The Day After (1983)

If you were alive in 1983, you’ve probably heard of The Day After; the television movie released on Sunday, November 20, 1983, on the ABC television network.

The film postulates a fictional war between NATO forces and the Warsaw Pact that rapidly escalates into a full-scale nuclear exchange between the United States and the Soviet Union. However, the action itself focuses on the residents of Lawrence, Kansas, and Kansas City, Missouri, as well as several family farms situated next to nuclear missile silos.

The cast includes JoBeth Williams, Steve Guttenberg, John Cullum, Jason Robards, and John Lithgow. The film was written by Edward Hume, produced by Robert Papazian, and directed by Nicholas Meyer. -Harvested from Wikipedia.

I remember watching the movie, and how it affected everyone that watched it. I know it scared the heck out of me! For a long while after, people were very, very frightened that the plot of the movie would happen? This was a huge television event, really HUGE. It affected many who watched it right down to the President of the United States at that time, Ronald Reagan who wrote in his diary that the film was “very effective and left me greatly depressed,” and that it changed his mind on the prevailing policy on a “nuclear war”. So, as you can imagine, this was big time stuff! The plot, special effects, and characters get the job done well enough. Please don’t expect a huge budget production; this was a TV movie in the mid 80’s for crying out loud!

So here we go! Relive the end of 1983, not to mention the end of the world with…The Day After.

Tom Berges

I'm creator of the website! I'm into everything retro!

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5 thoughts on “The Day After (1983)

  1. just_jeepin says:

    To say this was a HUGE event is understating it. Remember at this time there was only 3 major TV networks (NBC, ABC, CBS). I remember myself and everyone I knew being scared to death. I also remember many people actually thought it was a live telecast of actual events and the tv and newspapers had to mention that it was only fiction.

  2. I can only hope no future generations of kids will grow up with a fear like this. There’s just no explaining how much of a Big Thing it was back then.

  3. BrownBanana says:

    I think I remember the news afterwards talking about how Russia picked up the signal mid broadcast and it was quickly jammed by the network.

  4. Stone Griffin says:

    just_jeepin, You’re confusing “The Day After” with the TV movie “Special Bulletin” (1983) which was one of the very first ‘fake live news broadcasts’ that dealt with Terrorists detonating a nuclear bomb in Charleston SC. That’s what people thought was real, not the movie “The Day After”, since the “Day After” was a strictly ‘movie style narrative’ that no one could confuse for anything other than a movie. :)

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