167 user 32 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.



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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:
... Dr. Russell Oakes
... Nurse Nancy Bauer
... Stephen Klein (as Steven Guttenberg)
... Jim Dahlberg
... Joe Huxley
... Eve Dahlberg
... Denise Dahlberg
... Alison Ransom
... Bruce Gallatin
... Helen Oakes
... Airman Billy McCoy
Calvin Jung ... Dr. Sam Hachiya
... Dr. Austin
... Reverend Walker
Clayton Day ... Dennis Hendry


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


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


Drama | Sci-Fi


Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

20 November 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dagen efter  »

Filming Locations:


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| (TV)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Jason Robards, Jr. appeared in another post-apocalyptic science fiction film, A Boy and His Dog (1975). See more »


When McCoy climbs over a dead body in the doorway of a store, its hand slightly moves as the fabric McCoy had wrapped around himself touches it. See more »


[last lines]
Joe Huxley: [speaking into his shortwave radio] Hello. Is anybody there? Anybody at all?
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Featured in Shelter: Remembering 'The Day After' (2018) See more »

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User Reviews

A voice from the other side of the ocean
21 June 2007 | by 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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