Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Made for TV Movie: The Day After

Hey all. Greetings for Day 2 of Made for TV Movies. Now we covered the supernatural and thriller all in one helping of Darren McGavin and trust me that was fun. The thing I recall growing up with was the impeding Nuclear Winter that was always the buzz word as a wee lad. With the Soviet Union and America having pissing matches over Capitalism and Communism this particular looming threat was always there and Hollywood took notice. They're sharp about these kind of things. When writer Edward Hume (Cannon, The Streets of San Francisco, Barnaby Jones and Parole) was contracted to give the popular theme of nuclear fallout, what if we saw it from the eyes of those that believed it could happen but never in even their darkest days would predict this would be the day of all days. This is The Day After.

Poker?  I'd hardly even know her. HAH!

With our writer/director Nicholas Meyer (Time After Time, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Volunteers, Company Business, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country and Vendetta) bringing us this story is the accounts and events leading up to thermonuclear war??? Did we miss a few steps? The Soviet Union is showing to have a arms buildup in East Germany which they claim is nothing more than Warsaw Pact (Treaty of Friendship, Co-operation and Mutual Assistance) exercises similar to our own NATO but the states are not having it. In the late hours of September 15th, the news broadcast a massive rebellion in the East German Army, following that is an immediate Soviet block of West Berlin. With the states poised to push "the button" they tell the Soviets to end their blockade for this will be considered an act of war. With the refusal on the Soviets the President orders all military force to the ready.

Traffic on the K-10 seems a little light now.

Our story opens with the after effects the nuclear attack on Lawrence Kansas and Kansas City (Missouri) told from the point of view each character. Dr. Russel Oakes (Jason Robards of Once Upon a Time in the West, All the President's Men, Laguna Heat, The Good Mother, Parenthood, The Civil War and Mark Twain and Me) is a professor of hematology teaching at University of Kansas is working in at the hospital when the news reports start pouring in, the Soviets have gone too far and the hammer and sickle is pointed at the states. Oakes worried for his wife trieds for a telephone booth but apparently Clark Kent and the rest of the Justice League are all hogging them. He then jumps in his car and hauls for Lawerence via the freeway when the Emergency Broadcast System alert goes off. Airman First Class Billy McCoy (William Allen Young of Knots Landing, Babylon 5, Almost Dead, Moesha, Any Day Now and CSI: Miami) ready for the 30 day paid furlow has been cut short due to Whitman AFB has recieved a DEFCON 2 alert. As a missile technician he has to be at the silos and gets to witness first-hand launching. What is to become of these existing farms, communities and the people?

This story gives good dramatic weight what with the impeding build up the bombs dropping all these characters each have something going on in their lives only to utimately finding out they are not masters of their own fate. It shows every facet of humanity. From those willing to heed the call to help one another, to the cowardly and greedy. No one concept is overlooked and what is truly the End of Days as we know it. Capturing the best and worst of humanity is what this film set out to do and gathering all the lives it effected with end results. Not too shabby and this scared the crap out of me as a boy. To be honest, it still does.

Remember when portable TVs were this heavy? Haha back to the film now.