7.0/10
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172 user 38 critic

The Day After (1983)

Unrated | | Drama, Sci-Fi | TV Movie 20 November 1983
The effects of a devastating nuclear holocaust on small-town residents of eastern Kansas.

Director:

Nicholas Meyer

Writer:

Edward Hume
Reviews
Popularity
1,535 ( 113)

On Disc

at Amazon

Won 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 4 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jason Robards ... Dr. Russell Oakes
JoBeth Williams ... Nurse Nancy Bauer
Steve Guttenberg ... Stephen Klein (as Steven Guttenberg)
John Cullum ... Jim Dahlberg
John Lithgow ... Joe Huxley
Bibi Besch ... Eve Dahlberg
Lori Lethin ... Denise Dahlberg
Amy Madigan ... Alison Ransom
Jeff East ... Bruce Gallatin
Georgann Johnson ... Helen Oakes
William Allen Young ... Airman Billy McCoy
Calvin Jung Calvin Jung ... Dr. Sam Hachiya
Lin McCarthy ... Dr. Austin
Dennis Lipscomb ... Reverend Walker
Clayton Day Clayton Day ... Dennis Hendry
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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:

...When War Games Are Real. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 November 1983 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Day After See more »

Filming Locations:

De Soto, Kansas, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

ABC Circle Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TV)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (CFI)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The scenes of Air Force personnel aboard the Airborne Command Post, in the command center receiving news of the incoming attack, the B-52 crew, and the crew in the silo launching their missiles, are footage of actual military personnel during a drill, and had been aired in a CBS documentary, First Strike (1979). In the original footage, the silo is "destroyed" by an incoming "attack" just moments before launching its missiles, which is why the final seconds of the launch countdown are not seen in this movie. See more »

Goofs

When Dr. Oakes is listening to the radio on the freeway, the interior shot shows that his car is in the right lane. In the next exterior shot, he is in the left lane and crosses the right to exit the freeway. There is also no traffic heading in the opposite direction at all. See more »

Quotes

Vinnie Conrad: The thing that bothers me is that damn "launch-on-warning".
Bruce Gallatin: What's that?
Vinnie Conrad: That's when one side tells the other that they're gonna fire their missiles as soon as they think the other guy's missiles are already on their way.
Joe Huxley: You know. Use 'em or lose 'em.
Bruce Gallatin: [nervously] What do you really think the chances are of something like that happening way the hell out here in the middle of nowhere?
Joe Huxley: Nowhere?
[chuckles]
Joe Huxley: There's no "nowhere" anymore. You're sitting next to the Whiteman Air Force Base right now. ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

[After movie has ended, before end credits.] The catastrophic events you have just witnessed are, in all likelihood, less severe than the destruction that would actually occur in the event of a full nuclear strike against the United States. It is hoped that the images of this film will inspire the nations of this earth, their peoples, and leaders to find the means to avert that fateful day. See more »

Alternate Versions

Originally filmed at 3 hours, the original release version (which ran in European theatres and later worldwide on home video) ran 126 minutes. The network telecast version (available for a time on LaserDisc) ran 120 minutes. Heavily edited for later telecast showings. Most current video cassette and disc versions run the full 126-minute length. See more »

Connections

References The War of the Worlds (1953) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Appropriately Bleak
26 August 2000 | by seltzerSee all my reviews

I, like many of my age, saw this when it originally aired as a class assignment. It had a great impact on me, as the cold war was still going strong and the threat of a nuclear war was something that people still thought about. The movie may not be the greatest ever made, but the acting is more than adequate, especially from Jason Robards, and the script was far better than any other movies made for television at that time. I recommend it to anyone, even those with a low tolerance for grossness (radiation sickness is shown in progressive stages, and it is not pretty). It's dark, depressing, and if you get into it you will definitely need to follow it up with a musical or cartoons just to lift your spirits again. Still, the subject matter is not something that can be portrayed positively even at a tv-movie level of realism.


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