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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In the original telecast, the ending disclaimer had a paragraph that been omitted from all home video version of the film: "In it's [sic] presentation ABC has taken no position as to how such an event can be initiated or avoided." See more »
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 »
They give me this ribbon to wear... but I haven't got any damn hair to put it into.
[Stephen takes off his baseball cap to reveal that he has no hair left at all]
You look great.
See more »
[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 »
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."
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