7.1/10
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161 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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1,960 ( 81)
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:

The day before. The day of. The Day After. 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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TV)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One cut scene depicted two groups of students at the University of Kansas fighting each other over remaining food stocks. The first group comprised of student athletes while the second group comprised of science students led by Prof. Huxley. See more »

Goofs

The maintenance team flew into and out of Launch Control Facility Oscar 1. Oscar 1 is located on Whiteman AFB just to the south of the security police squadron and the maintenance shop. They could have walked to it. See more »

Quotes

Radio Announcer: Warsaw Pact forces are close to announcing a cease-fire along the German border. There are still no eyewitness accounts to substantiate the rumor that low-kiloton range nuclear weapons were detonated this morning during the conflict, resulting in the reported destruction of Wiesbaden and the outskirts of Frankfurt...
[electronic alarm cuts in]
EBS Announcer: This is the Emergency Broadcast System. All persons currently in transit in the Kansas City metropolitan area are advised to proceed immediately to the ...
[...]
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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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