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Reagan thought Lawrence movie was 'propaganda'


¢ Ronald Reagan was critical of "The Day After," the nuclear fallout movie filmed in 1983 in Lawrence, according to a story in the [Los Angeles Daily News][1]. A new book details Reagan's thoughts on a variety of films. Unfortunately, the Daily News story didn't get the name of the movie correct.He slammed the 1983 made-for-television movie "The Morning After" - about the terrifying effects of a nuclear strike on Lawrence, Kan. - as "anti-nuke propaganda."¢ The KU student crowned Miss Kansas over the weekend wasn't the only Jayhawk who did well in a pageant. Lizzy Pajl, a KU graduate, was named first runner up in the Miss South Dakota pageant, [KMEG-TV][2] reports.¢ A KU researcher is quoted in a [Washington Post][3] article about ice melting in Greenland."Greenland has the potential to put a lot of water, a lot of ice, into the sea," said (George) Tsoflias, a researcher from the University of Kansas. [1]: http://www.dailynews.com/news/ci_6110728 [2]: http://www.kmeg14.com/news/local/7940502.html [3]: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/06/08/AR2007060802782.html


Crossfire 10 years ago

Duck and Cover, as bad as it was, still better than anything RR ever did. We all knew it was BS in 1961.

bevy 10 years ago

I remember this movie as the source of one of the few serious arguments I had with my folks growing up. I was about 15 when it came out, and because it was set in Lawrence (near where I had spent much of my childhood) it really freaked me out. My dad said I had to watch it because it was important for me to know what might happen if we didn't solve the nuclear arms race. Looking back, I don't remember the movie at all, just the argument with mom & dad.

On a happier note, a few years ago I had to spend 10 minutes explaining to MY kids what the Cold War was about, so they could understand the movie WarGames. They had no frame of reference for it. Amazing what a difference 20 years can make.

Sigmund 10 years ago

I don't know if Regan was the best President, but I am certain Carter was the best ex-President.

Look at all Carter accomplished after he left office: 1. Just days after Carter left office, the American hostages in Iraq were released. 2. The 18%-21% interest rates during Carter's Presidency fell dramatically after he left office. 3. The double digit inflation while Carter was President decline very quickly after he left office. 4. Unemployment declined after Carter left office. 5. America experienced the longest period of peace time economic expansion after Carter left.

No doubt about it, Jimmy Carter was America's best Ex-President EVER!

Sigmund 10 years ago

Oooops, obviously that should have been,

"1. Just days after Carter left office, the American hostages in Iran were released."

Must not post when my editor is on vacation.

Kookamooka 10 years ago

No name of the girl who won Miss Kansas? Just the name of the girl who won Miss South Dakota?

George_Braziller 10 years ago

In about 75 years after all of us who endured the Reagan presidency are dead and gone, Arnold Nawrocki who invented the individually wrapped cheese slice will be recognized as contributing more to society and the world than Reagan.

Ragingbear 10 years ago

Greenland is called Greenland to encourage immigration there by Scandinavian Settlers. The same method applies to Iceland. Although in a much more temperate area, the people that knew about it didn't want the rest of the world to know.

Crossfire 10 years ago

Regan, a Hollywood SCAB and second rate actor, revueing films? PATCO union buster...with an airport named in his dishonor. It would be better to name the airport after the cheese guy... Maybe ask his opinion on films...

Armen Kurdian 10 years ago

Greenland got its name "Grünland" from the Vikings. The intrepid explorers just happened to stop along a part of the coast that was not covered with snow (obviously during the summer). Nothing but grass, hence the name.

lounger 10 years ago

Ronald Raygun was a couple of notches above G. Bush jr. That really doesn't say much about Ronny! Lets not forget his last couple of press conferences where he basically stood smiling and vacant and didn't really answer any questions because he couldn't>His poor mind had departed by then. Shows how dangerous upper government can get!!

gogoplata 10 years ago

That movie scared the crap out of me when I was a kid. I remember having a class discussion about it the next day.

Godot 10 years ago

Yep, it was definitely propaganda. Absolutely no question about that.

But it was so much fun.

