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The Day After (Promo, 1983)

Here's a 30-second promo for the ABC Theater telemovie, The Day After, about the effects of a full-scale nuclear attack on the United States, which aired on Sunday, November 20th 1983.

Voiceover by Ernie Anderson.

This promo aired on local Chicago TV Friday, November 18th 1983.

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This clip aired on Friday, November 18th 1983, and is included in the following categories:
Viewer Comments

What was it like the Day after "The Day After" was anyone really scared that this could happen?
Comment posted by MST3K1993 on Wednesday, November 12th 2008 at 10:58pm.

Well, it was a Monday and everyone was depressed. And we were scared out of our wits until around 1990. If you didn't live through it, it's hard to describe the existential fear. :-)
Comment posted by FuzzyMemories on Wednesday, November 12th 2008 at 11:17pm.

Wow that movie scared the heck out of me! we all thought we were gonna get nuked, The cold war sucked to put it lightly.
Comment posted by pantaloon123 on Thursday, November 13th 2008 at 10:18am.

Writing for the older viewers out there I don't think this movie could match up with the Cuban Missile Crisis in October of 1962. I grew up in Uptown, Broadway and Montrose. Along the lakefront there were Nike missile bases. At Montrose Harbor there was a base. The missiles were at another base at Belmont. There were others as well around Chicago. Some were near the Museum of Science and Industry. During the Crisis there was a stead flow of Army trucks up and down Montrose along with maps in the paper showing that a missile launched from Cuba could hit Chicago. Watching Pres. Kennedy on TV and listening to the newscasts was a lot scarier than any made for TV movie could ever have been. In my grade school we not only did fire drills but we also would do a bomb drill once a year. Fortunately Kennedy stopped the Russians.
Comment posted by telefrank on Thursday, November 13th 2008 at 1:25pm.

I remember this quite clearly. I didn't want to watch it, but my Social Studies teacher made it mandatory as we would be tested on it. My parents didn't object to me watching it. Honestly, I wish they would've. This movie scared me deeply, for a long time. I was only about 10 when I saw it, and I really didn't know much of anything about Nukes or the Cold War up to that point, I didn't understand what it was all about. I still have nightmares about nuclear war on a regular basis, though I'm not entirely blaming this one movie for that. Even watching this promo clip puts me into a mood, to be honest.

I can only imagine what it was like living through the aforementioned Cuban Missle crisis. Funny thing is, a large amount of people even today just have no idea how close we came to experiencing it. Even when I was in high school, I learned very little about it. Everything I learned was of my own doing and research afterwards. Really scary stuff.

Comment posted by NvmbrsDoom5 on Thursday, November 13th 2008 at 1:44pm.

Telefrank - Oh sure, armageddon always seems more possible/scary when YOU grew up. ;-)

Actually, I agree with you for the most part. I was -12 in 1962, so I don't recall the sentiment of the times, but I have seen movies like The Missles of October. I do believe that we were closer to nuclear war in 1962 than at any other time, although 1982/1983 is up there too. Communication was less present in those days - any misrepresentation might have sparked the other side to preempt. This is why they installed the hotline from the White House to the Kremlin.

I could argue that perhaps people weren't as educated on the horrors of nuclear war in 1962 though (and therefore it wouldn't have been as scary as contemplating it in 1983 when watching The Day After) - after all, people still thought they could use their backyard shelters for a couple weeks and then pop out and start rebuilding. The Day After showed a whole generation of people what scientists had been saying/fearing for decades - this ain't gonna be no walk in the park. In fact, for me, even at the tender age of 9, this movie communicated the message that a nuclear war wouldn't just be a war - it would be the unrecoverable breakdown of all civilization, and very likely the end of humanity itself. And the most tragic part would be that we would have done it to ourselves.

As they quoted Einstein in the movie, "I don't know what weapons they will use to fight World War III, but I do know what weapons they will use to fight World War IV - sticks and stones..."

Comment posted by FuzzyMemories on Thursday, November 13th 2008 at 1:44pm.

NvmbrsDoom5 - They should honestly do studies of the long-term effects on a generation of kids who watched this movie... ;-)

I agree with you - I wish my parents had watched the Kennedy mini-series on NBC airing at the same time that night instead. It didn't matter if you watched The Day After with your parents there or if you watched it alone, because there was nothing really comforting they could say to you anyway. So the question of watching it with a parent is kind of moot - the best solution would have been to just not have kids watch it at all. In this case, ignorance would have been a slightly extended innocence of childhood, instead of the result - a chronic, underlying low-level sense of dread and worry, punctuated by more intense moments brought on by Emergency Broadcast System alerts and the occasional nightmare. :-\

Comment posted by FuzzyMemories on Thursday, November 13th 2008 at 2:02pm.

I've always said the two things that left an indelible impression on me from television during my youth was when Real People aired their segment on Adam Walsh, and the other was The Day After. Both frightened and angered me, even as a kid.
Comment posted by kietdoke on Thursday, November 13th 2008 at 4:19pm.

You bet this was scary stuff. I still remember the atmosphere in my fourth grade class the next morning.

Which is why I found it comforting, years later, to read interviews with former Soviet Rocket Forces personnel, and find that they'd been thinking the same thoughts as we were.

Comment posted by SuperCFL on Thursday, November 13th 2008 at 5:28pm.

For many reasons, this movie no exception, 1983 was the worst year of my life, which is strange considering it was the year after (get it?) my High School graduation.
Comment posted by visaman on Friday, November 14th 2008 at 4:26am.

I think it really affected any of the kids who watched it. I remember exactly how I felt in school the next day -- the kids were way too quiet, and every teacher wanted to talk about what we saw, and how realistic it was. It was depressing as hell. We thought it was a question of when, not if. But as bad as the movie made us feel, we all knew that we wouldn't be unlucky enough to see the aftermath of a real nuclear war. Comforting and horrifying as that thought was.
Comment posted by Ringthane on Friday, November 14th 2008 at 8:48am.

Ringthane - "Don't worry dear, you'll be a charred cinder for at least several minutes before it's over, so you won't have to worry at all about radiation poisoning or fighting with other living corpses for the last stale can of Pringles on Earth. G'night!" (light-switch click) ;-)
Comment posted by FuzzyMemories on Friday, November 14th 2008 at 10:26am.

I was in third grade when this aired and I remember my worry being that I'd be someplace where I wouldn't get hit by the actual bomb and have to suffer.

Hadn't thought about this stuff since the end of the Cold War...thanks a lot, Rick for the gamma-memories!!

Comment posted by kietdoke on Friday, November 14th 2008 at 12:35pm.

I was 13 when this came out, we did talk about this movie and some kids were crying talking about it. The thing is, those kids at that time are the ones that are making all the right moves to make sure we don't have that happen now. We worry about tramatizing children, but being one who grew up around up and coming gangbangers and starting to see drive bys and shootouts during my later teen years, there are so many facts of life that can't be hidden, nor should it, because it is there future and the children are the ones that have to work with it. Having this something the whole family watches and discuss afterwards was a great thing.
Comment posted by NuBnPrnc2k on Sunday, November 16th 2008 at 2:16pm.

I saw this. It didn't scare me. I thought they should've made a teen version where the teens survive and rebuild society. A year later, they came out with a little something called Night of the Comet.
Comment posted by 4thtroika on Sunday, November 16th 2008 at 11:49pm.

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This clip has been viewed 4918 times.
This clip debuted on FuzzyMemories.TV on Wednesday, November 12th 2008.
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