dazzaler44
Never heard of this before. djk-930-38279
The president's address at the end.. TyCobbSalad
How do the Looking Glass pilots keep from getting flash blinded bradhig
The Overwhelming Sense Of Despair Would Prevail After the Bombs freedomfightertjm
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