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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Won 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 4 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »
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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 <theventman@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Beyond Imagining... See more »


Drama | Sci-Fi


Unrated | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

20 November 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dagen efter  »

Filming Locations:


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Technical Specs


| (TV)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


When production began, the nuclear attack scene was longer and supposed to feature extremely graphic, yet very scientifically-accurate, shots of what happens to a human body during a nuclear blast. Examples included people being set on fire, flesh carbonizing, being burned to the bone, eyes melting, faceless faces, skin hanging, deaths from flying glass and debris, limbs torn off, being crushed, blown from buildings by the shockwave, and people in fallout shelters suffocating during the firestorm. Also cut were images of radiation sickness, as well as graphic post-attack violence from survivors such as food riots, looting, and general lawlessness as authorities attempted to restore order. See more »


During the nuclear strike (at about 59 minutes 50 seconds), the interior of a house is shown with the walls blowing inwards. Beyond that, blue sky and a very undisturbed tree can be clearly seen. See more »


Dr. Russell Oakes: I think you've got to be willing to let your baby come whether you like it or not. You're holding back hope.
Alison Ransom: Hope for what? What do you think is going to happen out there? You think we're going to sweep up the dead and fill in a couple of holes and build some supermarkets? You think all those people left alive out there are going to say, "Oh, I'm sorry. It wasn't my fault. Let's kiss and make up"? We knew the score. We knew all about bombs, we knew all about fallout. We knew this could happen ...
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Edited from Two-Minute Warning (1976) See more »

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User Reviews

A voice from the other side of the ocean
21 June 2007 | by (Russian Federation) – See all my reviews

Scrolling through the comments, I was impressed with the number of people from the USA, who said that this movie really scared them, when they first saw it. In fact it is not surprising. Well, I am Russian, yet it scared me too.

But first, a little preface. I was in the second grade (appr. 1982), when I first heard about the nuclear war. We had a number of lectures on it - of course the information was adapted so that 8-9 year old kids could understand it. We were impressed, but childhood has a wonderful gift that lets you quickly forget what was bad. So during the only false alarm that was held in our school the whole lot of students and tutors were brought out into the schoolyard, and we all stood in lines and through snowballs at each other imitating air bombing, and there was a feeling of excitement everywhere. The fact is, that many of us treated the threat as something so-far-away-that-it's-not-worth-worrying-about.

The movie was shown on out TV once only (with all the necessary precautions like "don't let nervous people see it"). Well, to say that I was terrified is to say nothing. For what it did, was that it made the threat so ordinary - and so real. Though for me it happened on the other side of the planet, you could easily imagine that the same thing would happen in my own country - and no fools - it would be absolutely THE SAME.

For some period thereafter I became slightly phobic ("Ma, what's that roar over our house, it's too low for a plane heading to the nearest airport"). But now I regard it as a good experience, because it made me think. I got a clear understanding that this COULD happen. I guess there was quite a big number of people in our country with the same understanding, and together with the threatened people from other countries they prevented the whole thing from happening right then. Hope the plain old common sense will help prevent the nuclear apocalypse in future.

P.S. Recently I saw the movie one more time, and it stirred the same emotions, as it did in my childhood. A great movie, that's all I can say...

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