The Day After - (video)

 "Apocalypse ... The End of the Familiar ... The Beginning of the End.  The most powerful and controversial television event of our time.  A potent drama -- probably the most controversial TV movie of its time.  Lawrence , Kansas is the very center of the United States , a small town community of good people whose daily lives embody the same hopes, dreams and fears of us all.  Then comes the day that the unthinkable happens: War is declared, and a full-scale exchange of nuclear missiles rains an atomic hell upon our very way of life.  Devastation is global, with America reduced to a ravaged wasteland of sickness, violence and death.  But for the survivors, this man-made apocalypse has only just begun.  Humanity's true horror starts on 'The Day After'.  The Day After is an astonishing glimpse into mankind's greatest nightmare and widely considered to be the most horrific depiction ever of nuclear holocaust.  Jason Robards, John Lithgow, JoBeth Williams, Amy Madigan and Steve Guttenberg lead a remarkable cast in this Emmy Award winning television landmark that continues to be one of the most disturbing -- and important -- films of our time.  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. ABC set up special 1-800 hotlines to calm people down during and after the original airing.  Immediately after the film's original broadcast, it was followed by a special news program, featuring a live discussion between scientist Dr. Carl Sagan (who opposed the use of nuclear weapons) and Conservative writer William F. Buckley Jr. (who promoted the concept of "nuclear deterrence"). It was during this heated discussion, aired live on network television, where Dr. Sagan introduced the world to the concept of "nuclear winter" and made his famous analogy, equating the nuclear arms race with "two men standing waist deep in gasoline; one with three matches, the other with five".  The Day After was watched by an estimated half the adult population, the largest audience for a made-for-TV movie to that time.

To order: ; review: .  Other films of this genre: Threads ; The War Game available from