7.0/10
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178 user 39 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
1,870 ( 114)
Won 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 4 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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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:

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 »
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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

Although David Raksin and Virgil Thomson are credited with composing the soundtrack, only Raksin wrote a complete original score for the film. Nicholas Meyer removed much of the Raksin score and inserted cues Thomson had written for the documentary The River (1938) and gave Thomson partial scoring credit. See more »

Goofs

During the nuclear strike, the flag outside the Dahlberg farm is being blown by a breeze from the left side of the screen but the debris is blowing in from the right. However, this could mean that the wind was swirling. See more »

Quotes

Radio Announcer: Warsaw Pact forces are close to announcing a cease-fire along the German border. There are still no eyewitness accounts to substantiate the rumor that low-kiloton range nuclear weapons were detonated this morning during the conflict, resulting in the reported destruction of Wiesbaden and the outskirts of Frankfurt...
[electronic alarm cuts in]
EBS Announcer: This is the Emergency Broadcast System. All persons currently in transit in the Kansas City metropolitan area are advised to proceed immediately to the ...
[...]
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

The German EuroVideo DVD runs 115 min. See more »


Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

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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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