The Day After
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The Day After

127 min | USA:120 min (TV)
Drama | Sci-Fi
IMDB rate:
Nicholas Meyer
Won 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 3 wins & 10 nominations
Country: USA
Release Date: 1983-11-20
Filming Locations: Harrisonville, Missouri, USA
Gross: SEK 1,953,591 (Sweden) Admissions 63,584 (Sweden)
Bibi Besch
Bibi Besch
The Day After
Amy Madigan
Amy Madigan
The Day After
Herk Harvey
Herk Harvey
The Day After
Jason Robards
Dr. Russell Oakes
JoBeth Williams
Nurse Nancy Bauer
Steve Guttenberg
Stephen Klein
John Cullum
Jim Dahlberg
John Lithgow
Joe Huxley
Lori Lethin
Denise Dahlberg
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
Dennis Hendry
Doug Scott
Danny Dahlberg
Ellen Anthony
Joleen Dahlberg
Kyle Aletter
Marilyn Oakes
Alston Ahern
William Allyn
Antonie Becker
Ellen Hendry
Pamela Brown
Jonathan Estrin
Julian French
Stephen Furst
Arliss Howard
Tom Cooper
Rosanna Huffman
Dr. Wallenberg
Barbara Harris
Cleo Mackey
Madison Mason
TV Host
Bob Meister
Vahan Moosekian
George Petrie
Dr. Landowska
Glenn Robards
Barber #2
Tom Spratley
Barber #1
Stan Wilson
Vinnie Conrad
Arthur Ashe
Desiree Boschetti
Blind Girl
Harry Bugin
Man at phone
Darrell Everson
Burn victim
Eugene Jackson
Hospital Patient
Sergio Kato
Detective (uncredited)
David Kaufman
Boy in Barn
Wayne Knight
Man in Hospital
George Mason Kuhn
The Mayor of Lawrence
David Kulwin
Burn Victim
John Lafayette
Randy Lowell
Extra (uncredited)
Terry M. Moore
Dead Boy by Statue
Luci-Lynn Norris
Charles Oldfather
C. Wayne Owens
Man with Radio
David Rodwell
Extra (uncredited)
Alex Van
Guard #1 (uncredited)
Charles Whitman
David Yonally
Extra (uncredited)
Did you know?
A firestorm of controversy erupted before the film even aired over the issue of who attacked first: the U.S.S.R. or the United States. Nicholas Meyer wanted the answer to remain ambiguous so as to focus on the horrors of nuclear destruction, rather than to create an "good versus evil" mentality; rather the evil of the film should remain nuclear weapons in general as opposed to one government over another.
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During the attack sequence, there are several cuts of footage acquired during the U.S. atomic testing that took place in the 1950's. The nuclear yield on these tests ranged from 15 to 47 kilotons. In the early 1980's the Soviet Union had deployed ICBM forces with multiple warheads that carried hydrogen weapons with a yield between 1000 to 5000 kilotons (1 to 5 megatons).
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The US Department of Defense would only co-operate with the film's production on condition that it be made clear in the story that the Soviets, and not the United States, launched their missiles first.
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(at around 55 mins) Dr. Oakes' daughter and other people are shown being vaporized by the nuclear blasts, and screams are heard from the victims as they die. In reality, they would have in all likelihood been vaporized instantly, having no time to scream or otherwise react to the blast. In addition, the daughter's death is depicted as an awkward juxtaposition of a shots: the fist showing of the lower half of her body igniting, followed by a close-up shot of her being vaporized.
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When Dr. Oakes is listening to the radio on the freeway, the interior shot shows that his car is in the right lane. In the next exterior shot, he is in the left lane and crosses the right to exit the freeway. There is also no traffic heading in the opposite direction at all.
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When the missiles are launching behind the Medical Center and behind the park gazebo, you can see dents and imperfections in the rear-projection screen.
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Jim Dahlberg: [Carrying Danny during a blast's windstorm] I gotcha son. It's alright. I gotcha.
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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.
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Cynthia: What's going on?
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How many different versions do exist of this movie?
There are different versions of "The Day After" available. Amongst other things, the reason for that were differences between studio and director, restrictions from the network plus an originally different design for the movie with a running time of more than 4 hrs. It was supposed to be a two-parter but it finally became a movie with a running time of approx. 2 hrs. followed by a discussion. For that matter 50% of the footage needed to be removed / was scratched from production schedule. If and when the 4 hour version (or at least the unknown footage, e.g. as deleted scenes on a future release) is going to released is unknown. Not even the 25th anniversairy in November 2008 was a reason for MGM or ABC to come up with a new release which is weird because those kinds of anniversairies are usually the perfect opportunity for a re-release of a classic.There are five different versions availabe and two of them were officially released in the Western world: the first DVD Edition aka "Modern Version" and the DVD re-release which equals the first edition on VHS. A detailed comparison between the "Modern Version" and the first edition VHS release, split in two parts, can be found here (part 1) and here (part 2).
Is this any relation to the recent blockbuster, 'The Day After Tomorrow?'
No. "The Day After" attempts to show the very plausible aftermath, should a nuclear war occur. The discussion after the original broadcast also introduced us to the concept of 'nuclear winter'. (see trivia) "The Day After Tomorrow" is essentially a disaster movie, which speculates global warming as the cause of catastrophic worldwide weather disruptions. "The Day After" attempts to present a "scientifically accurate" cause and effect, while "The Day After Tomorrow" relies on scientific evidence as a basis for highly unlikely events.
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Photos from cast
Bibi Besch Amy Madigan Herk Harvey