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?
The premiere of this TV movie was a major media event. No sponsors bought commercial time after the point in the movie where the nuclear war occurs, so the last half of the show was aired straight through, without commercials.
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When production began, the nuclear attack scene was longer and supposed to feature extremely graphic, yet very scientifically-accurate, shots of what happens to a human body during a nuclear blast. Examples included people being set on fire, flesh carbonizing, being burned to the bone, eyes melting, faceless faces, skin hanging, deaths from flying glass and debris, limbs torn off, being crushed, blown from buildings by the shockwave, and people in fallout shelters suffocating during the firestorm. Also cut were images of radiation sickness, as well as graphic post-attack violence from survivors such as food riots, looting, and general lawlessness as authorities attempted to restore order.
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In the USSR, the film was shown in the spring of 1987 (it was a warming period in Soviet-US relations since the beginning of the Cold War). The film was shown in prime time in a thematic unit with film Pisma myortvogo cheloveka (1986), which also touches upon the consequences of nuclear war.
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Dr. Oakes is driving at speed along I-70 towards Kansas City when the first bomb is air-burst over downtown. Subsequent exterior shots show that vehicles heading out of Kansas City were crossing over to the wrong side of the freeway in panic to get around the outbound gridlock before the EMP effect stalled them. However Dr. Oakes drives as if there were no other cars heading towards him the wrong way at speed.
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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 they are putting dirt in the windows for the Dahlberg house, it shows that 3 people are doing it simultaneously. This could not happen. The young daughter and the son are in the basement with the water jugs, the mom is preparing for the wedding and the oldest daughter is somewhere else. The dad is the only one who is putting dirt in the windows yet it shows dirt being thrown on the windows at the same time.
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Cynthia: What's going on?
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Alison Ransom: We knew about bombs, we knew about fallout, we knew this could happen for 40 years but nobody was interested.
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Joe Huxley: [speaking into his shortwave radio] Hello. Is anybody there? Anybody at all?
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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
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