Who Has Seen "The Day After"?

@anniepa (27245)
United States
August 20, 2008 8:12pm CST
I debated whether or not to start this is the movies or politics interest but I settled on politics since I figured it would draw the "audience" I'm targeting. There was an ABC-TV movie made back in the eighties, at the height of the cold war, I think it was 1983. I recall there being a great deal of controversy over it since it was very graphic and some sponsors threatened to boycott and there were stern warning issued in the beginning and after every commercial break about its disturbing subject matter and how it wasn't recommended for children. I remember well struggling with whether to watch it because, quite frankly, I knew it would likely scare the sh1t out of me. I watched it, and I was right, it did! But, you know what, I SAY it scared me and it did but I wasn't "really" frightened because I always knew in my heart that both our leaders and those of the Soviet Union, evil empire though they may have been, were too smart and valued their lives too much to actually let things get that far. For those who didn't see it, in case you haven't figured it out, it was about events leading up to, during and following a massive nuclear strike. It was set in the Kansas City/Lawrence, Kansas region but it enveloped the entire U.S. There were the usual stories intertwined, focusing a lot on a doctor played by Jason Robards and a farm family among other characters you met along the way, before and after the bombs hit. It started out with everyone watching news reports about the Soviets invading West Germany and us protesting it. Soon, the Soviets reportedly used a nuclear weapon on Germany. You can guess the rest. At the end it was written on the screen, and I'm paraphrasing, "The devastation and damage depicted in this motion picture are far less severe than what would occur in the even of an actual nuclear war. We made this movie in the hopes that those in a position to do so will make certain it never happens." Now here we are 25 years later and Russia is threatening to use nuclear weapons on Poland because of the missile defense shield. Does anyone else see the similarities? I made the mistake of watching this movie again the other night and now I'm wishing I wouldn't have! Annie
3 people like this
5 responses
@calcynic (433)
• United States
21 Aug 08
I remember seeing this flick while my wife was in the final stage of pregnancy with my firstborn. I was a bit stoned and My wife was asleep. It shook me up enough that I thought better about waking her, as she is a current affairs & political junkie like me. Annie, I wasn't as optimistic as you, as Ronnie the walking brainfart was President at the time and he had already joked on an open mike about bombing Russia. I trusted the Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD) Theory in the hands of Kennedy, Johnson and, especially Nixon.(Good or bad...he was the architect of detente). I thought about that movie for years until "Testament" came out and then I couldn't get that out of my head. I see strong similarities...as I have always believed that we will not be among the original principals in a nuke war, but will be dragged in due to treaty obligations. This damn missile defense shield issue is StarWars smoke and mirrors. It sure isn't a workable tech at this point. Hell of a thing to get vaporized over, ain't it?
3 people like this
@calcynic (433)
• United States
21 Aug 08
One added point...fuzzbrain McCain still thinks theres a Czechoslovakia (Czech Republic)...his head is back in the cold war days. US missles on Russia's border + the sketchy functioning of McCain's brain = Obama for President.
2 people like this
@anniepa (27245)
• United States
21 Aug 08
You're a true math whiz! You're so right about Testament, I saw that as well but it's been years. I saw On the Beach a few months ago, which I'd also seen as a kid but I didn't remember a whole lot. I must have been maybe 9 or 10 when I saw that for the first time on TV and I still remembered the one scene where the couple with the little baby were getting ready to take their pills to kill themselves. That showed no violence, just the aftermath with the last remaining people on earth in Australia waiting for the radiation to get them, knowing it was a few months away as the movie started. Annie
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@anniepa (27245)
• United States
2 Sep 08
On the beach really was one hell of a powerful film, wasn't it? As I said, I'd seen it as a child but didn't remember too much other than the scene where the young mother says, "I think I'm ready for that cup of tea now," and I remember being aware that meant they were going to die. When I watched it more recently it was downright haunting, if that's the right word. The final scenes with the empty streets and showing the sign that said, "It's Not Too Late, Brother" gave me the chills. Annie
@ZephyrSun (7385)
• United States
21 Aug 08
I seen the movie but a few years after it was originally on television, we watched in high school for one of my classes and I have seen it since then. I guess not growing up in the "cold war" I don't really think to much about it. I have to believe that the leaders of Russia are smarter than that to start a war that would also do extreme damage to them. I might have to watch the movie again, but I think my opinion will remain the same.
