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 10,073 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

Celebrate IMDb's 25th Anniversary with Photos We Love

IMDb turns 25 on October 17! To celebrate, we put together a gallery of some of our favorite movie, TV, and event photos from the last 25 years.

See the Photos We Love

Related News

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 22 titles
created 01 Jun 2011
a list of 28 titles
created 26 Apr 2013
a list of 35 titles
created 17 Jul 2013
a list of 22 titles
created 9 months ago
a list of 30 titles
created 6 months ago

Related Items

Search for "The Day After" on

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: The Day After (TV Movie 1983)

The Day After (TV Movie 1983) on IMDb 7/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Day After.

User Polls

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 | 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
Animation | Comedy | Drama
    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
The War Game (1965)
Drama | Sci-Fi | War
    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
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
    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
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
Sci-Fi | Thriller
    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
Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The world after the nuclear apocalypse. Pale light lits the scenery of total destruction. The surviving humans vegetate in wet cellars under the nuclear winter. But somehow human spirit ... See full summary »

Director: Konstantin Lopushanskiy
Stars: Rolan Bykov, Iosif Ryklin, Viktor Mikhaylov


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 mushroom clouds were created by injecting colored oil plumes into a tank of water (which accounts for the fact that the clouds are dark red, rather than a more realistic hue). See more »


During the nuclear strike, the flag outside the Dahlberg farm is being blown by a breeze from the left side of the screen but the debris is blowing in from the right. However, this could mean that the wind was swirling. See more »


Alison Ransom: We knew about bombs, we knew about fallout, we knew this could happen for 40 years but nobody was interested.
See more »


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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A very controversial, but excellent film
18 February 2002 | by (Connecticut) – See all my reviews

This film originally aired as a TV movie back in 1983 in the United States. It depicts the effects of nuclear war on the citizens of the Kansas City area. In the film, during the actual attacks, a lot of raw footage of nuclear blasts and explosions is used, but no computer enhanced special effects were needed in this film to get the point across. The point, being of course, that nuclear war is horrible. The movie was aired to show leaders of nations in the world what would happen if nuclear war was ever waged. When this film was first aired, Cold War tensions were high and the fear of nuclear war was very imminent. Though the events in the film are very powerful, a disclaimer at the end of the movie even tells the viewers that the events depicted in the film are far less worse then what would actually take place in a real nuclear war.

I feel that the plot was created well. The film shows what happens before the attacks, the actual attacks and then what happens after the attacks. The attacks were not shown too soon after the movie began but well into the movie and built up enough to show a lot of drama. The acting is very good, in my opinion. The late Jason Robards plays the lead role and a few other familiar faces take part as well (Steve Guttenburg, John Lithgow). The writing is fair, but not bad for a made-for-TV movie.

Overall, the movie is very excellent and places itself very positively in my book. It was a very controversial film for its time and it did scare the hell out of many people (truthfully, it did shake me up a little the first time I saw it). It's really not for the kids, even though it was a TV movie, because the scenes of the nuclear blasts and radiation sickness aren't very light.

33 of 38 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
The Overwhelming Sense Of Despair Would Prevail After the Bombs freedomfightertjm
I can't believe... AustrianA340
The Day After vs. Threads the_yoda_pagoda
Movie Mushrooms Clouds wwwFilmsFilmsFilmscouk
This movie traumatized me as a child seph82
The Soviets/Elsewhere in the U.S. tlhayden
Discuss The Day After (1983) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: