7.1/10
12,888
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
1,568 ( 105)

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 ... 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

After watching this, President Ronald Reagan sent a pile of suggestions to Nicholas Meyer how it should be edited. See more »

Goofs

When Dr. Austin is explaining the effects of the Electro-Magnetic Pulse (EMP) from the nuclear blast, he says. "It's all theoretical. It's never happened before." In actuality, the United States detonated a 3.8 Megaton warhead at an altitude of 50 miles, 1 August 1958, in the Operation Hardtack Teak shot nuclear test. This event caused unexpected communications disruption and damage to electrical equipment in an area that ranged between Hawaii and New Zealand. It was the first observation of the EMP effect. See more »

Quotes

Nurse Nancy Bauer: I think you better have a piece of this orange. Might be the last orange you see for... week and a half.
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

In the original broadcast, in an effort to be "contemporary", the radio address by the President of the US was given by a voice that was a mimic of Ronald Reagan. This apparently offended a lot of people. In subsequent broadcasts, and on the video release, the voice was changed to a more generic, non-identifiable voice. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Yes Man (2008) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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.


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