My kid lost out to one of his friends for the role of the little boy sitting in front of the TV watching the missiles rise out of the fields in Missouri. He made it to the last cut. I told him to follow directions, but he kept making gross faces at the camera. Who can predict what a sweet little six year old will do?

Godot 10 years ago

It is unbelievably sad anyone took that movie so seriously that they had nigthmares about it and talked about it in class. It was a joke! It was a hoot! It was just an exercise in being off-the-wall creative.

truthhurts 10 years ago

I remember a couple things about "The Day After"

  1. That most of Lawrence was just so excited to be on national TV (even if we were cannon fodder for the Soviets).

  2. That the movie was actually quite awful. ABC could have done something spectacular and the whole thing was just flat.

pelliott 10 years ago

not much news there, how dare he call an anti nuke propaganda film an antinuke propaganda film. it was pretty good one too. i wasn't a great film though, poor character development. Bad dialogue too.

George_Braziller 10 years ago

Arnold Nawrocki who invented the individually wrapped cheese slice has alaready contributed more to society and the world than Pilgrim.

sourpuss 10 years ago

I was an extra in that movie when I was a kid. I remember what a miserable time it was. Hot, sticky, dirty, BORING. We had to sit out in the field south of Watkins hospital for six hours for a shot of the missles firing off over campus, but all of us extras were cut out of the shot, which ended up just showing the nurses.

Then they piled us all into Allen Fieldhouse, which in the movie became a makeshift hospital/triage center. This is the scene where John Lithgow comes through looking for someone. I do remember seeing him. I can see myself in that shot, but only the wide shot of the fieldhouse floor. We had to sit there for hours in the heat (though at least we were out of the sun) and I was getting pretty upset about the whole thing. I also remember the announcement for us NOT to look at the camera when the red light was on, but the red light was on the camera, so I wasn't sure how I was supposed to know not to look at the camera unless I looked at the camera. So I sat there with an intense fear of looking at the camera at all, for fear the red light might be on, as much as I really wanted to look at the camera because I was told I wasn't supposed to.

Due to all of this misery, woe, and stress, I couldn't differentiate well between the reality of actually being miserable during the filming, and the artificiality of the movie. When I saw it on TV, it gave me a terrible complex becaue I knew I was somehow involved in what I was seeing on TV, but the movie had terrible things happen and I really wasn't sure if that was real or at least a real possibility. It also didn't help that the movie had reconizable places on it for me.

So, of course, I developed issues about nuclear war and would draw lots of pictures of mushroom clouds and the like. I eventually grew out of it, but that movie was and still is a significant part of who I am.

It also earned me a Kevin Bacon number of 2 (Me in The Day After with John Lithgow, John Lithgow in Footloose with Kevin Bacon).

As for Reagan, didn't like him then, still don't.

Sigmund 10 years ago

For you trivia fans, commentator Ben Stein (yes, THAT Ben Stein), who was critical of the message of "The Day After" (that the strategy of Mutually Assured Destruction would lead to a nuclear war, it didn't BTW), wrote an article about what life might be like in America under Soviet occupation. This article provided the inspiration for the TV miniseries "Amerika" about life in America ten years after its conquest and occupation by the USSR. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amerika_%28TV_miniseries%29

Favorite quote from "Amerika", Totalitarianism doesn't need armies. It only needs to control a couple of things the media, and the ability to dispense privilege to some, and to withhold it from others. Of course, a weak and divided people helps.

Crossfire 10 years ago

The bum sleeping on Mass. Street, having contributed more to society than Ronny & Bonzo, still stinks less than Bedtime for Bonzo.

packrat 10 years ago

I was an extra in the Allen Field House Scene. When they pan the scene, I am visible in the upper right corner.

Am I the only person who remembers the "Tear down this Wall" speech? Ronald Reagan did more for the betterment of the world than any US President since the Marshall Plan.

minko224 10 years ago

I found Reagan to be a scurrilous scatterbrain.

sourpuss 10 years ago

Since when is making a speech "doing something"? Didn't -Gorbachev- tear down the wall? Actually, I think the Germans technically did it, with heavy moving equipment.

