Film Review: The Day After – no redemption narrative

Well. That was cheerful.
I remember bits of this from when I saw it on release, over 25 years ago. The doctor (Jason Robards) slumping in his car, the panic in the supermarket, the woman looking in horror as the missile silo out back of her house releases its load). And, of course, the ‘devices’ going kaboom…

On rewatching, am struck by the little touches (the wilful child/woman who has been out with her fiancee the night before and had a big fight with her traditional yeoman father about it regresses and carries a teddy-bear down to the shelter, stuff like that)…

And the fact that unlike in traditional disaster movies (for this was just Towering Inferno minus the towering inferno and plus The Bomb) the Build-Up is followed by The Event but then there is not the ‘hopeful recovery’. You just see everyone die of radiation sickness over the following weeks. No redemption narrative whatsoever…

See also
Peter Watkins’ The War Game
and I should probably watch Threads…


About dwighttowers

Below the surface...
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