Truly Dreadful Film
the audience applauded
Entertaining from beginning to end, it maintains the spirit of the franchise while establishing it's own seal with a fun cast
1993 the 10th anniversary of the film's (I believe at the time its only) prime time tv showing. I was working as a bartender at a night club in Washington DC. I told the other bartender I was working with that night that I saw in the news that it was the 10th anniv. of the movie's premier.
Both of us had the same thing to say, was in jr. high, so tough to reconcile your feelings about it at such a young age, it scared the living hell out of me, so glad the cold war was ovet ect. ect. ( pretty much just the same reactions and feelings as the bulk of the reviews here)
Then our barback busts in, "I was in high school when it came out and watched it with my parents while I was on acid."
What? I was dumbstruck! Then as quickly as he chimed in he went back to his business of setting up our bar for us. Just like that, like it was no biggee.
Now I'm not trying to set you up for some big allegory or give some moral speech about how drugs are bad with that story ( though on a side note drugs did eventually cost that young man his life) I've just decided to include it in this review because both the other bartender and I had been so deeply disturbed by seeing the movie that we thought any other reactions to this film other than the ones we (and obviously many others) had were just impossible to believe. Seriously how could someone watch this on acid and not lose their mind?Sorry, I realize that wasn't a very good review of The Day After, in fact I wouldn't call it a review at all. I meant to write a sincere and to the point review after just having re-watched the film for the first time in 34 years. So if you'll bare with me for 2 or 3 more sentences here I'll try to give it my best and shortest shot. I'll skip my opinions on the story, acting, direction ect (all tip top btw, especially working within the constraints of 1983 network television) And just say this: Every time I hear, "This is a test of the emergency broadcast system. If this had been an actual emergency...." I remember The Day After
When I say that this is unbelievable I mean that it is beyond belief how amazingly shocking this realistic and humane portrayal of the end of the earth is. This has to be one of the most powerful films ever made. Incredible emotional depiction of what could be. The only downside is that it is in America and only shows that side, it's overly patriotic and portrays America as the good guys. They were in the wrong just like everyone else. This amazing and powerful film is the most dramatic film that I have seen to date. Well worth watching but not for those looking for brain fodder. This is emotional and this is real. You will be thinking about your life and yourself when this film ends. I just hope that I never have to experience this for real.
Dan Ashley (DanLives1980)
Considering that this is a made-for-TV movie from 1983, this is still one of the best nuclear disaster movies in existence and if only others would see where it went right; consistent and factual drama! 'The Day After' centres itself in rural America and tells a multi-narrative story of several survivors including families and professionals in physics and medicine as they try to get through the fallout in their many scenarios, such as living in basements and working at a small-town hospital.The cast is superb and this is also notably one of '80s favourite Steve Guttenberg's finest performances too, even next to the likes of Jason Robards and John Lithgow.The effects are pretty dated, and that's fine considering the limitations of the time because it really does pull out all the stops. A little fake fire here and there is forgivable next to the awesome display of nuclear explosions and the devastation left behind.Frankly, this movie was meant to scare and not just ordinary people but the government and military too. I think it did its job very well and it's still well worth the watch today.After all, did you know that todays nuclear weapons are hundreds of times more destructive today as they were back then when they were still in the midst of the Cold War? The warning will always be relevant, no matter what the scientists say!
It starts with uneventful everyday life of various people around Kansas City as well as military personnel. There is elevating Cold War rhetoric. A struggle for Berlin gets out of hand as each move pulls both sides into an all-out nuclear war. Dr. Russell Oakes (Jason Robards) is a surgeon on his way to lecture at the university. He reaches the university hospital where nurse Nancy Bauer (JoBeth Williams) works. Professor Joe Huxley (John Lithgow) leads a group of students. Farmer Jim Dahlberg (John Cullum) and his family in rural Missouri changes from preparing for his daughter's wedding to preparing his basement to hide from the fallout. Hitchhiker Stephen Klein (Steve Guttenberg) finds shelter with the Dahlbergs.I remember a lot of hype about this movie at the time. The pre-nuclear stories run too long. The characters don't actually need to be colored in so much beforehand. The nuclear war can start much earlier after some simple introductions to the main characters. The tension ramps up after 30 minutes culminating in nuclear blasts at about an hour. It's reminiscent of some of the 70s disaster movie. There are some rudimentary special effects. They have a lot good big productions and great especially for a TV movie. It may have influenced some but it doesn't really deliver anything new.