Who gets credit in your house for the chores? The nagger or the person who actually does it?

minko224 10 years ago

FYI Danny Manning moved to Lawrence his senior year in high school.

mick 10 years ago

Respect Reagan's opinion on this. He was an expert at propaganda.

packrat 10 years ago

The fall of Communism out-weighes the considerable writing of Langston Hughes.

After the stagfalation of the Carter years, it was Reagonomics which drove the US economic boom which lasted until the final year of Clinton's Presidency. ( I'm not blaming for the downturn, many factors contributed to it, almost all of which were outside of his control.)

packrat 10 years ago



scenebooster, read until your heart's content. Over 300 million people directly benefited from the collapse of the Soviet Union. Reagan wasn't the only person responsible for the collapse but his policies hastened the fall.

An unfortunate truth is that less than 25 milion people know who Langston Hughes was. Even fewer can name any of his works. This is the fault of a very poor educational system which neglects teaching of great modern writers.

packrat 10 years ago

scenebooster, I understand about pilgrim.

packrat 10 years ago

I guess the MX missile system?

gogoplata 10 years ago

I was in 5th grade at the time.

temperance 10 years ago

Agnostick: You're right about all of this "propaganda" nonsense. The movie was careful not to assign blame to the USSR or the US for starting the war, so the only "propaganda" seems to be "nuclear war is bad." If that's so, we need more "propaganda!" (". . .Photo Wire 1945" nice!)

75X55: "Fail Safe" is a much better movie. "On the Beach" is also worth viewing. Check out "Threads" if you want to get really depressed. But, is any film that has a message "propaganda?" The term is used to criticize the movie, but "propaganda" implies deception, and the movie seemed true to its "nuclear war sucks" message.

scenebooster: "To claim that Reagan 'ended communism' or caused the collapse of the Soviet Union is a whitewash of history." Exactly. Also, an underappreciated factor in the downfall of the USSR was Chernobyl. http://www.praguepost.com/articles/2006/04/19/chernobyl-the-day-the-empire-cracked.php http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rick-jacobs/chernobyl-twenty-years-la_b_19871.html

everyone needs to read this: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/12/opinion/12carter.html

Godot 10 years ago

It is worth watching that movie again just to see Charlie Oldfather.

Godot 10 years ago

I remember sitting in the courtyard at Murphy Hall, eating lunch with a theatre TA, when the news came that Reagan had been shot; the TA shouted, 'YEA!! Reagan is dead!" and then most everyone stood up and cheered.

The people in that courtyard are now leading your children in their creative endeavors.

Godot 10 years ago

Well, Aggie, I guess you had to be there to appreciate it. Kind of like lots of things that happened in ancient times when no one was there to record it.....except me.

Godot 10 years ago

Actually, I would rather think that my past was a fantasy. Thanks, Aggie, for re-casting my life.

Godot 10 years ago

Another local who did a really good job in that film was Bill Kuhlke.

There is some really bad, over-the-top acting in that flick, but some of the worst offenders made it big in sit-com TV, so, who is to judge?

It was just melodrama on a big scale; the promoters tried to palm it off as something that was "politically important," but it was just an effort by some to make their big break into the Hollywood. Money is still money, even if the people with the ideas are hippies in tie-dye shirts who reek of marijuana.

Sigmund 10 years ago

I don't know if Regan was the best President, but I am certain Carter was the best ex-President. Look at all Carter accomplished after he left office: 1. Just days after Carter left office, the American hostages in Iran were released. 2. The 18%-21% interest rates during Carter's Presidency fell dramatically after he left office. 3. The double digit inflation while Carter was President decline very quickly after he left office. 4. Unemployment declined after Carter left office. 5. America experienced the longest period of peace time economic expansion after Carter left.

No doubt about it I think everyone would agree Jimmy Carter was America's best Ex-President ever. We only wish he had left office earlier.

Crossfire 10 years ago

The wall was on it's way down anyway... Bonzo Boy only used it as part of his propoganda.

jonas 10 years ago

I must still find it laughable that people think the president is totally responsible for the state of the economy. It's so close to the old peasants thinking it was the king's doing if the crops did well or didn't, that I just giggle every time I see it. Not to say that they have NOTHING to do with it, but to some its almost astrology at its finest.

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