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@artemis432 (7474)
• Abernathy, Texas
21 Aug 08
Its also like the short lived series, Jericho. Also took place in a small Kansas town. I do think of it. In the eightees one of the pretend games my best friend, my brother and I played was nucleur war, sign of the times.
@anniepa (27245)
• United States
21 Aug 08
I started watching Jericho abut halfway through so I didn't see the very beginning. It made me mad that it got canceled because it was really getting interesting. That's how it usually goes. Did they actually show the bombs going off or did it pick up afterwards? Annie
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@calcynic (433)
• United States
21 Aug 08
I watched every episode of Jericho. It was a damn good show...well written and well-acted. I downloaded every episode and will be watching them again.
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@calcynic (433)
• United States
21 Aug 08
They did show distant shots of mushroom clouds on the horizon, but they didn't show the fire storms or the shock blasts. It was eerily horrifying just seeing the cloud and realizing the destruction left in its wake.
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@xfahctor (14128)
• Lancaster, New Hampshire
21 Aug 08
As a movie, it was so so. I liked it ok. It made a point. I wouldn't say it scared me though and as a movie, it was mediocre. So so acting, predictable character story lines, etc. I remember years ago though, I was in high school, I think I was a freshman, 1981. I was at a friends house for the night and we had been outside setting up tents and stuff in their field for a camping night. Anyway, we went in and her parents had a radio on, I think it might have been NHPR, they were running a radio play, It consisted of incoming reports about a possible nuclear strike on England by the U.S.S.R. and a few other European nations, then, another reporter broke in that there had been several strikes on the mid Atlantic cost of the U.S. they didn't announce it was a radio play, it was being done as a news cast a-la war of the worlds. and of course, her parents played right along and didn't say anything either, lol. There was also an approaching thunderstorm to make matters worse. I can honestly say I have almost never been more scared before in my life. It was almost 20 minutes before a commercial came on and when they came back on they made the disclaimer that it wasn't real.
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@anniepa (27245)
• United States
22 Aug 08
Wow, I can imagine how scared you were! "The Day After" wasn't the best movie ever made and it was rather predictable as far as the storylines but I think that was to make their point, to get us interested in some of the main characters before the attack. I don't know if we're at a great risk now than we were in the eighties or not but I sure hope we have people in charge here who know how to use diplomacy instead of threats because this new Russian President is a scary man. As for Bush seeing into Putin's soul, I wonder what he REALLY saw! Annie
1 person likes this
@calcynic (433)
• United States
22 Aug 08
After an afternoon with a bottle of the finest Russian vodka, I'd be able to see into anybody's soul, or even see double into both of his souls.
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@xfahctor (14128)
• Lancaster, New Hampshire
24 Aug 08
LOL! I guess after enough vodka, anyone's soul looks good, just ask any guy at the end of any unproductive night at a bar.
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@jend80 (2068)
21 Aug 08
the BBC equivilent drama Threads (made arround the same time) is supposed to be much bleaker, realistic and terrifiing, and if you want something else that'll seriously mess you up try Raymond Brigg's illustrated book and cartoon When the Wind Blows - the story of an eldely couple trying to cope just before and in the aftermath of a nurclear attack, blindly puting their trust in the Government to sort things out and following the (genuine) usless advice from the safety booklets - while unknowingly dieing of radiation poisening while waiting for the help that never comes...
@calcynic (433)
• United States
21 Aug 08
Sounds good...sounds a little like "Testament". A little hamlet just trying to function as they slowly die off from fallout. We get to witness the devolvement of civilization in a microcosm. Terrifying sh*t!
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