7.1/10
14,053
185 user 41 critic

The Day After (1983)

The effects of a devastating nuclear holocaust on small-town residents of eastern Kansas.

Director:

Nicholas Meyer

Writer:

Edward Hume
Reviews
Popularity
1,256
Won 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 4 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Edit

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
Learn more

More Like This 

Threads (TV Movie 1984)
Drama | Sci-Fi | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The effects of a nuclear holocaust 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
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The life of a suburban American family is scarred after a nuclear attack.

Director: Lynne Littman
Stars: Jane Alexander, William Devane, Rossie Harris
Special Bulletin (TV Movie 1983)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 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
Without Warning (TV Movie 1994)
Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A television program is interrupted by a news network announcing that three meteors have hit the United States, France and China. At first, it seems natural but after interviews by ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Iscove
Stars: Sander Vanocur, Jane Kaczmarek, Bree Walker
The War Game (TV Movie 1966)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A docudrama depicting a hypothetical nuclear attack on Britain.

Director: Peter Watkins
Stars: Michael Aspel, Peter Graham, Dave Baldwin
By Dawn's Early Light (TV Movie 1990)
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A non-NATO nuclear missile is fired from Turkey at USSR, where it detonates. Soviet response is automatic as it's seen as a NATO missile. Can continued escalation be avoided? We follow the US president and a bomber crew.

Director: Jack Sholder
Stars: Powers Boothe, Rebecca De Mornay, James Earl Jones
Animation | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A naive elderly British rural couple survive the initial onslaught of a nuclear war.

Director: Jimmy T. Murakami
Stars: Peggy Ashcroft, John Mills, Robin Houston
Countdown to Looking Glass (TV Movie 1984)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Dramatic doomsday scenario in which the Cold War fully escalates. The story is told through a live news report that follows the apocalyptic world-ending nuclear exchange between the U.S.A. and the U.S.S.R.

Director: Fred Barzyk
Stars: Scott Glenn, Michael Murphy, Helen Shaver
Miracle Mile (1988)
Action | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A young man hears a chance phone call telling him that a nuclear war has started and missiles will hit his city in 70 minutes.

Director: Steve De Jarnatt
Stars: Anthony Edwards, Mare Winningham, John Agar
The Day After (2017)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The married Bongwan leaves home in the dark morning and sets off to work. The memories of the woman who left weigh down on him. That day Bongwan's wife finds a love note, bursts into the office, and mistakes Areum for the woman who left.

Director: Sang-soo Hong
Stars: Yunhee Cho, Ki Joabang, Taeu Kang
Drama | Mystery | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A man named Zac Hobson awakens to find himself alone in the world. In a desperate attempt to search for others, he finds only two who have their own agenda.

Director: Geoff Murphy
Stars: Bruno Lawrence, Alison Routledge, Pete Smith
On the Beach (1959)
Drama | Romance | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 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
Edit

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 most watched television movie in history. Tonight, relive the story of a day beyond imagining. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Jeff East and Stephen Furst Appear together in Up The Creek (1984) See more »

Goofs

When teenager daughter Denise runs amok in the farm field after the nuclear attack, she lightly brushes up against a dead cow and moves the entire carcass, thus revealing it to be a lightweight stuffed prop. See more »

Quotes

Newscaster: The looming question is... how far will Warsaw pact forces go? Will the Russians advance straight for the Rhine and defy NATO's declared policy of defense by all means including the use of tactical nuclear weapons? The Defence Department today reported that...
Cynthia: Fantasyland.
Aldo: You think they're making this up? You think this is "War of the Worlds" or something?
Cynthia: Look, did we help the Czechs, the Hungarians, the Afghans *or* the Poles? Well we're *not* gonna nuke the Russians to save the *Germans*! I ...
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

Referenced in Eraser (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Music from 'The River'
by Virgil Thomson
Arranged by David Raksin (uncredited)
See more »

User Reviews

Best Attempt to Portray a Nuclear War I've seen
22 November 2004 | by braceywsSee all my reviews

I just finished watching this movie for the first time and had to give a comment. I was only 5 when this movie came out and don't remember seeing it, but growing up next to a military base, the threat of a nuclear attack, although remote was in the back of our minds.

While this movie is not perfect (they should have had a couple less story lines going), this movie is the best attempt to show what was previously a very realistic scenario. While it's very toned down from what would actually happen after a nuclear attack, showing people out in the middle of nowhere trying to survive or just showing everyone die in a matter of a few days would not have had the same impact. This movie shows as graphically as could be shown on US network television a glimpse of the horror of nuclear war. The special effects and makeup are very good for a made for TV movie in 1983, impressive actually. The attack is shown is a very shocking and realistic manner (other than lessening the actual size of damage that would occur). The aftermath makes you realize that the lucky ones were those that were instantly vaporized. Although they don't show it, you realize that all of the characters that fought for so long against radition poisoning were not going to make it much longer. It shows many sides of human nature that would come to the surface under such circumstances and hints towards even worse ones that couldn't be shown. Although the cold war is behind us, these weapons are still around and there will come a time someone wants to use them. Everyone should see this movie to give them at least a small glimpse at why we can never allow that to happen.


20 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 185 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

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

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Your Next Binge Watch Awaits

Looking for something to watch? Check out IMDb's "What to Watch" series to find out what's really worth watching.



Recently Viewed